Linked by theosib on Sun 14th Feb 2010 10:45 UTC
Linux

Recently, I bought a pair of those new Western Digital Caviar Green drives. These new drives represent a transitional point from 512-byte sectors to 4096-byte sectors. A number of articles have been published recently about this, explaining the benefits and some of the challenges that we'll be facing during this transition. Reportedly, Linux should unaffected by some of the pitfalls of this transition, but my own experimentation has shown that Linux is just as vulnerable to the potential performance impact as Windows XP. Despite this issue being known about for a long time, basic Linux tools for partitioning and formatting drives have not caught up.

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Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Sun 14th Feb 2010 10:48 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Thanks for the excellently prepared article, I didn’t have to do anything to it.

I really didn’t know about this issue, thanks for investigating and presenting it so clearly. Does this affect disks of a certain size (and above), or any size that are manufactured to this setting?—I certainly want to avoid this problem when replacing HDDs for WinXP machines.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Kroc
by aaronb on Sun 14th Feb 2010 12:16 in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
aaronb Member since:
2005-07-06

Indeed an excellent article!

I think it would happen in all 4K sector drives regardless of size. If you started at LBA 63, the drive would be forced to update 2 4K sectors because the virtual sectors would lay across 2 physical sectors.

P=======P=======P=======
=V=======V=======V======

Edited 2010-02-14 12:20 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Sun 14th Feb 2010 12:27 in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Reading the Aandtech article, it appears intended for 1TB+ drives, but as you say, it could apply to drives of any size if WD decided to adopt it across the board.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by f0dder on Sun 14th Feb 2010 14:09 in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
f0dder Member since:
2009-08-05

Hm, how is LBA addresses specified exactly?

I thought it was specified as multiples of drive sector size, in which case addressing via LBA should always be aligned - but is it in reality always a multiple of 512?

Is there a difference between how LBAs in the MBR are interpreted, and how ATAPI interprets LBAs?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by Kroc
by theosib on Sun 14th Feb 2010 15:06 in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
theosib Member since:
2006-03-02

My drives are 1GB, but I'm sure it'll affect any 4K-sector drive the same.

Reply Parent Score: 2

v RE: Comment by Kroc
by chris_l on Sun 14th Feb 2010 15:48 in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by r00kie on Sun 14th Feb 2010 17:14 in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
r00kie Member since:
2009-12-10

As if gparted (which is just a pretty gui + parted) can't screw things up too. fdisk and the likes are for people that know what they are doing.

In case you don't know there are distros that have text mode installs and use utilities like fdisk/cfdisk. Just because you can use gparted it doesn't mean you have to.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by FishB8 on Sun 14th Feb 2010 18:02 in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
FishB8 Member since:
2006-01-16

I use it all the time. Furthermore I actually use gdisk so that I can create hybrid MBR-GPT partitions. Parted (and gparted) totally trashes hybrid MRB-GPT setups.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by Quag7 on Mon 15th Feb 2010 15:29 in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
Quag7 Member since:
2005-07-28

I've never used anything but fdisk, and never had any bugs or problems with it. But then I run Gentoo and don't use the installer.

Reply Parent Score: 2