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Hardware Thread, Advanced Format drive (4k and 512e drives) in Technical; Has anyone come across these yet? We're about to order some laptops and it appears the Dell have started to ...
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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Advanced Format drive (4k and 512e drives)

    Has anyone come across these yet? We're about to order some laptops and it appears the Dell have started to include them in some models of their laptops and desktops.

    From what I've seen, XP doesn't support the native 4k drives at all, and the 512e drives have major performance issues (eg. every 4k sector gets retrieved into DRAM, the 512k of data gets pulled from that etc...).

    Also, tools like Ghost and Fog don't support it yet, but there's a way of getting them to work supposedly.

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    You need a 4k aware partitin manager to make the partitions, usually avalible from the vendor:
    Product Features

    Are you ready for 4k sector drives? | ZDNet

    Or just use an up to date OS

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    You need a 4k aware partitin manager to make the partitions, usually avalible from the vendor:
    Product Features

    Are you ready for 4k sector drives? | ZDNet

    Or just use an up to date OS
    Moving OS is a BIG decision and a BIG job, so in the short to medium term, not going to happen.

    I've read about the alignment stuff, but as far as I can tell, this doesn't help with anything other than a RAW level imaging (which, if you have a 250GB drive, means you get a 250GB image, which you can compress but its still a 250GB image)...

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    So partition and format it using the utility and use file based imaging, WDS WIM files or something. In fact using WDS may even solve the isse thanks to the WinPE version being developed past 2009 and presumably being aware of the 4k drives it may just do it all automagicly.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    You need a 4k aware partitin manager to make the partitions, usually avalible from the vendor:
    Product Features

    Are you ready for 4k sector drives? | ZDNet

    Or just use an up to date OS
    Moving OS is a BIG decision and a BIG job, so in the short to medium term, not going to happen.

    I've read about the alignment stuff, but as far as I can tell, this doesn't help with anything other than a RAW level imaging (which, if you have a 250GB drive, means you get a 250GB image, which you can compress but its still a 250GB image)...

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    Windows PE 3.1 fully supports 4k/512e drives. It's worth pointing out that there aren't any native 4K HDDs yet because even Windows 7 with SP1 doesn't support them.

    You will also find that almost all new HDDs are of the Advanced Format variety.

    Through the International Disk Drive Equipment and Materials Association (IDEMA) all hard drive makers have committed to adopting the 4K advanced format by the end of January 2011. (Source)
    The big problem is that while the first work on 4KB sectors started in 1998, it wasn’t until after the launch of Windows XP that the matter came to a head. As a result the 5.x versions of Windows (2K, XP, 2K3, WHS) have no concept of 4KB sectors. Even though all operating systems will be seeing 512B sectors through the use of emulation technology on the drive controller, out of Windows only Win 6.x (Vista, 2008, Win7) and later have been programmed to take in to account the alignment issues we mentioned earlier. Win 5.xx in particular has a nasty habit of starting the first partition at LBA 63, which is 1 512B sector misaligned from a 4K sector boundary. In essence, the issue is that Win 5.x will always create a misaligned first partition and will have poor default performance as a result. (Source)

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