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Thread: Linux Not Fully Prepared for 4096-Byte Sector Hard Drives

  1. #1
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    Linux Not Fully Prepared for 4096-Byte Sector Hard Drives

    Linux Not Fully Prepared for 4096-Byte Sector Hard Drives
    Slashdot: Linux Not Quite Ready For New 4K-Sector Drives - has soem solutions.

    Does Lucid already have solution to this?
    Will it be solved in time for Lucid? Lucid will be LTS so I hope it will be better supported, because in 2 years I'm pretty sure most HD would be 4k sector.

    I have one of these drives arriving this week and am wondering what to do. For now it will be a storage drive in external enclosure, so not sure what filesystem to use. Sadly I think I will have to keep it compatible with windows so ntfs might have to be used (my winxp install never recognized ubuntu partitions).

    According to article ubuntu parted has option, but I doubt many people know to use it, they'd have to research it.
    Last edited by andrewabc; February 15th, 2010 at 03:13 AM.

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    Re: Linux Not Fully Prepared for 4096-Byte Sector Hard Drives

    The problem as I see it is the kernel can handle 4k sector sizes, what it can't handle is the drives are saying its 512 byte to satisfy XP's. Refer to this an other comments
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    Re: Linux Not Fully Prepared for 4096-Byte Sector Hard Drives

    interesting , I'll keep it in mind while I shop for a new drive to replace one that failed yesterday .
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    Re: Linux Not Fully Prepared for 4096-Byte Sector Hard Drives

    Quote Originally Posted by VMC View Post
    The problem as I see it is the kernel can handle 4k sector sizes, what it can't handle is the drives are saying its 512 byte to satisfy XP's. Refer to this an other comments
    AFAIK there are also drives that don't "lie" about the sector size in use - very confusing.
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    Re: Linux Not Fully Prepared for 4096-Byte Sector Hard Drives

    Linux can't handle intentionally broken kit. Oh, noes...

    Seriously though: drives announce their ID to the kernel and I imagine we will see a work-around layer for them based on ID detection; if the kernel developers think its worth their time.

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    Re: Linux Not Fully Prepared for 4096-Byte Sector Hard Drives

    for the drives with physical sector size != logical sector size:
    use "fdisk -u" to set the unit from cylinders to sectors. Then make new partition and set the first sector to 64 or any other aligned. Then set the size eg. to +20G for a 20GB partition.

    i read somewhere, that a fresh karmic installation (with new partiton table or so) use a 128k alignment as default.

    there are also some interesting variables eg. for /dev/sda
    /sys/block/sda/queue/hw_sector_size
    /sys/block/sda/queue/logical_block_size
    /sys/block/sda/queue/physical_block_size
    (from a .33 kernel, don't know if .32 has it)
    Last edited by antiram; February 15th, 2010 at 11:45 AM.

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    Re: Linux Not Fully Prepared for 4096-Byte Sector Hard Drives

    Hands up who has a 4k sector-ed drive.
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    Re: Linux Not Fully Prepared for 4096-Byte Sector Hard Drives

    Quote Originally Posted by blazemore View Post
    Hands up who has a 4k sector-ed drive.
    I just got my 1tb today.

    I've read over slashdot etc, and I stil have no idea how to properly format it.

    I created msdos partition table (I had no idea which partition table to choose from).

    Now I am about to create a partition using entire drive. But there are no options in gparted to select where to start partition. I'm supposed to start at 64 instead of 63, gparted is saying it is a 63 drive, and no idea where to input options.
    It also is not allowing me to choose NTFS. I want this to be compatible with winxp. winxp not going to be installed to it now, but I might want to view data from winxp installed on other hard drive.

    Help!

    I'm using ubuntu 9.10

    sudo fdisk -l
    Code:
    Disk /dev/sda: 64.0 GB, 64023257088 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 7783 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x00098e89
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sda1               1        7720    62010868+  83  Linux
    /dev/sda2            7721        7783      506047+   5  Extended
    /dev/sda5            7721        7783      506016   82  Linux swap / Solaris
    
    Disk /dev/sdb: 320.1 GB, 320072933376 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 38913 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x221b01b2
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sdb1               1        1019     8185086   12  Compaq diagnostics
    /dev/sdb2   *        1020        7450    51657007+   7  HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sdb3            7451       38913   252726547+   7  HPFS/NTFS
    
    Disk /dev/sdc: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x0005c44f
    No wonder people are confused. I have no idea if using 9.10 gparted defaults work with this 4k drive. Or how to select what options to use using gparted.
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    Last edited by andrewabc; February 16th, 2010 at 01:17 AM.

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    Re: Linux Not Fully Prepared for 4096-Byte Sector Hard Drives

    I am considering doing the same as you. Did WD lie about other operating systems not needing any configuration for the formatting and alignment of partitions?

    If you are using NTFS so that Windows can access the drive, you can format it with Windows 7 or use the WD Alignment Utility.

    I was hoping you could just use GParted but it sounds like you have to use fdisk if you don't want to use NTFS.

    for the drives with physical sector size != logical sector size:
    use "fdisk -u" to set the unit from cylinders to sectors. Then make new partition and set the first sector to 64 or any other aligned. Then set the size eg. to +20G for a 20GB partition.
    Try the above?
    Last edited by SeePU; February 16th, 2010 at 01:15 AM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Linux Not Fully Prepared for 4096-Byte Sector Hard Drives

    I'm not familiar with fdisk
    So I'm not sure what to type fdisk -u (Do I need to put sdc after that to make sure it selects my 1tb and not 320gb HD or 60gb ssd?)

    Yes WD did lie, because they want to make sure winxp is supported, which doesn't support 4k drives. So hard drive tells OS it is 512byte. Although for some reason vista/win7 see past this lie and linux doesn't yet(?).

    I only have winxp/ubuntu. No win7.
    Last edited by andrewabc; February 16th, 2010 at 01:37 AM.

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