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

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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RE[2]: GNU Parted
by darknexus on Mon 15th Feb 2010 08:18 UTC in reply to "RE: GNU Parted"
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Shouldn't WD correct that then? How is a disk tool supposed to partition a drive properly if the drive itself is reporting incorrect data? If the physical sectors are 4096, the drive should report 4096 shouldn't it?

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RE[3]: GNU Parted
by smitty on Mon 15th Feb 2010 09:28 in reply to "RE[2]: GNU Parted"
smitty Member since:

I believe the whole point is to emulate the 512b sectors so that legacy OS's will work. The drives can't query the OS and then modify how they report themselves depending on what is supported. They do provide a jumper so you can manually turn the legacy emulation on or off, but most people aren't going to mess with that.

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RE[3]: GNU Parted
by theosib on Mon 15th Feb 2010 15:41 in reply to "RE[2]: GNU Parted"
theosib Member since:

We have knowledge of the problem. We can deal with it, regardless of how the drive lies.

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RE[4]: GNU Parted
by darknexus on Tue 16th Feb 2010 00:13 in reply to "RE[3]: GNU Parted"
darknexus Member since:

Yes it can be dealt with, yet at the same time it seems as though these drives should be able to report the correct geometry when queried properly. That would mean the partitioning tools would be aware of it from the start rather than having to manually deal with the problem. Most people I know, even ones with good technical knowledge, wouldn't have known how to handle this one as they don't delve that deep into drive partitioning. For the sake of avoiding trouble whenever possible the drive should report the geometry properly when queried by an os that knows how to ask for the *real* geometry and not that ridiculous LBA compatibility hack we've had to live with for so long thanks to bios and Windows.

Reply Parent Score: 2