New tech boosts HDD capacity
Western Digital is among the companies building hard drives that store more data in the same advertised capacity, thanks to a new technology.
Advanced Format Structure, as WD calls it, reduces the number of “sector gaps” needed to sync the hard drive and correct for errors. As PC Perspective explains, the previous structure, which has been in use for over 30 years, contained just 512 Bytes of data per sector gap, while Advanced Format Structure has larger physical sectors containing 4096 Bytes of data each. If you don’t follow, this image explains the basic idea:
As you can see, far less of the drive is used for sync and error correction — 10 percent, by WD’s estimates. Also, error correction actually improves by 50 percent, even though there’s less space dedicated to it, thanks to the use of larger error correction code words.
Because most computer systems are still based on the 30-year old 512-Byte system, Advanced Format still emulates sectors of 512 Bytes each. It just reduces the number of gaps needed for those extra, space-consuming functions. For this reason, however, Windows XP will still have trouble reading drives with greater than 2 TB capacity, as they have more sectors than the operating system can handle.
Other downsides? None, unless you’re using an older operating system such as Windows XP or cloning drives. In those cases, there’s a utility required to align the drive properly.
A white paper by WD (PDF) says the industry as a whole is adopting Advanced Format. There are a few factors that could contribute to a hard drive holding less data than advertised, such as operating system software and specifications in binary, so anything that helps alleviate this problem is welcome.
There are 0 comments
Most popular headlines
- Tue 16 Sep 08:09 by DoMiN8ToR
Russian leaker WZOR has posted information about Windows 9 again, revealing...
- Tue 16 Sep 09:09 by Kerry Brown
File this one under speculation/unsupported in your bad news inbox, but it seems...
- Fri 19 Sep 06:09 by DoMiN8ToR
Cloud Services where users can download illegal movies, music and software are a...
- Mon 15 Sep 01:09 by Vroom
Review: Kingston DT HyperX 3.0 64GB Reviewed by: Antonis Sapanidis P...
- Wed 17 Sep 05:09 by DoMiN8ToR
A week after the release of a security update for Microsoft Lync Server, the sof...