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3TB and 4TB Drives. The Danger!


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#151 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 08:03 AM

Other way around. BSD is a variant of AT&T Unix and Linux came later as a way to get a PD form that was very similar.


Apologize for the off topic... Unix History

Linux is not a direct derivative of any Unix. It's a Unix-like clone. Except of course for the stealing of code that happened in later years - and was never enforced because of the details of who currently owned what rights to Unix.

However, much of that has been replaced by GNU programs which I guess is the Unix variant of Linux.


This is incorrect. Those with interest can see Wikipedia for the facts.

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#152 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 08:23 AM

Since we are talking about low consumer demand, why did the 2GB limit get removed for the HR34? If the logic is that DTV never does something unless there is a lot of demand then that change would never have been made. I've never met a Product Manager yet that was in favor of spending any time/money on upgrading core technology just to stay current with technology trends.


I think it finally dawned on some intelligent person at D* that a 1TB drive hooked up to five tuners would be a problem.

It sure wasn't done to make the few external storage geeks happy since it's not supported at all.


While the eSATA function is not "supported", they do make changes at times to it. I'm still against it being supported. For many reasons. Mainly, because I like the idea that I can use any HDD I want to. I really don't want to be limited in my choices.

That means that larger internal storage is coming - because there is demand for it. It's a duh moment for a device marketed as a "Home Media Server".


Yup. Just putting all your eggs in a larger basket.

The gist of this thread, whether internal or external storage, is that as the capacity rises people will be utilizing it and the reaction to a device failure is going to be hotter.


Yup, just wait till the first person has a catastrophic failure of an HR such as the 34 with a four TB HDD on it.

I'm sure the average consumer has not a care in the world about RAID storage either. They don't even have a clue that such a thing is available. But I would be surprised if any consumer was happy about a DTV DVR failure! If they were aware that technology existed that prevented loss from a drive failure they would WANT IT. Likewise if they knew their programming could be easily transferred if the box died, they would WANT IT. Neither of these is difficult.


Exactly.

What is a moderate irritation today is going to be a whole world of hurt when an "average consumer" finds out that >2TB of programming for their entire household is GONE.


Should be interesting watching someone go ballistic. Always is... :lol:

It's just lame that a "Home Media Server" was even brought to market without both of these issues being addressed. It should have had at least 2 (RAID1) "storage cartridges" (ie consumer removable disk magazines). If Joe Consumer (and Joe Installer) can handle inserting and removing CDs and DVDs they can sure handle a disk cartridge. I can recall my 5-year-old son swapping Nintendo cartridges!


Pretty normal for D* to release equipment that's not well thought out. Then fix it after torturing a bunch of people.

The obvious solution now is for DTV to come out with an HR34 model without internal storage and sell something similar to a TenBox (only with removable drives). And fix the program locking.


That makes sense.

The extra cost always comes up when talking about RAID. It's a short-sighted perspective. How much programming is recorded on your DVR that you haven't watched yet? How much is it worth to you - or more like how much did you already pay for it? And how much of it won't be rebroadcast anytime soon? It doesn't take long before the insurance offered by RAID is dirt cheap. For me, I've had 2 drives fail in the last 5 years. The programming that was saved, not to mention the aggravation avoided, was easily worth the expense of RAID.


There are other options other than RAID, but whatever works for someone is good. Having 12 active HRs works really well. I haven't missed a show in a long time due to failure of an HR or an HDD.

Good post!

Rich

#153 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 08:35 AM

For several years HP sold a PC with a drive bay where users could plug in a USB drive and swap it out at will. It looked great and worked well, but HP stopped doing it because the plug-in drives were of course proprietary, undersized and expensive.

I love your idea of extending this to the HMC, and either allowing users to swap drives or if nothing else, giving techs spare drives to plug in during a service call. It's plug-and-play at its simplest.

This would require a much larger chassis, though, and likely will raise the cost of the devices, so unfortunately I don't see it happening. Would be really nice though ...


The expense issue is pretty much gone. SATA drives are, by definition, hot-swappable. The bare drive connectors can stick right out the back of the cartridge. No electronics glue of any kind. The only reason a cartridge is needed at all is to protect the bare circuit board on the one side of the drive. A simple piece of plastic with holes for ventilation is all that is required to make a consumer-friendly cartridge.

Cheap enclosures like the Sans Digital already have a cartridge that is almost what is needed. They are just a U-shaped piece of plastic with maybe a small metal rail on each side. Most of them don't have any kind of cover over the drive circuit board. These are sold to consumers so the assumption apparently is that consumers are smart enough to avoid static discharge to the circuit board :) In any event, adding a piece of plastic with holes in it would add only pennies to the cost.

The RDX cartridge is a current example. They use 2.5" drives. The mobile drive has some extra shock-tolerance features (retracted heads). No reason DTV couldn't do something similar with 3.5" drives and rate them with less shock resistance - after all, the usage scenario is completely different.

It would increase the price to do it internally. Bigger case, power supply, fan. But not a huge amount. Again, look at the price of a Sans Digital 2 drive enclosure. The HR34 is a premium device.

But we don't need a new generation of HR34. Just make something like a TenBox with drive cartridges. The AM21 was a great solution for OTA for the subset of people who wanted it. External RAID would be the same for storage space and reliability. The development and manufacturing cost would be minimal; nothing special, no software to develop, etc.

Lots of enterprise arrays have an LED on each drive slot that lights up when the drive is defective. Shouldn't even need a truck roll for this - just ship out a new cartridge and a return label. Lexmark laser printer cartridges, for example, have used that approach forever.

#154 OFFLINE   bobcamp1

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 08:53 AM

OK. I would use TiB when giving the number, but not everyone could separate computer's and marketing count of bytes. :eek2:

Now turn on your math skills again and do same for newest HDD which has 4K sector's size.
Continue counting ... what is your result ?


EDIT: Done ? So you would still using MBR and it would not required that dramatic changes in FW.


OK, I'm counting the first six physical consecutive sectors on a typical Advanced Format drive....

0, 8, 16, 24, 32, 40, ....

Hmmm... I've only counted six sectors yet the number I need to use to access that sector (its LBA) is already at 40. I have to count by 8's. The number '8' comes from 4096/512. The hard drives physical sector size is 4k, but its logical sector size is still stuck at 512 bytes/sector. And the logical sector size is what the OS uses to access it. So the MBR limitation still exists.

That's why these drives are also called "512e". They emulate everything, good and bad, from the old style 512 bytes/sector drives.

I don't expect the emulation to go on forever. There's already "4k native" (4Kn) external USB drives. But it's going to be a while before they become popular because OSs are just starting to support them. For example, Windows 7 doesn't support it but Windows 7 SP1 does (which is why you need to slipstream SP1 into your bootable Windows 7 DVD).

I have no idea if the version of Linux in the HR34 supports 512e only or if it can do 4Kn. Does anyone know the model of the hard drive in it? Or you could plug in a 4Kn eSATA drive in and see if the HR34 can use it.

#155 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 09:04 AM

There are other options other than RAID, but whatever works for someone is good. Having 12 active HRs works really well. I haven't missed a show in a long time due to failure of an HR or an HDD.


Yes, redundancy at the entire device level works - and is better actually given the inability to move storage/programs to another device.

But it adds a lot of operational overhead. MRV is half-baked. Cannot do all operations from any device remotely. No ability to say device 2 mirrors device 1 (i.e. records everything that the other does). Etc.

I suppose they could, in the future, allow more than one HR34 in a house. Allow one device to mirror the other (actually needs to be a 2-way mirror so that when one fails and is replaced the new one is automatically brought back into sync). Let the C31 automatically fallback to the alternate upon failure...

(That is actually similar to a standard failover cluster in the enterprise world. There one uses one set of RAID storage connected via a redundant storage network [fibre channel, iscsi, fcoe, etc] with 2 or more hosts running cluster software. Complicated and EXPENSIVE!)

That's a much more expensive approach: purchasing the 2nd device, paying the additional receiver fee every month, developing and supporting a lot more software, etc. Movable RAID is a much cheaper solution.

#156 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 09:21 AM

While the eSATA function is not "supported", they do make changes at times to it. I'm still against it being supported. For many reasons. Mainly, because I like the idea that I can use any HDD I want to. I really don't want to be limited in my choices.


You're assuming that if it becomes "supported" that it will be changed in such a way as to disable anything other than the specific device they are "supporting".

I don't think that's likely. More likely they would support the device(s) they have blessed and the rest would remain as today - works but not supported.

#157 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 09:31 AM

OK, I'm counting the first six physical consecutive sectors on a typical Advanced Format drive....

0, 8, 16, 24, 32, 40, ....

Hmmm... I've only counted six sectors yet the number I need to use to access that sector (its LBA) is already at 40. I have to count by 8's. The number '8' comes from 4096/512. The hard drives physical sector size is 4k, but its logical sector size is still stuck at 512 bytes/sector. And the logical sector size is what the OS uses to access it. So the MBR limitation still exists.

That's why these drives are also called "512e". They emulate everything, good and bad, from the old style 512 bytes/sector drives.

I don't expect the emulation to go on forever. There's already "4k native" (4Kn) external USB drives. But it's going to be a while before they become popular because OSs are just starting to support them. For example, Windows 7 doesn't support it but Windows 7 SP1 does (which is why you need to slipstream SP1 into your bootable Windows 7 DVD).

I have no idea if the version of Linux in the HR34 supports 512e only or if it can do 4Kn. Does anyone know the model of the hard drive in it? Or you could plug in a 4Kn eSATA drive in and see if the HR34 can use it.

I'm talking about support of 4k drives not emulation.
Using MBR and increasing space by using same vector: 32 bits.
If you continue live in a past, then here is simple answer: 2.2 TB x 8 = 17.6 TB.
That is new limit for using old MBR. See my other post about _real_ partitioning of 3 TB EHD by dish.

#158 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 12:43 PM

Then you'll eat a crow ! Ready ?

I'm ready for some detailed factual information as opposed to your verbally confusing teases and hints.

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. -- JFK


#159 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 02:10 PM

GPT ? I don't remember if it was mentioned. For sure 4K drives could work with MBR just fine. As it done by dish for support big EHD drives.


Well you can trust me or you can try it yourself. You decide.
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#160 OFFLINE   TBoneit

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 07:58 AM

OK, I'm counting the first six physical consecutive sectors on a typical Advanced Format drive....

0, 8, 16, 24, 32, 40, ....

Hmmm... I've only counted six sectors yet the number I need to use to access that sector (its LBA) is already at 40. I have to count by 8's. The number '8' comes from 4096/512. The hard drives physical sector size is 4k, but its logical sector size is still stuck at 512 bytes/sector. And the logical sector size is what the OS uses to access it. So the MBR limitation still exists.

That's why these drives are also called "512e". They emulate everything, good and bad, from the old style 512 bytes/sector drives.

I don't expect the emulation to go on forever. There's already "4k native" (4Kn) external USB drives. But it's going to be a while before they become popular because OSs are just starting to support them. For example, Windows 7 doesn't support it but Windows 7 SP1 does (which is why you need to slipstream SP1 into your bootable Windows 7 DVD).

I have no idea if the version of Linux in the HR34 supports 512e only or if it can do 4Kn. Does anyone know the model of the hard drive in it? Or you could plug in a 4Kn eSATA drive in and see if the HR34 can use it.


I don't see why you would need to slipstream SP1, Who would use a 4Tb boot drive?
My computers boot Drives are 120Gb, 160Gb and 300Gb. All SSD The two laptops with the smaller drives, They are more than large enough. The Desktop has 2Tb data drives Since I use it to capture, convert and Author BluRay. And I use 2Tb USB3 drives to back up from the desktop for their speed.

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#161 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 09:08 AM

Oh, yeah. I forgot to note - WinXP Pro SP3 working fine with 4K sector size 3 TB drive in GoFlex enclosure.

#162 OFFLINE   JonW

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 09:09 AM

300GB was nice back when we were recording SD and that could hold 200+ hours, but if you record primarily HD, it fills up real fast. 3TB is actually a reasonable number for a HD DVR in my book.

Alas, another problem is that the DVRs weren't designed with that much space in mind. It's not surprising that an MRV'd DVR with a combined playlist is going to get sluggish when those playlists can hold 10x the data originally intended.

#163 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 09:27 AM

300GB was nice back when we were recording SD and that could hold 200+ hours, but if you record primarily HD, it fills up real fast. 3TB is actually a reasonable number for a HD DVR in my book.

Alas, another problem is that the DVRs weren't designed with that much space in mind. It's not surprising that an MRV'd DVR with a combined playlist is going to get sluggish when those playlists can hold 10x the data originally intended.


I wouldn't say that blindly (but I would be glad to see blueprints of FW) at least what I saw: they does employ DB approach for store and update EPG and system info ...

#164 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 11:13 AM

You're assuming that if it becomes "supported" that it will be changed in such a way as to disable anything other than the specific device they are "supporting".

I don't think that's likely. More likely they would support the device(s) they have blessed and the rest would remain as today - works but not supported.


I'm afraid of D* taking over the external function. They haven't "blessed" any HDDs or external devices. They made a mistake by suggesting the Seagate eSATA and were right about suggesting the WD device. Aside from that, they've been quiet. The Seagate bombed, by the way. I just hope they leave the choices of what we use to us and don't try to shove something we don't want down our throats.

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#165 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 11:21 AM

300GB was nice back when we were recording SD and that could hold 200+ hours, but if you record primarily HD, it fills up real fast. 3TB is actually a reasonable number for a HD DVR in my book.


For someone with one or two HRs, a 3TB drive would seem to be sufficient. But with many more HRs, 2TBs are more than sufficient. The drawback to the 3TB drives is losing the HR that recorded its content. Then it becomes a horror story.

Alas, another problem is that the DVRs weren't designed with that much space in mind. It's not surprising that an MRV'd DVR with a combined playlist is going to get sluggish when those playlists can hold 10x the data originally intended.


I've got a huge UPL and my 24-500s handle that UPL just fine. Obviously, I don't have 10 times the capacity of my eleven 2TB drives on the UPL, that would be a bit much.

Rich

#166 OFFLINE   bobcamp1

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 12:00 PM

Oh, yeah. I forgot to note - WinXP Pro SP3 working fine with 4K sector size 3 TB drive in GoFlex enclosure.


That's because XP supports 4k logical sectors for a *secondary* USB drive. Take the drive out of the enclosure and connect it directly to SATA and see what happens. My motherboard thinks a 3TB hard drive is only 800 GB (the capacity overflowed: 3 TB - 2.2 TB = 800 GB).

The drive inside the GoFlex enclosure has physical 512 bytes/sector, yet has 4k logical sectors in order to get around the MBR limit. That's a hardware modification -- you've added a special hard disk controller to get around the limit. How would D* put that inside millions of existing DVRs?

There are also other third-party drivers that let XP support GPT. But that hard drive can't contain the system partition, because that driver can't load until the kernel is loaded.

If people have tried it with an HR2x and it doesn't work, then the OS they have (or the chipset they have) doesn't support it. I don't think they're changing code just to add support to something that's not officially supported.

#167 OFFLINE   bobcamp1

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 12:14 PM

300GB was nice back when we were recording SD and that could hold 200+ hours, but if you record primarily HD, it fills up real fast. 3TB is actually a reasonable number for a HD DVR in my book.

Alas, another problem is that the DVRs weren't designed with that much space in mind. It's not surprising that an MRV'd DVR with a combined playlist is going to get sluggish when those playlists can hold 10x the data originally intended.


That happens with Tivos. When I increased the size of my Series 1's hard drive from 20 GB to 120 GB, and I had a lot of shows saved on it, it would take 8 seconds to bring up the playlist. Deleting a bunch of shows sped it right back up. Trick play was not affected. But that 54 MHz processor and 16 MB of RAM just couldn't process that gigantic database quickly. The same thing happens with the Series 4, but to a lesser extent.

#168 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 01:55 PM

300GB was nice back when we were recording SD and that could hold 200+ hours, but if you record primarily HD, it fills up real fast. 3TB is actually a reasonable number for a HD DVR in my book.

Alas, another problem is that the DVRs weren't designed with that much space in mind. It's not surprising that an MRV'd DVR with a combined playlist is going to get sluggish when those playlists can hold 10x the data originally intended.


My HR24 and my HR34 do not show any signs of speed changes based on the drive being empty or completely full, I've checked, they always work at the same speeds, and that's with 2tb drives. My hr21s slow down a little, which Leeds me to believe that they are just underpowered, since they are slow anyway, even compared to an HR20.

#169 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 01:57 PM

For someone with one or two HRs, a 3TB drive would seem to be sufficient. But with many more HRs, 2TBs are more than sufficient. The drawback to the 3TB drives is losing the HR that recorded its content. Then it becomes a horror story.

I've got a huge UPL and my 24-500s handle that UPL just fine. Obviously, I don't have 10 times the capacity of my eleven 2TB drives on the UPL, that would be a bit much.

Rich


I'd bet for 99% of DirecTV subs though, the only reason to have a 3tb drive would be because they have a lot of people recording different things with little overlap, so a failure would only cause everyone to lose a little bit of programing, and not everyone to lose 3tb worth of recordings.

#170 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 01:58 PM

That's because XP supports 4k logical sectors for a *secondary* USB drive. Take the drive out of the enclosure and connect it directly to SATA and see what happens. My motherboard thinks a 3TB hard drive is only 800 GB (the capacity overflowed: 3 TB - 2.2 TB = 800 GB).

The drive inside the GoFlex enclosure has physical 512 bytes/sector, yet has 4k logical sectors in order to get around the MBR limit. That's a hardware modification -- you've added a special hard disk controller to get around the limit. How would D* put that inside millions of existing DVRs?

There are also other third-party drivers that let XP support GPT. But that hard drive can't contain the system partition, because that driver can't load until the kernel is loaded.

If people have tried it with an HR2x and it doesn't work, then the OS they have (or the chipset they have) doesn't support it. I don't think they're changing code just to add support to something that's not officially supported.

You got it backwards:
'hdparm -I' knows that this is a native 4k disk:
       Model Number:       ST3000DM001-9YN166
       Logical  Sector size:                   512 bytes
       Physical Sector size:                  4096 bytes
       Logical Sector-0 offset:                  0 bytes
       device size with M = 1024*1024:     2861588 MBytes
       device size with M = 1000*1000:     3000592 MBytes (3000 GB)

Here is good reading about 4K sectors, emulation etc : http://www.seagate.c...ives-master-ti/

Edited by P Smith, 07 October 2012 - 04:41 PM.


#171 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 02:01 PM

This thread is funny. We have so many ideas, and DirecTV must just laugh all day long because all of our wants in this regard are probably shared by less than10k subs, making all these ideas of how to provide redundancy not worth the time to even consider for them, especially when a workaround exists, which I think rich is taking advantage of to its fullest. :)

#172 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 05:55 PM

This thread is funny. We have so many ideas, and DirecTV must just laugh all day long because all of our wants in this regard are probably shared by less than10k subs, making all these ideas of how to provide redundancy not worth the time to even consider for them, especially when a workaround exists, which I think rich is taking advantage of to its fullest. :)


About the same for OTA yet they have a product for that.

The problem is a catch-22. The "average consumer" doesn't have a clue about what might happen (many don't even backup their computers). And most won't ever see a hardware failure. But when someone gets hit, even more so now with a "Home Media Server" and likely pending storage increase, it's gonna hurt. Until they get hit they won't know to ask for solutions. And with no official product available to solve it they aren't alerted to the possibilities.

You can bet that nobody at DTV or a retailer is going to tell a customer what will happen if a DVR fails unless they are directly asked about it. They have nothing to "up sell" and they sure don't want to advertise their weaknesses.

Consider if just 1 company, cable, DISH, whatever, starts selling a more resilient device, even as an optional premium product. Then they will be explaining to consumers why they might want it. This will create demand for a product that doesn't currently (officially) exist. Because people like reliable products. Then all the sudden all the competitors will have to offer a more reliable product. Why be the follower? Try leading for a change.

The workaround is a PITA for most.

#173 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 06:19 PM

I'd bet for 99% of DirecTV subs though, the only reason to have a 3tb drive would be because they have a lot of people recording different things with little overlap, so a failure would only cause everyone to lose a little bit of programing, and not everyone to lose 3tb worth of recordings.


So the fact that everyone in my family has to share the pain is going to make it less?

Sure not the way my family works. I'd be the one getting the mob of "customer" complaints. They can lynch me. :lol:

This is no different than a home computer network. Our server has RAID storage too (and backups).

It's all a no-brainer. These are services that should be as reliable as anything else in the house. Would a similar failure rate be acceptable for a furnace, air conditioner, water heater, stove, refrigerator, freezer, microwave, ...? Those are all more reliable and to top it off one can get a service guy here with parts really quickly and when they are done it's back to full operation. May not even lose food. Lose a freezer full of food because of slow service and it's the same kind of $$ loss.

I know it's just TV. If I lost 2 months worth of a series where the story evolves each episode then I pretty much lost the whole season. Total value is comparable to a freezer full of food. With DTV I know that a failure means that I lose it all regardless of how fast the service.

#174 OFFLINE   bobcamp1

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 07:45 AM

You got it backwards:

'hdparm -I' knows that this is a native 4k disk:
       Model Number:       ST3000DM001-9YN166
       Logical  Sector size:                   512 bytes
       Physical Sector size:                  4096 bytes
       Logical Sector-0 offset:                  0 bytes
       device size with M = 1024*1024:     2861588 MBytes
       device size with M = 1000*1000:     3000592 MBytes (3000 GB)

Here is good reading about 4K sectors, emulation etc : http://www.seagate.c...ives-master-ti/


No, I'm (almost) right. I should have made it more clear that the controller is doing the emulation of the 4k logical sectors. The drive is definitely 512 bytes/sector. Do you have the 3 TB version of this drive?

http://www.everythin...rive-21441.html

Scroll down to "Breaking the 2TB Limit".

In theory, if such a device exists for eSATA instead of USB, then you might be able to use it. 4k logical sector support has been in Linux for quite a while. But the capacity rollover I described above (with my old motherboard) could still be an issue.

#175 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 09:31 AM

You're still not get it right. You just ignoring data what is posted; BTW, I got the data from MY OWN DRIVE.

Please read original SEAGATE docs, not the some user like you posts (if you will re-read his explanation again you could get grasp of 4k native size (and 512e for OS concept) properly) . And lets finish the off-topic posting.




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