Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Comos

Confirmed - 3TB HDD USB Drive on WinXP 32bit

28 posts in this topic

Hello,

sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but I'm still stuck with WinXp and I'd like another confirmation before buying an external drive (when price will drop a bit):

-does the WD My Book 4TB work for XP SP3 32bit at full capacity like the 3TB drive that you have tested?

-is the hdisk going to be ready after plugged in, or will I need to install\use some driver\application?

-I won't be able to format\defragment\manage the drive, right? What about using programs like syncbackup?

-do 4Kb sectors have some catch, like bad performance or some incompatibility?

-will I need to reformat the hdisk when I'll finally manage to upgrade to a shiny new 64 bit os?

Thanks

Edited by phaolo
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Umm..no replies at all?

Please help!

Actually the replies are already in the posts and in the linked "original" thread and resources:

http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/157117-running-3tb-drive-on-xp-over-usb-issue/

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windows/en-US/8fd33944-0202-4dff-a432-356e2b231f2e/windows-xp-hard-drive-size-limit

http://community.wd.com/t5/External-Drives-for-PC/Exceeding-2Tb-limit-questions/td-p/234694

Basically there is a limit around 2 Tb in Windows XP, but the WD works around it doing a sort of "translation".

As a matter of fact there is not a limit in "size", there is a limit in "number of sectors".

http://blogs.technet.com/b/askcore/archive/2010/02/18/understanding-the-2-tb-limit-in-windows-storage.aspx

A "normal" hard disk has 512 bytes sized sectors, those family of WD drives either have or fake to have 4,096(4 Kb) bytes sectors, consequently the limit is "shifted" towards 4,096/512=8*2=16 Tb.

No, you shouldn't have problems of *any* kind with an XP 32 bit, no you don't need any special driver, and no you can re-partition/reformat/defrag the disk alright, of course you don't need to re-format if you switch to a 64 bit OS.

The only possibles issues (but "general" i.e. not related to the HUGE size of the disk) could be with particular partitioning schemes/alignments, see:

http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/154633-partition-boundary-alignment-in-4096-byte-physical-sector-drives/

The utter foolishness of having a single (NTFS or any other filesystem) volume 4 Tb in size will not be particularly highlighted as I hold it to be a self-evident truth :w00t::ph34r: while that of having a single 4 Tb sized disk is more subtle, and while still self evident does need a few words of warning.

Do you really think that *now* you *need* 4 Tb of storage?

Or maybe what you actually need *now* is 1 or 2 Tb or less?

How long does it take to produce 2 Tb along the *whatever* intended usage you plan?

If anything more than a few weeks, buy a coupe smaller disk drive today, and buy another couple smaller ones when you will need them.

Remember that the bigger a disk drive is, the more probable is that it is "new" (in the sense of largely UNtested) the more "compressed" (please read as written in tinier spaces) are the data on it, the more precise it's mechanical part needs to be, the more sophisticated it's ECC needs to be, it can fail and it will fail (sooner or later).

At the very least, you should always buy storage disks in couples, a "main" one and a "backup" one.

Disaster strikes rarely, but when it does the damage can be much bigger.

And bigger is sometimes not "better".

jaclaz

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for all the info jaclaz.

Well, the long story is this:

I read about WinXp 32bit limits about 1 year ago and I found a bunch of different uncertain opinions.

For that reason, I opted for only a 2Tb WD drive for storage (the price was also quite good).

Now it's 3/4 full and without a proper copy (scattered messy parts on old small drivers), so I'd really like to buy a single new one for backup+new space.

I'm quite sure I won't get a new pc for the next 1 year, so I'm stuck with XP+external hdisks.. and I'm trying to avoid bad surprises.

I'm happy about all the good news you confirmed.

However, are you 100% sure that reformatting or defragmenting the >2Tb drive with Xp is safe?

I obtained a lot of free space by doing it on the 2Tb drive, but I fear that Xp could screw up the WD trick on the big one.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, in theory there are none, but of course with *any* windows and *any* hard disk everything (and the contrary of it) is possible in practice.

It ( everything or the contrary of it) may be more probable, less probable or improbable, but still possible. :ph34r:

I would rate the possibility that re-formatting or defragmenting it under WIndows XP would cause issue highly improbable, though - as said - I use the same kind of sticks I use for Vista :ph34r: :

http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/125258-nlite-and-microxp/#entry807225

to NOT touch any hard disk bigger than 500 Gb, so I may be not the best person to ask for advice, my personal advice is to use smaller disks (though for a number of other reasons).

jaclaz

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
everything (and the contrary of it) is possible in practice [...] re-formatting or defragmenting it under WIndows XP would cause issue highly improbable

Bad luck apart, I read (again) that there could be problems with "misaligned partitions" created by an old OS like Xp.

The explanations, however, weren't clear or complete.. :blink:

to NOT touch any hard disk bigger than 500 Gb

Why, are all the new >500 Gb drives made with Advanced Format?

I've searched some spec about my old 2Tb WD, but I couldn't find if it's a 512e or a normal 512.

If it's already an AF, then I didn't have any problem messing with it on Xp.

Another question:

could the 512e emulation be disabled in the future, in order to directly access the 4k drive from a compatible OS (example: Windows 8+) and so avoid all the fuss?

Edited by phaolo
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The issue is not common.

The "standard" that MS itself established until XP/2003 was that a partition had to respect given boundaries, namely Cylinder and Heads, to comply with the oldish CHS method.

Considering how the CHS limit was around 8 Gb, you can well understand how the issue was already common in NT 4.0 times.

Notwithstanding this, 2000 and later systems (up - as said - to XP/2003) default to use this approach when creating partitions, whilst later SO, starting from Vista :ph34r: default to use a "round to 1 Mbyte" (usually) alignment.

This should in theory be of NO relevance whatsoever, but the Disk Management in XP does a lot of things that shouldn't really do (more generally a lot of MS apps do a lot of things that they either shouldn't be done or that are done in a sort of "hidden" and often completely UNlike documented way).

In order to make a partition (primary) active the ONLY thing needed is to write hex 80 in the appropriate field in the partition table and make sure that all other partitions have NOT that same field set to 80 (if it is, then it needs to be set to hex 00).

It sounds simple enough, but unfortunately the Disk Management does a lot of (completely unneeded calculations) and when it finds on the disk Logical Volumes inside Extended partition NOT aligned to CH values (like the one that normally Vista :ph34r: amd any later OS would create) it "panics" and botches the partition tables in the EPBR's.

Now, any normal program when it finds something "queer" or that cannot deal with correctly should throw an error or ask the user for confirmation, whilst Disk Management, when you try to change the active status of a partition will simply and silently break the EPBR chain in the Extended partition.

The most detailed explanation/story on this bug is here:

http://reboot.pro/topic/9897-vistawin7-versus-xp-partitioning-issue/

(link already provided on the already mentioned topic http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/154633-partition-boundary-alignment-in-4096-byte-physical-sector-drives/ )

If you have specific questions/doubts about something in there that you don't understand I will try my best (IF I can) to answer them.

Why, are all the new >500 Gb drives made with Advanced Format?

No, it is a matter of data density, information on a 250 Gb platter is already too "dense" for my likings.

A typical 500 Gb 3.5" hard disk will have actually 2 platters 250 Gb each:

http://rml527.blogspot.it/2010/09/hdd-platter-capacity-database.html

Anything else will have either more platters or higher density platters.

In both cases there are more probabilities of issues, IMHO.

Another question:

could the 512e emulation be disabled in the future, in order to directly access the 4k drive from a compatible OS (example: Windows 8+) and so avoid all the fuss?

I think it depends on the specific model, the "AF" is not a standard and different manufacturers (and even the same manufacturer on the same model) may have made "simple" provisions for dong that (like a "jumper") or complex ones (like a "modified firmware") or none. :unsure:

jaclaz

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In order to make a partition (primary) active [...] The most detailed explanation/story on this bug is here [...]

Uhh..ok.. I guess that loong example meant to prove that "Disk Management in XP does a lot of things that shouldn't really do".. right? :blink:

Those problems, anyway, were caused by "using Vista and XP tool on the same disk", a practice I doubt I'll ever do (I'll also skip the evil Vista completely)

The issue is not common [...] 2000 and later systems (up - as said - to XP/2003) default to use this approach when creating partitions, whilst later SO, starting from Vista default to use a "round to 1 Mbyte" (usually) alignment [...] This should in theory be of NO relevance whatsoever

Err.. so you're saying that Xp aligns partitions differently from new OS, but that's not relevant?

Are you sure, can you please check the following links I've found about alignment?

4K Sector Hard Drives by Seagate (search "4K aware" to skip to the point):

- http://www.seagate.com/tech-insights/advanced-format-4k-sector-hard-drives-master-ti/

Windows XP -- Creates primary partition with Alignment 1 condition (unaligned)

Windows Vista-Pre Service Pack 1 -- Large sector aware but creates partitions incorrectly (unaligned) -->(maybe this caused the error in your example?)

Windows Vista-Service Pack 1 or later -- Creates partitions with Alignment 0 condition (aligned)

Windows 7 -- Creates partitions with Alignment 0 condition (aligned)

[...] for systems that are still using Windows XP or Windows Vista, pre- Service Pack 1, there is significant risk of reduced performance -->I've read even 40% elsewere

WD align utility:

- http://www.wdc.com/global/products/features/?id=7&language=1

If you do not change the partitions on a Western Digital USB or Firewire drive, the drive is already optimally aligned.

[...] If you repartition a Western Digital USB or Firewire drive, WD Align should be run to optimally align the partition or partitions.

(both links found in this nice page: http://mavmesa.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-windows-and-advanced-format-hard-drives/)

Anything else will have either more platters or higher density platters.

Ah, you're saying that too many or too dense platters = more possible hardware issues.

Anyway, for me a twin drive for backups is enough to solve that fear (ok, unless they both break after 1 week lol)

(P.S: does the 4Tb contain 5 x 800GB platters?)

Edited by phaolo
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyway, for me a twin drive for backups is enough to solve that fear (ok, unless they both break after 1 week lol)

No, that is bothersome, but still somwhat OK...

Now, if they both break together 1 week after manufacturer warranty ends... icon33.gif

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ON a "normal" 512 bytes sectored disk the difference (talking of modern, fastish disks with NCI and largish cache) is NOT noticeable at all, unless you are going to do a benchmark comparison, which does not on any way represent "real usage".

My guess is that on 4 Kb sectored drive the difference may possibly be noticeable, but I won't buy the 40% figures :no:. Somethign like 4% sounds like a much more "possible" max value (and I still personally doubt that it can be as much as that).

On the already given thread there are related references and considerations:

http://reboot.pro/topic/9897-vistawin7-versus-xp-partitioning-issue/?p=85960

and remember that partition alignment only works for NTFS (which is normally "internally" already aligned to 4 Kb), it won't - wiithout special provisions - work for FAT16 and FAT32. I am not familiarwith/haven't looked into exFAT to say if this latter would be affected or not by filesystem misalignement like FAT16 and 32 are.

(P.S: does the 4Tb contain 5 x 800GB platters?)

Which disk model?

The Seagate ones (still 3.5"):

http://rml527.blogspot.it/2010/10/hdd-platter-database-seagate-35.html

are seemingly:

ST4000DM000 4 platters x 1 Gb each

ST4000DX000 5 platters x 800 Gb each

jaclaz

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My guess is that on 4 Kb sectored drive the difference may possibly be noticeable, but I won't buy the 40% figures

Well, ok then (you're still considering the AF emulation, right?).

On the already given thread there are related references and considerations: http://reboot.pro/to...-issue/?p=85960

I've seen that twice, but I REALLY couldn't find useful info on that difficult 3 page thread about multiboot Vista+Xp and Vista's wrong partitions! (my questions, then, were about Xp and AF drivers)

Also, in a post you say: "WD Align seems like another tool to test [...] the WD Quick Formatter [...] is necessary in order to optimize the performance of the drive."

Sorry, I'm totally confused.. :blink:

Which disk model?

WD My Book 4TB (oh s**t, the price has now jumped up from 180 to 250 euros! :thumbdown )

Edited by phaolo
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, now it's back to 180 euros on Amazon. Wow, that's a variable price indeed.

I'd like to wait for a good promotion, though.

My idea was:

master --> 1 new 4tb

backup --> 1 owned 2tb + 1 new 2tb or owned small old drives (sum<1.7tb)

EDIT: 3tb currently costs only 10-20euros more than a new 2tb! I'll choose that and maybe in the future upgrade to a possible 5tb for a single master

Thanks for the help Jaclaz.

(anzi, ciao, perchè ho visto solo ora che sei italiano anche tu! XD)

Edited by phaolo
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.