Nail in XP’s Coffin #3: Goodbye New Hard Drive Support
- 2 Comment
I promise our readers, I am not some sort of Windows PR employee, being paid to tell you to upgrade to Windows 7. At this point, I really don’t care what you switch to, but yet another reason has come up to switch away from the elderly and frail XP. The BBC has reported that by 2011, modern hard drives will be incompatible with the sectoring scheme in Windows XP.
The issue is that until recently, all hard drives worked on the premise of 512 byte sectors, which are the smallest readable unit on a HDD. Now part of these sectors would be dedicated to overhead and simply wasted spaced. The 512 byte scheme was nice for a while, but due to a combination of factors including 64-bit computing and the fact it causes a maximum partition size of 2 TB, it is obvious we need to change them. So the International Disk Drive Equipment and Materials Association decided to use 4096 byte sectors as the new standard.
Now this won’t be a problem for many (but sadly not most) of us, as Windows 7, Vista, Mac OS X Tiger or newer, and modern Linux kernels (post-September 2009) already have support for the 4K drives. However, Windows XP uses the 512 byte pattern hard coded in certain places, so using the new hard drives with it could result in drastic write speed reduction. Solution: stop using a ten year old OS, because it is time to move on. Or just don’t ever change your hard drive. I’m sure it won’t ever fill up.