Recently been having a bit of a read about HDD's and "advanced format", but
I'm no specialist in this field. I wondered if there was someone coming along to
tonight's meeting that might be able to tell us more about it and how to set up Linux
to work best with "advanced format" drives. (I'll attached a bit of info
I will bring along tonight an HP thin client from about 2007 that runs an old version of
Debian. I thought it may interest some folks as a nostalgic toy to play with.
I stumbled across information with regard to the "Advanced Format" feature of
HDD's. It appears that this "feature" has the potential to introduce poor
I recollect you said at the last workshop that your older computer was fast with Linux
Mint 13, but your newer one was slow. I wondered if this could be due to your older
computer having a conventional 512 byte format for each HDD sector, while the newer
computer might have a HDD with the Advanced Format (4096 byte) sectors?
I found on an HP web-site a program that you can down-load/extract and run on Windows and
it will report on the status of your disk drives and if they are "Advanced
Format" or not. You download it from here...
...and the story about it can be read here...
...the extracted program for running under Windows is "WinDrvInfo.exe" which
produces the output in a window, plus logs it to disk; and will be look something like
Model = Maxtor 2F040J0
SerialNo = 1FL58REM
Firmware = VAM51JJ0
Advanced_Format = No
In theory, you can run another program that gets extracted called,
"AdvHDInfo.exe". This appears to make a bootable USB stick from which you should
then be able to take to any system and boot it up and run this application. However I
found that the bootable USB stick, wouldn't boot!
I don't know if there is a similar utility available for use on Linux systems, or if
there is a simple Linux command that can check the disk format type.
I found from Novell an article regarding, "Partition alignment of drives with
internal sector size larger than 512 bytes"...
...and it looks a bit tricky to me. Plus HP have their little rave on, "HP Notebook
PCs - Improving the Performance of an Advanced Format Hard Drive", here...