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Old 07-04-2010, 04:31 AM
Default Debian support on newer 4K Advanced format drives (rather than 512 bytes)

On Fri, Jul 02, 2010 at 05:31:22PM -0400, Mike Viau wrote:
> Hello List,
> I was just wondering what some of the debian community users has been
> experiencing in regards to the new Western Digital 4K Advanced format
> drives? Has any one tried using one of these drives on the 2.6.26
> (64/32 bit) kernel shipped with Lenny stable? How about with the 2.6.32
> (64/32 bit) kernel shipped with squeeze testing?
> Is the support more dependant on the kernel or does debian already support these drives?

These drives lie about the real size of their sectors so the kernel sees
them as 512byte sectors drives, as do all the utilities I used on them.

This presents a problem because unaligned access to these drives is a
right bastard of a performance killer. It hurts like blazes. I wound
up having to backup my desktop and repartition the hd appropriately.

This is where the fun comes in. You'll need to ignore all the defaults
of partitioning and do it all yourself.

A calculator is handy. You'll want to align at 8 sectors and leave
enough room at the beginning for the mbr and other fun stuff. I left
a meg, which is overkill but I just did not care at that point. From
there figure out the right sizes of your partitions. To be honest here
I found parteds UI to be a right total pain in the bottom but at least
it was somewhat easier to use (in other respects) than fdisk.

I wont be buying more of these if I can avoid it. I'd rather a 4k drive
that says it's a 4k drive and get on with life.

Tis all fun.

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