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heni72847
07-06-2010, 02:37 PM
I'm thinking of buying a new hard drive, and put it in an USB/eSata enclosure. I've chosen Western Digital's Caviar Green WD20EARS 2TB hard drive for this purpose.

However this drive uses 4K sectors, or called ďAdvanced FormatĒ by WD.
There are loads of stuff on the internet related this. About how XP canít handle them properly, Linux needs tweaking, however Vista and Win7 are fine.

After doing a bit of research, to me the problem seems to occur when older systems doesnít know how to format these drives. Therefore the logical sector does not align with the underlying physical sectors properly, causing performance issues.

Since Iím running Win7, am I right to assume that I just need to format it, and it should work properly across any OS? Since during formatting, everything is done correctly.

I was a bit worried when I first thought that these hard drives simply doesnít work well in XP/Linux, however now it think if it is formatted correctly, it will work fine everywhere. However I couldn't find this statement mentioned anywhere...so I'm just posting here to make sure!


Here are a few links that helped during research if anyone's intersted:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/2888/1
http://blog.fosketts.net/2009/12/23/drobo-xp-beware-4k-advanced-format-drives/
http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-4kb-sector-disks/index.html

Erayd
07-06-2010, 02:42 PM
Since Iím running Win7, am I right to assume that I just need to format it, and it should work properly across any OS?Assuming that Win7 gets the partition boundaries right, then in most cases yes - this is correct.

Speedy Gonzales
07-06-2010, 03:12 PM
Would that be similar to exfat?

Erayd
07-06-2010, 06:44 PM
Would that be similar to exfat?
Assuming that this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExFAT) is what you're referring to, then no - the filesystem type has (almost) nothing to do with cluster alignment.

heni72847
08-06-2010, 08:26 PM
I believe the 4K is refering to the physical sector, so not related to exfat filesystem as mentioned above.