I've been doing lots of reading the last few days about the 4k AFD disks and have created and recreated partitions over and over on this disk, trying to get the proper alignment.

The disk is actually for my Linksys NMH-300-series NAS. It requires three partitions: swap, ext3, and reiserfs (in that order).

The disk is WD30EZRS and I formatted it using ubuntu with the following fdisk commands:

partition 1 = starting at sector 2048, +259M, type = 82
partition 2 = starting at default (forget, but can look it up), +134M, type = 83
partition 3 = starting at default, +1843, type = fd

I then formatted each like this:

mkswap -c /dev/sdb1
mkfs.ext3 -c /dev/sdb2
mkfs.reiserfs /dev/sdb3

When I did an fdisk -lu, partition 1 starts at 2048, but each partition states it doesn't end in a cylinder boundary. For instance, partition 1 ends at say 54, and partition 2 starts at 54 also (not exact, just using as example).

When you first boot up the NAS, it says the RAID failed, so you revert to single disk mode and everything works fine. I assumed that since the first partition was aligned at 2048, and adding each subsequent partition by size, they would be aligned properly. fdisk does pick it up as "Sector size (logical/physical): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes", so I assumed it was correct. Would I be better off reformatting, starting partition 1 at 2048, having it end at a cylinder making it near 271MB, and partition 2 start at the next cylinder? The starting point of each partition (in sectors) is divisible by 2048 (and obviously 8 ), so I figured it is aligned properly. I was going to try to start partition 1 at 64, but it wouldn't let me. The lowest it would do was 2048.

It has to be MBR because the NAS doesn't support GPT, thus only 2TB, so essentially wasting 1TB. Sucks, I know, but it was an RMA WD sent back to me for my WD20EARS. The WD20 worked out of the box, although partition 1 started at 63.

I posted this in the forum for the linksys NAS, but the brainpower there isn't the same as it is here.