Seagate just announced their first 3TB drive for release later this year. However, in order to be able to use the whole space on the drive, a couple of hardware and software upgrades will have to happen, as the currently used MBR (Master Boot Record) on PCs can only address up to 2TB of data.

The replacement will be the GPT (GUID Partition Table), which is supported by newer versions of Windows, as well as Mac OS X and Linux. Most notably Windows XP does not support it. To make matters worse, most motherboards with a regular BIOS cannot boot from a drive partitioned with GPT, so that new boards that support EFI firmware may be necessary. This “Extensible Firmware Interface” as defined by Intel is, however, a rarity in today’s marketplace. The most notable PC manufacturer of EFI machines is… Apple.

Of course, it is probably safe to say that there will be plenty of bugs found in various BIOSes, drivers, and storage device firmwares, so being an early adopter of any drives with a capacity in excess of 2TB will be an adventure, to say the least. Fasten your seatbelt, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!