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-Rpeters13:25, 24 August 2012 (EST) --

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For General Users

Advanced Format (AF) Hard Disk Drives are used in many pre-built computers and USB drives from about 2011 onwards.. By way of explanation

  • AF drives have 4 kB hard sectors in lieu of
  • the traditional 512 B sectors

Advantages

  • much faster (less disk overhead)
  • more space efficient (larger disk capacity from same hardware)
  • overcomes immutable capacity limit of ~2.1 TeraByte for conventional drives

Disadvantages

  • Windows 32 bit systems cannot boot from AF drives
    • requires driver from HDD manufacturer, to use as data only internal drives

No action is required by the typical purchaser, because the manufacturer will have taken care of the special formatting required with AF drives. Getting Technical below, provides guidelines for those needing to:

  • repartition drives
  • install new, "bare" drives


Getting Technical

Getting Technical

A new type of partition table called Globally Unique Identifier(GUID) Partition Table (GPT) is required to optimise the performance of AF disks. The partition table previously in common use has no formal name but is given the nomenclature Master Boot Record (MBR), http://www.rodsbooks.com/gdisk/ http://www.rodsbooks.com/gdisk/download.html

Advanced Format Drives

�*performance loss of up to 40% if reformatted MBR. New HDD from about 2011 onwards are likely to be Advance Formatted

  • usually pre-formatted
  • likely to be stated on drive or packaging
  • essential for drives over 2.1 TeraByte capacity
  • has been used on new drives as small as 250GB

Re-formatting

Drives up to 2.1 TB,manufactured during the transitional period, logically divide each 4kB sector into eight 512 B sectors

  • permits partitioning using legacy programs
  • deprecated because doing so can decrease performance up to 40%
    • essential for boot drives in Windows 32 bit systems
#re-formatting
(such drives have no


Strictly for Geeks

the partitioning tool gdisk that is downloadable from