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Western Digital creates superior 'Advanced Format' partitioning scheme

Advanced Format makes for more storage space
By: Steve Dougherty | Storage News | Posted: Dec 14, 2009 3:45 am

Reminising of the funny ole' DriveSpace' days way back where it would work supposed magic to double the capacity of your hard drive (only for many to find out soon after their data would crumble beyond any hope of retrieval), Western Digital has come up with a new form of increasing the amount of usable space on a hard disk which is said to be a lot more reliable.


WD calls it 'advanced format' which is a new partitioning method that gets rid of all the Sync/DAM headers and Ecc that each sector normally includes and instead makes use of larger 4k physical sectors, as depicted from the image shown below.




Whilst this method means the ECC ends up being larger, the overall increase in space is still enough to make this form of partitioning worthwhile with an increase in usable storage space of between 7 and 11% (certainly quite noticeable when you're talking 1+TB HDDs).


The only downside? You won't be able to update a current drive's firmware and reformat with the new Advanced Format. WD is only making this format possible on drives shipping out of its factory as of a few weeks from now, with the Caviar Green series being the first to get the Advanced Format treatment and other WD lines to follow soon after.



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