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[SOLVED] WD EARS drive Linux support?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Solution:
http://www.sfnomad.com/?p=68
http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/li...KB-Disksdth-LX
http://www.formortals.com/how-to-cre...-xp-and-linux/

Original Post:
Ok, I know these drives are "technically" supposed to work under linux, but does anyone here have one and can verify it working as of kernel 2.6.34?

I'm running Fedora 13 (kernel 2.6.34), but I've been reading around and even though WD says that Linux should fully support these drives as of kernel 2.6.31 (http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5655), it seems there are still quite a few people that are having issues with Linux correctly detecting the new 4k sector size. (http://community.wdc.com/t5/Desktop/...highlight/true)

I know the posts in that thread are from last year, but the OP there was running 2.6.31, which WD says supports the 4k sector size, and his wasn't working. Granted, there is a solution shown, but I just like making sure prior to buying something.

I'm wanting to get a 2TB (WD20EARS) or 1.5TB (WD15EARS) to run in an external eSATA dock for backups, formated in ext4 and run only on Linux. I just want to make sure they will work before I drop $80+ on them.

So, any good news guys? Anyone out there that has one, and has had luck with Linux?

Thanks.

~PseudoPsyche
Edited by 31337 - 3/29/11 at 3:40pm
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post #2 of 8
I have used one of these drives under linux. I don't know what kernel I was using at the time, but it was a up to date Ubuntu system, about a month ago.

Anyway I did not detect it as a 4k sectors drive automatically. However, its not really linux's fault, as the drive intentionally lies and reports 512k sectors in order to be backwards compatible. Linux just handles the drive as the drive instructs it to.

However, you can fix this. All you need to do is create and align your partitions manually. Here are a couple articles that I found useful for doing this:
http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/li...KB-Disksdth-LX
and
http://www.formortals.com/how-to-cre...-xp-and-linux/

The drive I used as the 2TB WD20EARS.

Let me know if you have any questions.
Edited by Xazen - 3/29/11 at 12:00pm
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post #3 of 8
Just out of curiosity, what does the 4K sector size do? What's the advantage over the standard sector size?
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post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raptor_Jesus View Post
Just out of curiosity, what does the 4K sector size do? What's the advantage over the standard sector size?
I would say most importantly it makes better use of the raw storage space of the drive. 512k sectors made more sense with older/smaller media but not so much anymore. There are also some advantages to have sectors size map to common allocations sizes (for ex NTFS commonly uses 4k) and memory pages are often 4k in size.

There are a lot more technical reasons, this is a good article if you are interested:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/2888
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post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raptor_Jesus View Post
Just out of curiosity, what does the 4K sector size do? What's the advantage over the standard sector size?
It improves ECC efficiency and makes it easier to design >2TB drives.
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post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xazen View Post
I have used one of these drives under linux. I don't know what kernel I was using at the time, but it was a up to date Ubuntu system, about a month ago.

Anyway I did not detect it as a 4k sectors drive automatically. However, its not really linux's fault, as the drive intentionally lies and reports 512k sectors in order to be backwards compatible. Linux just handles the drive as the drive instructs it to.

However, you can fix this. All you need to do is create and align your partitions manually. Here are a couple articles that I found useful for doing this:
http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/li...KB-Disksdth-LX
and
http://www.formortals.com/how-to-cre...-xp-and-linux/

The drive I used as the 2TB WD20EARS.

Let me know if you have any questions.
So this method worked fine for you? No other problems/issues?
Since this would be my primary backup drive, I want to make sure it will be reliable.

Also, on the site you linked me to, he updated his article at the end with a link here: http://www.sfnomad.com/?p=68
Apparently that way involves less advanced fdisk commands.

Ok, so if I'm reading these right, I just use fdisk to set it up for 4k and use fdisk to partition it and all will be good?

Thanks!
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post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by 31337 View Post
So this method worked fine for you? No other problems/issues?
Since this would be my primary backup drive, I want to make sure it will be reliable.

Also, on the site you linked me to, he updated his article at the end with a link here: http://www.sfnomad.com/?p=68
Apparently that way involves less advanced fdisk commands.

Ok, so if I'm reading these right, I just use fdisk to set it up for 4k and use fdisk to partition it and all will be good?

Thanks!
Its a friends drive but I helped him set it up. But no, there have not been any problem with it and he uses it pretty extensively.

The fdisk command in the link you provided should work too.

Yep, thats pretty much it. You just have to use fdisk to align and create the partitions. After that you should be good.
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xazen View Post
Its a friends drive but I helped him set it up. But no, there have not been any problem with it and he uses it pretty extensively.

The fdisk command in the link you provided should work too.

Yep, thats pretty much it. You just have to use fdisk to align and create the partitions. After that you should be good.
Alright, thanks! +Rep!

Also, I'll add the links to my first post so it's easier for others to find.
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