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WesternDigital WD10TPVT – Advanced Format

These are details from the WD10TPVT, a 2.5” 1TB (12.5mm) SATA drive from Western Digital.

It’s the Advanced Format (4096-byte physical sectors) version of their WD10TEVT disk, though with it’s current firmware you might not know it except for the small warning label on the top sticker of the drive itself.

This label suggests every OS other than Windows XP will work with this drive without any special adjustments, but I’d like to know if this is really true, or if there is a tangible performance impact of using this drive with a default partition layout on other operating systems, notably Linux.

Tejun Heo (of LKML fame) posted a very informative wiki article about the 4kb sector issue here : https://ata.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/ATA_4_KiB_sector_issues

SMART details :

Device Model:     WDC  WD10TPVT-00HT5T0
Serial Number:    W  -DXW151CU0xxxx
Firmware Version: 01.01A01
User Capacity:     1,000,204,886,016 bytes

Linux detection :

scsi 6:0:0:0:  Direct-Access     WDC      WD10TPVT-00HT5T0 01.0 PQ: 0 ANSI: 3
sd 6:0:0:0: [sdd]  1953525168 512-byte hardware sectors: (1.00  TB/931 GiB)
sd 6:0:0:0: [sdd] Write  Protect is off
sd 6:0:0:0: [sdd] Mode  Sense: 23 00 10 00
sd 6:0:0:0: [sdd] Write  cache: enabled, read cache: enabled, supports DPO and FUA

Oddly, WD seem to have purposefully made the drive advertise itself as having only 512-byte sectors, surely this is going to cause confusion with software trying to correctly identify and partition these 4096-byte sectored Advanced Format disks?

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  1. Martin
    August 20, 2010 at 23:28

    I bought same drive and am glad to hear others also see only 512b sectors announced. I updated util-linux-ng from which fdisk comes, tried parted, tried 2.6.31.14, 2.6.34 kernel with no difference. I just cannot make it report that it has 4kb sector size. I received the disk in an opened package and I wonder whether somebody could have done a low-level reformat. Is that doable?

    I installed a jumper on pins 1-2 to enable slow startup of the drive to consume it less power during startup.

  2. August 21, 2010 at 13:07

    You’re absolutely right, even with up to date kernel and userspace tools we’re unable to tell it’s a 4kb physical sector drive. This is because WD have failed to follow the ATA 8 specification: “ATA/ATAPI-8 specifies a way for a drive to export the physical and logical sector sizes and the LBA offset which is aligned to the physical sectors”, this would/should be reported in these files under Linux :
    /sys/block/sdX/queue/physical_block_size
    /sys/block/sdX/queue/logical_block_size
    /sys/block/sdX/alignment_offset

    WD can and should fix this in a firmware update for these drives.

  3. Martin
    August 24, 2010 at 20:42

    Answering myself: it seems disk’s BIOS is simply not advertising it is a 4kb drive, you just have to take of alignment yourself.

    # fdisk -l -u /dev/sdb

    Disk /dev/sdb: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
    81 heads, 63 sectors/track, 382818 cylinders, total 1953525168 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x96df8562

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sdb1 2048 1953525167 976761560 83 Linux
    #

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