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Western Digital EARS
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July 5, 2010, 10:02 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
If you have Windows 7 or Vista, then you are set. It has to do with partition alignment of the drive. As I understand it, these 4kb sector drives is that they just need to be aligned properly in order for them to work properly. Those two operating systems can do it but XP cannot without additional software, one is the WD Align software (from Paragon, actually) which will make the drive compatible with XP's NTFS. It just aligns the drive so the sector values are arranged in a multiple of 8. This especially applies to the starting sector. I think WD's utility does it so the starting sector is 64.
Anyway, it's the limitation of XP not being able to do this. Once the partition or partitions are aligned, then XP can use it without performance penalties. The formatting is something different but I assume Windows 7 and Vista will align the partitions when it does a format.
I suspect the WD Alignment software (Paragon) aligns it as 4096 byte sectors and since that's a multiple of 8 (512 x 8), XP will read it as EIGHT 512 byte sectors or whatever. I probably didn't explain it accurately but I think it's along those lines.
EDIT: I might even be shooting up the wrong tree but I don't have a EARS drive to test...
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