Hard drive evolution could hit Microsoft XP users

Discussion in 'Storage Devices' started by Yousuf Khan, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. Yousuf Khan

    Yousuf Khan Guest

    BBC News - Hard drive evolution could hit Microsoft XP users
    "By early 2011 all hard drives will use an "advanced format" that
    changes how they go about saving the data people store on them.

    The move to the advanced format will make it easier for hard drive
    makers to produce bigger drives that use less power and are more reliable.

    However, it might mean problems for Windows XP users who swap an old
    drive for one using the changed format. "
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8557144.stm
     
    Yousuf Khan, Mar 9, 2010
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. On Tue, 09 Mar 2010 16:28:08 -0500, Yousuf Khan
    <> wrote:

    >BBC News - Hard drive evolution could hit Microsoft XP users
    >"By early 2011 all hard drives will use an "advanced format" that
    >changes how they go about saving the data people store on them.
    >
    >The move to the advanced format will make it easier for hard drive
    >makers to produce bigger drives that use less power and are more reliable.
    >
    >However, it might mean problems for Windows XP users who swap an old
    >drive for one using the changed format. "
    >http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8557144.stm


    Is there any way to do a low-level format on an older drive so that it
    now has 4K sectors?

    Way, way, way back when. Floppy diskette sectors started out at 128B,
    the moved to 256B. IBM pioneered 512B sectors when they brought out
    the PC in 1981. Of course, with the right parameters sent to the FD
    1765 controller chip, any system could read the 512B sector diskettes.
     
    Andrew Hamilton, Mar 12, 2010
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. Yousuf Khan

    Arno Guest

    Andrew Hamilton <> wrote:
    > On Tue, 09 Mar 2010 16:28:08 -0500, Yousuf Khan
    > <> wrote:


    >>BBC News - Hard drive evolution could hit Microsoft XP users
    >>"By early 2011 all hard drives will use an "advanced format" that
    >>changes how they go about saving the data people store on them.
    >>
    >>The move to the advanced format will make it easier for hard drive
    >>makers to produce bigger drives that use less power and are more reliable.
    >>
    >>However, it might mean problems for Windows XP users who swap an old
    >>drive for one using the changed format. "
    >>http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8557144.stm


    > Is there any way to do a low-level format on an older drive so that it
    > now has 4K sectors?


    Well, you could try that together with a firmware patch for an
    old MFM drive ;-)

    Seriously, no. Even while SCSI drives theoretically can do this,
    in practice they just lump sectors together and emulate the larger
    ones.

    > Way, way, way back when. Floppy diskette sectors started out at 128B,
    > the moved to 256B. IBM pioneered 512B sectors when they brought out
    > the PC in 1981. Of course, with the right parameters sent to the FD
    > 1765 controller chip, any system could read the 512B sector diskettes.


    Floppies have stepper motors, which makes software formatting very
    easy. Modern HDDs have a linear morto type that has stepless
    positioning. (The mentioned MFM drives also used stepper motors.)

    That means AFAIK modern HDDs cannot be formatted by themselves,
    but this is either done with extra head or with positioning
    support equipment only attached to the drive in manufacturing.


    Arno
    --
    Arno Wagner, Dr. sc. techn., Dipl. Inform., CISSP -- Email:
    GnuPG: ID: 1E25338F FP: 0C30 5782 9D93 F785 E79C 0296 797F 6B50 1E25 338F
    ----
    Cuddly UI's are the manifestation of wishful thinking. -- Dylan Evans
     
    Arno, Mar 12, 2010
    #3
  4. Yousuf Khan

    Ed Light Guest

    Ed Light, Mar 12, 2010
    #4
  5. Yousuf Khan

    JW Guest

    On Fri, 12 Mar 2010 05:44:12 -0800 Ed Light <> wrote in
    Message id: <4b9a44ff$0$10555$>:

    >WD has a utility to align for XP.


    Yup, and the current version of the utility won't work on an uninitialized
    drive. I had to connect it to a USB adapter and initialize it on a system
    running XP before the utility would see the drive.
     
    JW, Mar 12, 2010
    #5
  6. Yousuf Khan

    Yousuf Khan Guest

    Andrew Hamilton wrote:
    > Is there any way to do a low-level format on an older drive so that it
    > now has 4K sectors?


    The days of low-level formatting are long gone.

    > Way, way, way back when. Floppy diskette sectors started out at 128B,
    > the moved to 256B. IBM pioneered 512B sectors when they brought out
    > the PC in 1981. Of course, with the right parameters sent to the FD
    > 1765 controller chip, any system could read the 512B sector diskettes.


    That's because the controllers for those devices were basically the
    system's CPU itself. These days they have their own intelligence, and
    it's more like a couple of peers talking over a network these days.

    Yousuf Khan
     
    Yousuf Khan, Mar 12, 2010
    #6
  7. Yousuf Khan

    DevilsPGD Guest

    In message <4b9a44ff$0$10555$> Ed Light
    <> was claimed to have wrote:

    >WD has a utility to align for XP.


    That will work for the first generation 4KB drives that emulate 512byte
    sectors, but not once 4KB comes out in native mode.
     
    DevilsPGD, Mar 12, 2010
    #7
  8. Yousuf Khan

    Rod Speed Guest

    Andrew Hamilton wrote
    > Yousuf Khan<> wrote


    >> BBC News - Hard drive evolution could hit Microsoft XP users
    >> "By early 2011 all hard drives will use an "advanced format" that
    >> changes how they go about saving the data people store on them.


    >> The move to the advanced format will make it easier for hard drive makers
    >> to produce bigger drives that use less power and are more reliable.


    >> However, it might mean problems for Windows XP users
    >> who swap an old drive for one using the changed format. "
    >> http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8557144.stm


    No reason why it cant use standard 512 byte LBAs to the system its connected to.

    > Is there any way to do a low-level format on
    > an older drive so that it now has 4K sectors?


    Nope, not with standard ATA and SATA drives.

    > Way, way, way back when. Floppy diskette sectors started out at 128B,
    > the moved to 256B. IBM pioneered 512B sectors when they brought out
    > the PC in 1981. Of course, with the right parameters sent to the FD
    > 1765 controller chip, any system could read the 512B sector diskettes.


    There is no separate controller with hard drives, that functionality is on the drive itself.
     
    Rod Speed, Mar 12, 2010
    #8
  9. Yousuf Khan

    Rod Speed Guest

    DevilsPGD wrote:
    > Ed Light <> wrote


    >> WD has a utility to align for XP.


    > That will work for the first generation 4KB drives that emulate
    > 512byte sectors, but not once 4KB comes out in native mode.


    You dont know that they wont be able to appear to have
    512 byte sectors but just have those as part of 4K sectors.

    Its perfectly possible for the drive to look like its got 512 byte sectors but actually has 4K sectors on the platters.
     
    Rod Speed, Mar 12, 2010
    #9
  10. Yousuf Khan

    Guest

    Andrew Hamilton <> kenjka:
    > Is there any way to do a low-level format on an older drive so that it
    > now has 4K sectors?


    Yup... Try SCSITool...

    But, note that I did this once and it somehow lowered the visible capacity
    of a drive, I believe it has something to do with counting blocks in Windows
    because Windows know to work with 512 byte drives only...

    --
    Rukometas gladi slomljen Djedicao njise ispod mosta popodne.
    By runf

    Damir Lukic, calypso@_MAKNIOVO_fly.srk.fer.hr
    http://inovator.blog.hr
    http://calypso-innovations.blogspot.com/
     
    , Mar 12, 2010
    #10
  11. Yousuf Khan

    DevilsPGD Guest

    In message <> "Rod Speed"
    <> was claimed to have wrote:

    >DevilsPGD wrote:
    >> Ed Light <> wrote

    >
    >>> WD has a utility to align for XP.

    >
    >> That will work for the first generation 4KB drives that emulate
    >> 512byte sectors, but not once 4KB comes out in native mode.

    >
    >You dont know that they wont be able to appear to have
    >512 byte sectors but just have those as part of 4K sectors.
    >
    >Its perfectly possible for the drive to look like its got 512 byte
    >sectors but actually has 4K sectors on the platters.
    >


    Right -- I just said that, that's the "first generation 4KB drives that
    emulate 512byte sectors"

    XP apparently will not be able to cope with drives that present 4KB
    sectors to the OS.

    My guess is that we'll start out with drives that work only in emulation
    mode, then drives that work in either mode based on a jumper (similar to
    the -150 mode limiter for poorly designed SATA controllers), until
    finally we get 4KB-only drives.
     
    DevilsPGD, Mar 17, 2010
    #11
  12. Yousuf Khan

    Rod Speed Guest

    DevilsPGD wrote
    > Rod Speed <> wrote
    >> DevilsPGD wrote
    >>> Ed Light <> wrote


    >>>> WD has a utility to align for XP.


    >>> That will work for the first generation 4KB drives that emulate
    >>> 512byte sectors, but not once 4KB comes out in native mode.


    >> You dont know that they wont be able to appear to have
    >> 512 byte sectors but just have those as part of 4K sectors.


    >> Its perfectly possible for the drive to look like its got 512
    >> byte sectors but actually has 4K sectors on the platters.


    > Right -- I just said that,


    No you didnt.

    > that's the "first generation 4KB drives that emulate 512byte sectors"


    No reason why drives cant optionally do that forever.

    > XP apparently will not be able to cope with drives that present 4KB sectors to the OS.


    So all thats necessary is drives that can do that emulation
    optionally and a ute to change that behaviour.

    > My guess is that we'll start out with drives that work only in emulation
    > mode, then drives that work in either mode based on a jumper


    Or do that electronically without using a jumper, like so many
    do with all sorts of other config stuff like AAM etc etc etc.

    > (similar to the -150 mode limiter for poorly designed SATA controllers),


    > until finally we get 4KB-only drives.


    Why would they remove that capability once its there ?
     
    Rod Speed, Mar 17, 2010
    #12
  13. Yousuf Khan

    David Brown Guest

    On 17/03/2010 23:06, Rod Speed wrote:
    > DevilsPGD wrote
    >> Rod Speed<> wrote
    >>> DevilsPGD wrote
    >>>> Ed Light<> wrote

    >
    >>>>> WD has a utility to align for XP.

    >
    >>>> That will work for the first generation 4KB drives that emulate
    >>>> 512byte sectors, but not once 4KB comes out in native mode.

    >
    >>> You dont know that they wont be able to appear to have
    >>> 512 byte sectors but just have those as part of 4K sectors.

    >
    >>> Its perfectly possible for the drive to look like its got 512
    >>> byte sectors but actually has 4K sectors on the platters.

    >
    >> Right -- I just said that,

    >
    > No you didnt.
    >
    >> that's the "first generation 4KB drives that emulate 512byte sectors"

    >
    > No reason why drives cant optionally do that forever.
    >


    There will come a point when the 512 byte sector emulation will be
    dropped, but it will be a good while yet. It won't be dropped for the
    current generation of disk electronics - as you say, why remove it when
    it's already there? But in future generations (for even bigger and
    faster drives), I don't think it will stay.

    >> XP apparently will not be able to cope with drives that present 4KB sectors to the OS.

    >
    > So all thats necessary is drives that can do that emulation
    > optionally and a ute to change that behaviour.
    >
    >> My guess is that we'll start out with drives that work only in emulation
    >> mode, then drives that work in either mode based on a jumper

    >
    > Or do that electronically without using a jumper, like so many
    > do with all sorts of other config stuff like AAM etc etc etc.
    >


    I expect this one will be by jumper for a good while to come. There is
    not, as far as I know, a way for the host/OS/controller and the disk
    electronics to agree on the best mode automatically - it would need a
    new ATA command and that means changes to the OS. These things take a
    long time in the windows world - by the time it gets realistic to have
    such an automatic selection, it would be easier to drop 512 byte sector
    mode entirely.

    What is a more immediate question is what the default jumper setting
    should be - set to 512 for compatibility with XP and older OS's, or set
    to 4 KB native for faster speed with Linux and newer OS's ?

    >> (similar to the -150 mode limiter for poorly designed SATA controllers),

    >
    >> until finally we get 4KB-only drives.

    >
    > Why would they remove that capability once its there ?
    >
     
    David Brown, Mar 18, 2010
    #13
  14. Yousuf Khan

    Rod Speed Guest

    David Brown wrote
    > Rod Speed wrote
    >> DevilsPGD wrote
    >>> Rod Speed<> wrote
    >>>> DevilsPGD wrote
    >>>>> Ed Light<> wrote


    >>>>>> WD has a utility to align for XP.


    >>>>> That will work for the first generation 4KB drives that emulate
    >>>>> 512byte sectors, but not once 4KB comes out in native mode.


    >>>> You dont know that they wont be able to appear to have
    >>>> 512 byte sectors but just have those as part of 4K sectors.


    >>>> Its perfectly possible for the drive to look like its got 512
    >>>> byte sectors but actually has 4K sectors on the platters.


    >>> Right -- I just said that,


    >> No you didnt.


    >>> that's the "first generation 4KB drives that emulate 512byte sectors"


    >> No reason why drives cant optionally do that forever.


    > There will come a point when the 512 byte sector emulation will be dropped,


    I doubt it. It costs them nothing to keep doing it, particularly
    when there isnt even a physical jumper involved.

    > but it will be a good while yet. It won't be dropped for the
    > current generation of disk electronics - as you say, why remove it when it's already there? But in future generations
    > (for even bigger and faster drives), I don't think it will stay.


    Why shouldnt they drop that when there isnt even a physical jumper involved ?

    >>> XP apparently will not be able to cope with drives that present 4KB
    >>> sectors to the OS.


    >> So all thats necessary is drives that can do that emulation
    >> optionally and a ute to change that behaviour.


    >>> My guess is that we'll start out with drives that work only in emulation mode, then drives that work in either mode
    >>> based on a jumper


    >> Or do that electronically without using a jumper, like so many
    >> do with all sorts of other config stuff like AAM etc etc etc.


    > I expect this one will be by jumper for a good while to come.


    Bet it doesnt.

    > There is not, as far as I know, a way for the host/OS/controller and the disk electronics to agree on the best mode
    > automatically


    Corse there is with the later OSs.

    > - it would need a new ATA command and that means changes to the OS.


    Nope, it can be done with a ute, just like AAM is.

    > These things take a long time in the windows world


    They didnt with stuff like AAM and the SATA mode.

    > - by the time it gets realistic to have such an automatic selection, it would be easier to drop 512 byte sector mode
    > entirely.


    Doesnt need to be automatic.

    > What is a more immediate question is what the default jumper setting
    > should be - set to 512 for compatibility with XP and older OS's, or
    > set to 4 KB native for faster speed with Linux and newer OS's ?


    Who cares ?

    >>> (similar to the -150 mode limiter for poorly designed SATA controllers),


    >>> until finally we get 4KB-only drives.


    >> Why would they remove that capability once its there ?
     
    Rod Speed, Mar 18, 2010
    #14
  15. Yousuf Khan

    Yousuf Khan Guest

    DevilsPGD wrote:
    > Right -- I just said that, that's the "first generation 4KB drives that
    > emulate 512byte sectors"
    >
    > XP apparently will not be able to cope with drives that present 4KB
    > sectors to the OS.
    >
    > My guess is that we'll start out with drives that work only in emulation
    > mode, then drives that work in either mode based on a jumper (similar to
    > the -150 mode limiter for poorly designed SATA controllers), until
    > finally we get 4KB-only drives.


    I think the only reason for getting 4KB sectors instead of 512B is the
    error correction code overhead, not because 512B sectors aren't able to
    represent the latest sizes of hard drives. Since the error correction
    code is handled internally within the drive itself, the external
    interface wouldn't need to be aware of this internal organizational
    issue. It would be just another level abstraction that the internal
    electronics of the drive will handle itself. If the OS writes sectors
    out in 512B units, then the drive electronics will have to take care of
    combining them in cache to 4KB units.

    So once the electronics can handle 512-to-4096 transitions, I don't see
    any reason why they would ever remove it from the electronics. Apart
    from whether current OS internal structures can handle non-512 sector
    sizes, you will also need to update the HD drivers to tell the HD`s that
    they know how to 4KB sectors.

    Yousuf Khan
     
    Yousuf Khan, Mar 18, 2010
    #15
  16. Yousuf Khan

    Yousuf Khan Guest

    David Brown wrote:
    > I expect this one will be by jumper for a good while to come. There is
    > not, as far as I know, a way for the host/OS/controller and the disk
    > electronics to agree on the best mode automatically - it would need a
    > new ATA command and that means changes to the OS. These things take a
    > long time in the windows world - by the time it gets realistic to have
    > such an automatic selection, it would be easier to drop 512 byte sector
    > mode entirely.
    >
    > What is a more immediate question is what the default jumper setting
    > should be - set to 512 for compatibility with XP and older OS's, or set
    > to 4 KB native for faster speed with Linux and newer OS's ?



    I doubt that this will be handled through jumpers. I`m pretty sure it`ll
    be through ATA commands only, and they will likely add a specific new
    ATA command which will likely return zeros on older drives, but ones on
    the newer drives that will indicate to a driver that this is 4K capable.
    You wouldn`t need to update the internal OS structures, since as they
    say Vista and Seven might already be capable of variable sector sizes,
    just not XP. So the only thing you`d need on Vista or Seven are slightly
    updated SATA/ATA drivers.

    Yousuf Khan
     
    Yousuf Khan, Mar 18, 2010
    #16
  17. In article <>, DevilsPGD
    <> writes
    >
    >XP apparently will not be able to cope with drives that present 4KB
    >sectors to the OS.


    I don't see why. All it should need to do is load a hard disk
    controller driver that reads 4k sectors from the disk and present them
    to the OS in 512-byte chunks.

    I had a meg-optical drive once which used 2048-byte sectors. That
    worked fine once a driver was loaded for it.

    --
    (\__/)
    (='.'=) Bunny says Windows 7 is Vi$ta reloaded.
    (")_(") http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/windows_7.png
     
    Mike Tomlinson, Apr 5, 2010
    #17
  18. Yousuf Khan

    Yousuf Khan Guest

    Mike Tomlinson wrote:
    > In article <>, DevilsPGD
    > <> writes
    >> XP apparently will not be able to cope with drives that present 4KB
    >> sectors to the OS.

    >
    > I don't see why. All it should need to do is load a hard disk
    > controller driver that reads 4k sectors from the disk and present them
    > to the OS in 512-byte chunks.
    >
    > I had a meg-optical drive once which used 2048-byte sectors. That
    > worked fine once a driver was loaded for it.


    Good luck in getting Microsoft to write anymore drivers for XP.

    Yousuf Khan
     
    Yousuf Khan, Apr 5, 2010
    #18
  19. In article <4bb96525$-lp.com>, Yousuf Khan
    <> writes
    >
    >Good luck in getting Microsoft to write anymore drivers for XP.


    Aye, there is that.

    --
    (\__/)
    (='.'=) Bunny says Windows 7 is Vi$ta reloaded.
    (")_(") http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/windows_7.png
     
    Mike Tomlinson, Apr 5, 2010
    #19
  20. Yousuf Khan

    Arno Guest

    Mike Tomlinson <> wrote:
    > In article <4bb96525$-lp.com>, Yousuf Khan
    > <> writes
    >>
    >>Good luck in getting Microsoft to write anymore drivers for XP.


    > Aye, there is that.


    And there you have one of the limitations of closed source
    software. No long-term perspective, unless the vendor has one.

    Arno
    --
    Arno Wagner, Dr. sc. techn., Dipl. Inform., CISSP -- Email:
    GnuPG: ID: 1E25338F FP: 0C30 5782 9D93 F785 E79C 0296 797F 6B50 1E25 338F
    ----
    Cuddly UI's are the manifestation of wishful thinking. -- Dylan Evans
     
    Arno, Apr 5, 2010
    #20
    1. Advertisements

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. Echoes
    Replies:
    32
    Views:
    1,128
    Mark M
    Aug 27, 2003
  2. Timothy Daniels

    hard drive power sequencer, hard drive startup sequencer

    Timothy Daniels, Sep 3, 2003, in forum: Storage Devices
    Replies:
    26
    Views:
    1,160
    Rod Speed
    Sep 8, 2003
  3. Andy
    Replies:
    9
    Views:
    1,272
  4. bowser
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    341
    bowser
    Aug 23, 2004
  5. wonderboy

    new hard drive + old hard drive

    wonderboy, Nov 19, 2004, in forum: Storage Devices
    Replies:
    19
    Views:
    350
    J. Clarke
    Dec 18, 2004
Loading...

Share This Page