Release non 512-byte sector emulated firmware for WD??EARS

Status: Acknowledged
by on ‎04-28-2010 07:46 PM

WD Dev Department,


As stated in this thread:



we would like to have these drives models with a non-emulated firmware

that exposes the 4K sectors directly to the OS.



The thing is that many Linux distros and Unix flavors already have support for that kind of disks and the 512-byte emulation is only presenting complications when trying to use the disk as is, thus forcing us to align the partitions to the correct underlying layout.


If the first goal of the emulation would be compatibility to actual or legacy OS's, then there should be no need of it if the OS is already prepared to manage the 4K sectors.

In fact, you could have the a jumper setting to activate the 512-byte emulation starting at LBA sector 64 and another setting to have the disk exposed with non-emulation at all and showing the real thing.


Just a thought that could make our lives a little easier in the *nix world.




Leandro Vanden Bosch.


Status: Acknowledged
by on ‎02-19-2012 03:28 PM

I was delighted to find out that my Hitachi 3TB external properly exposes 4K sectors. I can actually use it on older operating systems, and access the entire drive.


I like WD drives. It's too bad the firmware lies for some models, making them way more awkward to use. Now it comes down to price for me - if the price is low enough to make up for the extra time, I'll use them. If not, then I won't. If a Hitachi drive is only ~$10-20 extra, I'd go for that instead.

by on ‎02-24-2012 05:56 PM

The ATA standard specifies how you are supposed to deal with this: the old sector size field can still report 512 bytes for backward compatability, and a new size field specifies the true hardware sector size.  The Linux tools have had support for years now to read the new field and properly align partitions to this size.  When will WD start following the standard?


by ‎03-10-2012 02:20 AM - edited ‎03-10-2012 02:21 AM

This feels like beating a dead horse. At this point I have the following to say:

  •  When judging the intentions of a company or person the best yardstick to go by is their actions. In the absense of a statement expressly stating a policy, you can get a pretty good idea of what a company "thinks" from how it acts.
  • Based on the actions of Western Digital in the last 3 years it is pretty obvious that they think of the consumers as their useful idiots who will never stop throwing money at WD regardless of how bad the product is.
  •  Those consumers who like to think of themselves as "experts" have a specific product range, in the Caviar series of HDDs, which are WDs equivalent of the Monster HDMI cable - the product is no more expensive to manufacture, does not receive any additional testing, but does not have an intentional failure point in its firmware. This non-faulty version is sold at a 2-3x markup. 

The only problem I see with this rationale is the following: 

  • I am personally responsible for managing ~200TB of active data.
  • I will never again intentionally buy any product which contains a western digital drive. This does not preclude me from using vendors who source their drives from WD, they just better not tell me about it.
by on ‎05-30-2012 12:00 AM

I just purchased a WD Scorpio Black, and was unaware of the issues with this drive until I read the label, and researched "Advanced Format" -- I have the drive installed, partitioned, and my 3 OSs running great, but I still HATE the idea that the drive is set up differently than it says it is... C'mon WD, it's been TWO YEARS that this format has been out -- listen to your customers and fix this!!! I've ALWAYS only purchased (and recommended) WD, in my opinion the quality and value is second to none. I'd hate to have to change my tune.

by on ‎12-10-2012 02:05 PM

another optimist likes this idea!!

by Moderator on ‎10-01-2013 02:54 PM
Status changed to: Acknowledged
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