st4000dm004 small

The Seagate ST4000DM004 is a standard 3½” desktop hard disk. The MSRP is $99.99.

  • ST4000DM004-2CV104
  • Standard 3½” form factor
  • 3815429 MB = 3.63 TB
  • 5400 rpm
  • 256 MB cache
  • 190 MB/s internal data rate
  • 1014 bit error rate
  • 4096 byte sectors with 512e support
  • Cost-effective storage upgrade for laptop or desktop computers
  • Store all your games, music, movies and more with up to 8TB of storage
  • SATA 6Gb/s interface optimizes burst performance
  • Seagate Secure models for hardware-based data security
  • Instant Secure Erase allows safe and easy drive retirement

The 17 generation disks all feature 1 TB per platter.  500 GB on a head. The 3T TB disk has 3 heads as one side has a bad platter. The rest are 1-4 plates in the packaging.

The ST4000DM004 has 7,814,037,168 guaranteed sectors. This disk needs to be partitioned with GPT to be able to use the larger capacity as a single volume. GPT support 64-bit tables which can handle the larger number of sectors on a particular disk.

• Compliant with RoHS requirements in China and Europe.
• High instantaneous (burst) data-transfer rates (up to 600MB per second).
• Native Command Queuing with command ordering to increase performance in demanding applications.
• Quiet operation.
• SeaTools diagnostic software performs a drive self-test that eliminates unnecessary drive returns.
• State-of-the-art cache and on-the-fly error-correction algorithms.
• Support for S.M.A.R.T. drive monitoring and reporting.
• Supports latching SATA cables and connectors.
• TGMR recording technology provides the drives with increased areal density.
• Worldwide Name (WWN) capability uniquely identifies the drive.

All hard drives in the BarraCuda family come equipped with Multi-Tier Caching Technology (MTC). MTC takes your PC to new performance levels, so you can load applications and files faster than ever before. By applying intelligent layers of NAND Flash, DRAM and media cache technologies, BarraCuda delivers improved read and write performance by optimizing data flow.

The ST4000DM004 is a conventional perpendicular recording with TGMR heads to reduce RF interference which has been a problem with higher capacity disks. The typical steel gaming chassis is effective at controlling RF interference.

The areal density is 1203 Gb/in² using perpendicular recording technology. Seagate also uses the giant magneto recording head which works with the perpendicular design idea. This type of disk has been on the market for several years and it has been very successful.

The disk can provide about 190 MB/s of sustained data transfer.  The generous 256 MB of cache can help saturate the SATA III port with bursts of speed when data is prefetched.

We copied some files from a SSD and we were surprised at how fast the ST4000SM004 could handle smaller files. The faster CPU and large cache seem to be able to handle the media well.

Windows 10 recognizes the advanced format and properly partitions and formats it. Improper formatting with early advanced format disks were problematic wit XP, Vista and even Windows 7 mainly due to the BIOS being designed for 512 byte disks. Modern machines designed for Windows 10 have excellent support for 4096 byte sector format disks.

With 4 TB there is room galore for a vast number of games installed. There is also room enough for iTunes media etc.

4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
976750079 total allocation units on disk.
647777524 allocation units available on disk.

Windows 10 partitioned the disk with GPT. The formatting default allocation unit was matched to the sector size to maximize the usable space.

All disks now use the 4096 sector track format which makes it easier to improve the error rates. Now hard disks are 1 error in 1017 bits which 2 orders of magnitude better. The more advanced error correction codes make it possible for hard disks to be extremely reliable. Windows 10 has full support for the advanced format 4096 byte sectors so emulation is not needed.

Hard disks still use 12V and 5V so that molex adapters can be used. Disks originally never had 3.3V which was added when PCI Express and SATA was introduced. Regulators can handle the actual voltage needed.


All hard disks, SSD drives and even USB sticks all have the same issue of varying copy speeds. This is due to the cache in Windows as well as the relative write performance of the media. Windows also checks copied files for errors which slows the write performance. The security tools also checks files on copy for malware.

With Windows 10 x64 support for 264 clusters can create YB file systems using the largest cluster sizes. Individual files are limited by the 64-bit pointer.

The largest file name can be 255 UNICODE symbols and the maximum path can be up to 32 KB UNICODE symbols. Prior to Windows 10, limited path lengths were a problem for some folder trees.