converting a WD 3.5" 14 TB external drive to 4K sectors

philb2

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May 26, 2021
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So I just got this new WD drive, and geez, 14 TB in one drive is f-ing awesome. :) I did some searching and discovered that these drives are native 512e, but it is possible to convert this drive to 4K sectors with some WD utility called HUGO. HUGO was hard to find online, but I did manage to find a source.

So now my questions are: Do I just run this utility under Windows? Does this conversion preserve any data on the drive? For the 14 TB drive connected via USB 3.0, how long does this process take? Any suggestions for CLI inputs to HUGO?

Can I speed up the process by running diskpart first and wiping the drive?

Thanks.
 

Luke M

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Apr 20, 2016
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So I just got this new WD drive, and geez, 14 TB in one drive is f-ing awesome. :) I did some searching and discovered that these drives are native 512e, but it is possible to convert this drive to 4K sectors with some WD utility called HUGO. HUGO was hard to find online, but I did manage to find a source.
Are you a masochist? Why do this when it works perfectly as is?
 

toast0

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Is there a significant difference between 512e (4k physical) with a 4k aware filesystem and a 4k with a 4k aware filesystem? Like Luke said, seems a like a lot of work when it's working.
 

philb2

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May 26, 2021
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Well, I was hoping that people would respond with, "Yeah, I did the conversion and performance increased a lot" Since no one has responded like that, I will respect the wisdom of this group and just forget about this project.

Thanks for the responses.
 

Blakestr

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Why wouldn't you shuck this bad boy - I just picked up, probably the same same one as you? Then you have a sata connection instead of USB
 

philb2

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May 26, 2021
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Why wouldn't you shuck this bad boy - I just picked up, probably the same same one as you? Then you have a sata connection instead of USB
In my case, this is "offline storage," in case my desktop has an issue, so it has to be USB. But or course I will shuck that drive at some point. As the OP, my question was about converting to 4K sectors.
 

Segfault

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Oct 27, 2018
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First, I do not believe it has 512 B sectors.
Code:
Disk /dev/sdb: 2.73 TiB, 3000592982016 bytes, 5860533168 sectors
Disk model: WDC WD30EFZX-68A
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
See this drive of mine? It has physical sectors 4 kB. It lies to the OS about sector size. I personally do not use partition table when the whole drive is dedicated for only one filesystem, after all, the meaning of partitioning is cutting into pieces, how do you cut into one piece? When laying filesytem directly without partitioning then there won't be any alignment problems, either. If you just must use partitions then make sure your partitioning tool aligns partitions to physical 4 kB sectors.
 

likeman

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Aug 17, 2011
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512e is very normal ,from like vista windows and linux supports correct 4k boundly aliment automatically
 

mwarps

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You're talking about a difference of maybe a couple percent on sequential operations. If you bought a 14TB drive and connected it via USB for benchmarking, you're doing it so massively wrong.
 

hardware_failure

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Im guessing I picked up the same drive you did (got 2 of them) and man - these things rock.

What Im more curious about is if anyone made/leaked a firmware that "unlocks" these drives to true 7200 RPM performance.

Is yours WD140EDGZ like mine?

I've read from multiple sources that these are 7200RPM drives with firmware that throttles them to "5400RPM performance" whatever that means. (the whole cheaper to manufacture all models the same and gimp as needed for value market ie just how they do for CPU's) All utilities I have scanned them with do register it as 7200RPM. Sorry, too lazy to site sources atm but I did read about that being the case a few times.
 

philb2

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May 26, 2021
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What Im more curious about is if anyone made/leaked a firmware that "unlocks" these drives to true 7200 RPM performance.

Is yours WD140EDGZ like mine?

I've read from multiple sources that these are 7200RPM drives with firmware that throttles them to "5400RPM performance" whatever that means. (the whole cheaper to manufacture all models the same and gimp as needed for value market ie just how they do for CPU's) All utilities I have scanned them with do register it as 7200RPM. Sorry, too lazy to site sources atm but I did read about that being the case a few times.
I've also got one of these drives and a 12 TB WD Easystore. Would be very interested in unlocking firmware. Of course, I would first back up the drive. ;)
 
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