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Modifying the Seagate 1.5TB Hard Drive: Unleash the Hidden Performance Within

Modifying the Seagate 1.5TB Hard Drive: Unleash the Hidden Performance Within

logo inner Modifying the Seagate 1.5TB Hard Drive: Unleash the Hidden Performance Within
BarraES 7200 2 1TB small 106x106 Modifying the Seagate 1.5TB Hard Drive: Unleash the Hidden Performance Within

Introduction

As many of you know, recently Seagate released one of the largest consumer drives on the market: the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS . The drive’s capacity is 1.5 TB (1500 GB) or approximately 1.397 TB. The drive specifications are decent and Seagate itself announced that this drive will be able to handle 120 MB/sec sustained transfer rate. All of us know that these rates will not be across the whole drive and were most likely obtained under the best possible conditions. That being said, we still can not overlook the fact that a 1.5 TB drive’s speeds place it directly in the Velociraptor territory. After discovering this astonishing speeds people normally bust out their Western Digital Velociraptor drives and start benchmarking them for comparison. So, what do they get? Velociraptor obviously wins in all categories – max speed, min speed, average speed, access time, you name it and it wins it. At this point they label the Seagate drive as second best and close the case. Of course thats the point, the Seagate drive was not meant to compete with the Velociraptor which is a performance drive and is instead targeted towards good performance and high storage capacity. So end of story right? . . . What if I told you there was a way to modify the 1.5TB Seagate to unleash the hidden beast within. . .

I decided to take the matters a step further. The WD Velociraptor is the largest “Raptor” class drive available on the market with the capacity of 300 GB. Despite the fact that it is the largest out of the lot, you still have a 300 GB drive compete against a drive that is basically five times its size. Normally, the giant will not stand a fighting chance, (look up David and Goliath if you don’t believe me) so I decided to even the fight out a little. What kind of speeds would you get if you were to take the large drive and downsize to the size of the Velociraptor? I decided to find out.

Prep for Surgery

Though really in this case we are not going to open up the drive, flash the firmware, or do cutting of any kind.

What we did to the 1.5 TB hard drive was to shrink it. There are a 5 easy steps you have to follow in order to accomplish that.

1. Download SeaTools DOS version from the Seagate website.

2. Burn the ISO onto a blank CD using any standard CD burner.

3. Put the burned CD into the CD-Drive and restart your computer.

4. The CD will boot automatically into the software’s graphical interface at which point you must click “ACCEPT” to the licence agreement.

5. Click the drive labeled “ST31500341AS” by left clicking the name.

 Modifying the Seagate 1.5TB Hard Drive: Unleash the Hidden Performance Within

 Modifying the Seagate 1.5TB Hard Drive: Unleash the Hidden Performance Within

6. Go to the “Advanced Tools” tab and select the “Set Capacity Manually” option.

 Modifying the Seagate 1.5TB Hard Drive: Unleash the Hidden Performance Within

7. Once you have done that, a blank dialog should appear. Enter the amount of LBAs (Logical Block Addresses) you want your “new” drive to have and click “Continue”. The magic number for the 300 GB mark is 589080586. For reference the max number that you can enter into this field is 2930277167 which equals 1500.302 GB.

 Modifying the Seagate 1.5TB Hard Drive: Unleash the Hidden Performance Within  Modifying the Seagate 1.5TB Hard Drive: Unleash the Hidden Performance Within

8. The confirmation message should look like the screenshot below. Once you achieved the confirmation, you are done. You can take out the CD and press the reset button or click “CTRL + ALT + DEL” to restart your computer.

 Modifying the Seagate 1.5TB Hard Drive: Unleash the Hidden Performance Within

**Note: The “Set Capacity Manually” only accepts LBA number so if you put something like “300 GB”, the software will set the size to zero and you will have to shut down the computer, restart and put the correct number into the Box. Also, after the capacity has been set, the software can not alter the size unless you completely Shut Down your computer, a simple Reset will not work.

After you set the size less than the maximum capacity, the remaining space will be invisible to the system and thus rendered useless. (If you downsize the 1500 GB drive to 300 GB, the other 1200 GB would be invisible) The drive will effectively become 300 GB in size.

Now I can hear you all screaming “What happened to 1.2TB worth of my drive space?” As I mentioned the drive is now a 300GB drive for all purposes. Look at it this way, the 300GB Western Digital Velociraptor is approximately ~$229 while the price of the Seagate 1.5TB drive is approximately ~$119 at the time of this writing. Now what you end up with is a drive that is higher in performance in all regards except seek times at a lower cost per GB. We are all about getting more for less around here. The added benefit is that you can always go back and reclaim that 1.2TB at any time, try to expand the Velociraptor at a later date (good luck).

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120 Comments... What's your say?

  1. first: primarily it is all about the acces times guys… you get 10.2ms AND high transfer speeds
    second: when it is about the transfer speed you get the same results when not partitioning the last 1200gb

  2. You make a very fabulous point. I hadn’t thought about it that way before. Interesting point.

  3. What a load of rubbish.why would a person want to decrease the size of their hard drive? just partion it to 300gb. this is not a hack of a harddrive. scrap this article and put up something better.

  4. http://www.techarp.com/showarticle.aspx?artno=658&pgno=1

    “The truth is the LBA mod has absolutely no effect on the transfer rate of the drive. Whatever benchmark “improvements” TechwareLabs showed are illusory, a matter of perception rather than reality. The hard disk drive’s transfer rate profile will remain the same, whether you perform the “LBA mod”, create multiple partitions or leave it as a single giant partition.”

  5. Christian Ramdeholl

    What if the aforesaid method was applied to the new 2TB Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS, complete with a 64MB cache.

    Would this be faster than the modified Seagate Barracuda 1.5 collapsed into 300GB hard drive, if so? How much faster?

    Cordially,
    Christian Ramdeholl

  6. Hi, I have done this right now, but shortly after entering and confirming the LBA-number I noticed that text and picture number does NOT match (589080586 vs 586080586) I used 589080586 (which gave me 301.609GB) as its in the text… does this make any difference? Is the right number of LBA a really magic number or is it more like “around 300 GB”?

    thanks
    Martin

    • I’d like to know as well. I get the same.
      How magic is the magic number? Is it an estimate closest to 300 or definitive and will give less performance with the extra sectors perhaps?

  7. Will partitioning the HD and making the C drive the first partition with 300GB of space have the same effect – the increased speed – while letting you also set up partitions to use the rest of the drive for storage?

    • I was wondering the same thing. I would much rather partition my drive if that would yield similar results.

    • The is a no brainer, for the OS disk I always run HDTach and find where the transfer rate of a new disk starts to drop, and that is the OS partition and the rest is occasional access storage. My current partitions on a 1GB are OS 244GB, storage 687GB. For the same reason you can put your page file on a second disk in a hidden partition at the beginning of the disk for just the page file, so it will never get fragmented and it is on the fastest part of the disk.

    • I have 5 of these drives. I did the test using partitions rather than resizing. I got the same bench mark on the disk as a whole (1.5tb) as I did when I partition to a 300 gb partition. I assume that is because there was no data on it. If I run the test on a HD that is partitioned with a 10-100 gb first partition with data on both second partitions and all have data then you see a 50% performance increase for the first (and smaller partition). My guess is there is no benefit to resizing over partitioning. Just make sure that the files on the second partition (backup files only) are not accessed at the same time as the first. So yes it seems the drives are an excellent bargain and if you deal with video a necessity.

  8. Wow, what a lengthy and in depth article but full of useful information

  9. Valuable thoughts and advices. I read your topic with great interest.

  10. It’s interesting to find how challenging the content side is for some

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Justin builds the case for short stroking drives.  Techware Labs did a piece called “Modifying the Seagate 1.5TB Hard Drive: Unleash the Hidden Performance Within” that explained in a step by step way how users could use Seagate’s SeaTools to short [...]

  2. [...] mod untuk meningkatkan performance hdd – Today, 17:49 berawal dari artikel di sini , maka saya mencoba untuk melakukan modifikasi hdd WD 1 TB . step by step guide : 1. download [...]

  3. [...] Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS Hard Drive – 1.5TB – 7200rpm – Internal Speed Benchmarks says: July 7, 2010 at 11:34 pm. [...] As many of you know, recently Seagate released one of the largest consumer drives on the market: the Seagate … recently Seagate released one of the largest consumer drives on the market: the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS . The drive’s capacity is 1.5 TB (1500 GB) or approximately 1.397 TB. The drive specifications are decent … …Read more… [...]

  4. [...] As many of you know, recently Seagate released one of the largest consumer drives on the market: the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS . The drive’s capacity is 1.5 TB (1500 GB) or approximately 1.397 TB. The drive specifications are decent … So, what do they get? Velociraptor obviously wins in all categories – max speed, min speed, average speed, access time, you name it and it wins it. At this point they label the Seagate drive as second best and close the case. …Read more… [...]

  5. [...] As many of you know, recently Seagate released one of the largest consumer drives on the market: the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS . The drive’s capacity is 1.5 TB (1500 GB) or approximately 1.397 TB. …. “The truth is the LBA mod has absolutely no effect on the transfer rate of the drive. Whatever benchmark “improvements” TechwareLabs showed are illusory, a matter of perception rather than reality. The hard disk drive’s transfer rate profile will remain the …Read more… [...]

  6. [...] Will partitioning the HD and making the C drive the first partition with 300GB of space have the same effect – the increased speed – while letting you also set up partitions to use the rest of the drive for storage? ….. Otherwise, buy a good 7200 rpm SATA disk and go with it without problem. Ad example, if you do short stroking on a Seagate 7200.11 1.5GB drive, the results are very good. [...] Deal: [Newegg.com] WD 300GB Velociraptor $179.99 w/ free shipping …Read more… [...]

  7. [...] Gli screenshot relativi alla procedura illustrata solo disponibili qui. [...]

  8. [...] la velocidad baja, si mantienes en los sectores mas cercanos se mantiene estable. Por ej: Seagate Barracuda 1.5 Tb MOD | TechwareLabs [...]

  9. [...] many of you know, recently Seagate released one of the largest consumer drives on the market: the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 [...]

  10. [...] the same performance for less by short stroking a seagate 1.5tb HD. I'll get the link in a minute. http://www.techwarelabs.com/seagate_1-5tb-mod/ Or, you can get a couple cheaper 500gb HD's and put them in Raid-0 __________________ GPU [...]

  11. [...] thought the Seagate 1.5TB drive was faster than these, if you made it a 300GB partition? Here's a link no HDTune shots though, that I saw, so maybe he's just full of crap. __________________ [...]

  12. [...] Otherwise, buy a good 7200 rpm SATA disk and go with it without problem. Ad example, if you do short stroking on a Seagate 7200.11 1.5GB drive, the results are very good. [...]

  13. [...] have been shown to be faster than velociraptors when short-stroked, not to mention you save $80 http://www.techwarelabs.com/seagate_1-5tb-mod/ __________________ Need to Convert a video? use ffmpeg! Some stuff I made The Insane ARI [...]

  14. [...] HDs and short stroke. They have been shown to be faster than velociraptors when short-stroked roof: http://www.techwarelabs.com/seagate_1-5tb-mod/ __________________ Need to Convert a video? use ffmpeg! Some stuff I made The Insane ARI [...]

  15. [...] dont get raptors, shortstroke. http://www.techwarelabs.com/seagate_1-5tb-mod/ __________________ Need to Convert a video? use ffmpeg! Some stuff I made The Insane ARI [...]

  16. [...] This post was Twitted by lancefisher [...]

  17. [...] Seagate Barracuda 1.5 Tb MOD | TechwareLabs It's a mod that manually resizes the 1.5TB Seagate to 300. This in turn makes the drive perform better than a Raptor. [...]

  18. [...] and get similar performance increase ? opinions suggestions, I'm open to them This is the link http://www.techwarelabs.com/seagate_1-5tb-mod/ of a comparison between a downsized Seagate 1.5TB 7200.11 and a Velociraptor. The Seagate is [...]

  19. [...] about a comparation between WD Velociraptors and 1.5TB 7200.11 Seagate short stroked at 300 GB (http://www.techwarelabs.com/seagate_1-5tb-mod/). The Seagate outperformed the VR in all the tests except access time (the VR are 10K RPM). But [...]

  20. [...] insane reads & writes & then i'll just get one or two WD caviar blacks. Have a read here: http://www.techwarelabs.com/seagate_1-5tb-mod/ When you have some extra cash for a larger drive or two, really worth it IMO. [...]

  21. [...] habe ich einen Bericht bei TechwareLabs gefunden, wonach der Goliath schneller oder genauso schnell und billiger als die Velociraptor von Western [...]

  22. [...] or write is sequential (most of the time it is) then the Barracuda definitely wins this one. http://www.techwarelabs.com/seagate_1-5tb-mod/2/ __________________ http://miniprofile.xfire.com/bg/sh/type/0/skugpezz.png Crossfire Perf with [...]

  23. [...] that it could be better spent in other components of your system such as RAM of a Graphics card. http://www.techwarelabs.com/seagate_1-5tb-mod/ __________________ http://miniprofile.xfire.com/bg/sh/type/0/skugpezz.png Crossfire Perf with [...]

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  25. [...] to see how it fared…and well, see for yourself. More benchmarks and such at the source: Seagate Barracuda 1.5 Tb MOD | TechwareLabs __________________ Please help Trotter and save us from Mak's Wrath!Poizen22 – in all [...]

  26. [...] for all. Quite tempted to buy a pair and see how well it works in RAID 0. Read the article at Seagate Barracuda 1.5 Tb MOD | TechwareLabs __________________ Which Final Fantasy Character Are You? Final Fantasy [...]

  27. [...] TechwareLabs presents Hacking the Seagate 1.5TB Drive to turn it into a Velociraptor Killer [...]

  28. [...] the Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS outperforms the Velociraptor in almost all categories. … check out the article if you have the drive, don't mind losing a little bit of the capacity to gain a bit more speed. [...]

  29. [...] a Barracuda faster than a Velociraptor! Seagate Barracuda 1.5 Tb MOD | TechwareLabs "After you set the size less than the maximum capacity, the remaining space will be invisible [...]

  30. [...] myself when windows 7 comes out, unless there's some decent cheap solid state drives out by then. http://www.techwarelabs.com/seagate_1-5tb-mod/ __________________ Cuius testiculos habes, habeas cardia et cerebellum. When you have their [...]

  31. [...] & Reviews Asus EeeBox B204 System Review @ Tech-Reviews.co.uk Hacking the Seagate 1.5TB Drive to turn it into a … @ TechwareLabs.com Test: Corsair Voyager GT 128 GB @ Hardwareluxx.de AMD have yet to Comment on [...]

  32. [...] to take the large drive and downsize to the size of the Velociraptor? I decided to find out. Source Man I would try this if I had a Seagate ! __________________ [...]

  33. [...] can, and we show you how. You too can buy a half priced drive and get top end performance. LINK: Seagate Barracuda 1.5 Tb MOD | TechwareLabs Title: Hacking the Seagate 1.5TB Drive to turn it into a Velociraptor [...]

  34. [...] Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB -> WD Velociraptor Seagate Barracuda 1.5 Tb MOD | TechwareLabs … transforms a $120 Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB into a speed demon that outperforms a $230 [...]

  35. [...] at TechWare labs has a simple hack that turbo-charges a Barracuda 7200 1.5 TB drive for crazy fast [...]

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