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The Facts: 4K Advanced Format Hard Disks

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ModMonkey 1st April 2010, 11:02 Quote
Nice article, the least panicky one I have read on this subject so far!

So, if I'm understanding this, if I'm planning on putting a few new disks into my 2003 home server I'm just as well off with the EARS 7+8 jumper as I am with the EADS model but with the advantage of having disks that are geared toward future... stuff?
SBS 1st April 2010, 11:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ModMonkey
Nice article, the least panicky one I have read on this subject so far!

So, if I'm understanding this, if I'm planning on putting a few new disks into my 2003 home server I'm just as well off with the EARS 7+8 jumper as I am with the EADS model but with the advantage of having disks that are geared toward future... stuff?

There is no way on earth any OS will drop support for older discs within the lifetime of anything you buy atm. Its really not something you need to consider with any current purchases.
Claave 1st April 2010, 11:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ModMonkey
Nice article, the least panicky one I have read on this subject so far!

So, if I'm understanding this, if I'm planning on putting a few new disks into my 2003 home server I'm just as well off with the EARS 7+8 jumper as I am with the EADS model but with the advantage of having disks that are geared toward future... stuff?

I agree with everything you say until the 'but'. 4K Advanced Format disks aren't really a way of future-proofing for us consumers but rather introduce a new standard for hard disk manufacturers to dramatically increase capacities in the future without significantly increasing cost per GB.

Hope that helps clarify the situation!
tad2008 1st April 2010, 11:43 Quote
An informative article with some interesting insights in to how hard drives work with data, but was let down somewhat by some small grammatical errors, a little proof reading goes a long way.

I agree with SBS that we'll be seeing the EADS drives around for quite a while yet and I imagine a lot of businesses will be utilising these for a lot more years to come.
dec 1st April 2010, 12:47 Quote
Do SSD's use something like 4K for data sectors?

I like the article but im left wondering how long it will be before WD, Seagate, etc start using the 7 - 11% more they get from switching to 4K.
Cupboard 1st April 2010, 15:02 Quote
this would seem like an ideal chance to switch to using proper numbering, ie 1024 rather than 1000 bits in a kbit like everyone else uses.
SinxarKnights 1st April 2010, 15:12 Quote
Ok so if im reading this correctly (which im gonna assume im not), using this disk with the 4k sectors in win7 will cause a performance hit in some situations?
wharrad 1st April 2010, 21:57 Quote
Just so I'm clear...

There's effectively no current benefit to the user and there will be no change in capacities etc at the moment?

If that's the case, why are they doing this for current hard drives rather than when needed? The only reason I can think of is they're using us as guinea pigs.

Not that I'm against innovation, but when anything new appears there's a slight risk, and we should have a meaningful benefit for taking on that risk.
Bindibadgi 1st April 2010, 22:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wharrad
Just so I'm clear...

There's effectively no current benefit to the user and there will be no change in capacities etc at the moment?

If that's the case, why are they doing this for current hard drives rather than when needed? The only reason I can think of is they're using us as guinea pigs.

Not that I'm against innovation, but when anything new appears there's a slight risk, and we should have a meaningful benefit for taking on that risk.

Doing it because it's a bit faster and a bit cheaper - you get double the cache for example. It's an incremental stepping stone, but yes, the first generation appears largely a testing ground that's why it was launched on the Green drives with Blue and Black arriving later (although what capacity they will launch on, I dont know).
Simon bridgeford 1st April 2010, 22:58 Quote
i think there is a bit of a mistake on page 4 because the 3rd test shows profile 1, profile 2, profile 2, profile 2, profile 2, but the next test goes profile 1, profile 2, profile 3 etc..
Pookeyhead 2nd April 2010, 10:43 Quote
I have six of these "EARS" Cav greens spread across 2 servers. I had no doubts about buying them. There's a big warning on the front of them saying that you need to run the align program in XP and that it will be fine in Win7 etc etc. Performance has been great in my RAID arrays, and thank you Bit Tech for putting the rumours and fear-mongering to bed. Even the guy at Scan was trying to get me to buy the EADS version instead, saying "These are new advanced format disks..." and rambling on about how they won't be as fast as the EADS version. Of course I had read about the "new" 4K disks and ignored him anyway.

Basically, what small differences there are in Win7 are negligible as Bit have just demonstrated.
mayhem 2nd April 2010, 10:58 Quote
people will always complain as they don't like change or are just plain scared of change.

AGP to PCI express - Lots of complainers were are they all now. (err my gpu wont work on the new motherboard ect ect)

Legacy ports to USB (they been phased out and now nearly every one uses USB - i do say nearly BTW)

Intel and AMD change all the time so much so its just a fact of life.

To advance every one needs to move with the times.

MOney to card
Paper to Ebook
Tapes to CD to Digital download
VHS to DVD to Blueray
the year 2k from 00 to 2000

Get used to it and stop complaining and let the boffin s do what they do best and improve.
SinxarKnights 2nd April 2010, 18:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mayhem
people will always complain as they don't like change or are just plain scared of change.

AGP to PCI express - Lots of complainers were are they all now. (err my gpu wont work on the new motherboard ect ect)

Legacy ports to USB (they been phased out and now nearly every one uses USB - i do say nearly BTW)

Intel and AMD change all the time so much so its just a fact of life.

To advance every one needs to move with the times.

MOney to card
Paper to Ebook
Tapes to CD to Digital download
VHS to DVD to Blueray
the year 2k from 00 to 2000

Get used to it and stop complaining and let the boffin s do what they do best and improve.

Not sure who is complaining.... But its easy to say, Oh pfft who still uses that old tech anyway, surprisingly most people who own a PC. Out of the last year, of 441 PCs brought in to be fixed/cleaned - over half - 273 PCs still had Win98 - 145 Has XP Home/Pro - 22 - Vista Home Basic - 1 with Windows 7 Home Premium. Its interesting to note that there were none that had Vista Home Premium or better. I even had one not to long ago that has ISA soundcard. And these are the machines people are using today!

When people buy a PC for $1500 they expect it to last forever. So a sudden switch would force a lot of people to either buy a new PC or cling even longer to their old ones.

I understand that is a small sample size but you have to realize most people don't build PCs like we do, they buy from Dell, HP, or even Wal-mart.

And one other thing, some of the people using win98 converted to Ubuntu after using a live USB for a while, not really relevant to the discussion but interesting.
SinnerG 2nd April 2010, 19:57 Quote
I would love to see what the WD Black Edition does when they apply 4K sectors to it. Comparing EARS to EADS shows some very good performance increases. It should do well on a Black Edition, especially on larger content.

I currently have a EARS drive on Win7 and no issues. It's just a media storage drive so ultimately speed is not the main issue. Couple weeks ago I added a 1TB Black Edition to the mix as a work drive and that beauty is lightning fast in comparison, yet it is still a 512B sector drive.

I still don't own a SSD and won't for some time given the stupid pricing, so whatever makes a spinny disk faster, larger and/or more efficient is good by me. BTW, the EARS drive power consumption is near non-existent. Fantastic thing. :)
Star*Dagger 2nd April 2010, 21:14 Quote
No one with any sense uses XP anymore, thanks for the heads up though.
snakyjake 2nd April 2010, 22:38 Quote
How does this differ with cluster size?
Bindibadgi 2nd April 2010, 23:16 Quote
SinnerG, with respect to power consumption, that's not necessarily true: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/pcs/2010/02/24/energy-efficient-hardware-investigated/5

SJake - it doesn't. Cluster size is a file system conponent, not hard drive. Like we said, RAID cards and different file systems see the drive as it would any other - it's just WHERE you put the data, which is driven by the OS, that's the issue.
gagaga 3rd April 2010, 10:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ModMonkey
Nice article, the least panicky one I have read on this subject so far!

So, if I'm understanding this, if I'm planning on putting a few new disks into my 2003 home server I'm just as well off with the EARS 7+8 jumper as I am with the EADS model but with the advantage of having disks that are geared toward future... stuff?

Yeah - using them as the system drive can be a little tricky, but for data drives, just jumper 7+8 and stick them in. I have 3 running in my WHS with absolutely no problems.

The only complication will be when WHS2 comes along and you'll need to migrate the data off each drive, remove the jumper, and add them back into the pool. This will be the case for all disks very, very soon - the new Toshiba laptop drives (750GB) are advanced format too.
gagaga 3rd April 2010, 10:41 Quote
Am I being blind, or does the article not mention the real reason for doing this? 2TB hits the limit on sector numbers, so this has to be done to get disks over 2TB. It will happen again when we hit 16TB disks, probably to 32 or 64KB sectors.
Bindibadgi 3rd April 2010, 11:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by gagaga
Am I being blind, or does the article not mention the real reason for doing this? 2TB hits the limit on sector numbers, so this has to be done to get disks over 2TB. It will happen again when we hit 16TB disks, probably to 32 or 64KB sectors.

Afaik Modern OS' don't access disks by sector numbers, only the legacy OS' like XP do. By the time 16TB disks arrive, XP won't be around anyway. ;)
aussiebear 3rd April 2010, 15:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mayhem
people will always complain as they don't like change or are just plain scared of change.

Funny how no one is actually complaining...What a wonderful imagination you have!
Quote:
Originally Posted by mayhem
Get used to it and stop complaining and let the boffins do what they do best and improve.

Well in the real world, no one keeps buying new hardware as soon as they come out. Only enthusiasts do that. (Hardware makers know this; that's why their marketing depts have established the premium priced market under the "Enthusiasts" banner...As this particular group are willing pay premiums for "new toys" that will be cheap as chips for everyone else in 5 to 6 years time. More matured/refined as well!)

As SinxarKnights said, regular Jane/Joe users invest in computers for the long haul. They use them until they break or they really need to replace them (as it no longer does the job adequately).

Businesses go even further and refuse to update unless there is a real need to. Usually, they will not update as the in-house developed software they use is tied to version specific software, and the original coder has gone onto other things. (In extreme cases, large companies source spare parts for older hardware to keep their machines going until its no longer economically viable to keep running their old systems.)

And despite some enthusiasts out there asking: Who uses XP anymore?
The answer? The other 52% of the web population. That's at least 901,676,746 people on the planet who are connected online with Windows XP. (Approx 25% of the world's population is online. => 1,733,993,741)



As for the article?
I thank the author for writing it up. At least we can understand the issue and how it affects those OSs that don't support this new arrangement. (I'm glad someone has put up benchmark comparisons.)

So really, its not a major issue as the HDD maker (Western Digital in this case), has provided a workaround.
Bindibadgi 3rd April 2010, 15:46 Quote
You're welcome Aussie ;)
Wwhat 5th April 2010, 05:28 Quote
Bit curious, first a long story in which it is stated several times that it currently has no influence, then a test showing it has a significant influence, perhaps the author should revisit the first part and correct that.
alpinemobile 22nd October 2011, 20:20 Quote
Advanced Format Drive Fix for Windows XP (Solution, workaround).
After reading a lot of crap about Advanced Format drives having problems with Windows XP and other old OSes, I decided to post this easy fix. So if you want to use the Advanced Format Drive with other OSes than Vista or 7 do this one easy thing after you purchase the drive.
Create all the partitions on the disk using Acronis Disk Director 11 (or later). Remember to tell Acronis Disk Director that you'll be using the drive for Windows 7, even though you'll use it for XP or other OS. Do not use any obsolete partitioning tools like Acronis Disk Director 10 or Windows XP disk management! The old partitioning tools will create the partitions misaligned!
That's all you have to do!
You can do a test and see if you have done everything right by running this utility: Dell Utility Advanced Format HDD Detection Tool. Just Google it.
You'll see whether your partitions are Aligned or Misaligned.
If you delete a partition using Windows XP and recreate it using Windows XP it will be misaligned again.
So use Acronis Disk Director 11 to recreate it and everything will be fine again.
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