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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got a brand new 4TB external drive from Hitachi and it was initialised and preformatted with NTFS, and i only needed to assign letter. It was ready to go. But there's a lot talk of drives with more than 2TB storage needing GTP to function correctly, so i went on the rives properties on the device manager, populated the drive and it listed MBR being used. Will that result in any issues on the future? I needed to make sure it is setup correctly before i start filling it up.
 

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You can convert MBR to GPT at any time, so I wouldn't worry before you run into problems. If you decide to use it as a boot drive some day, you should probably convert it to GPT, and make an EFI partition at the start of the drive that's about 500MB to future proof the drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
no it is just for data, i'm booting of an SSD, and never plan on booting from large drives. So you say MBR should be fine? Cause i used to hear people barking about converting drives that are more than 2TB to GPT. I know i can do it anytime, but since there's data loss happening on the conversion, i would need to move the data elsewhere and then move them back when conversion is complete and that's a lengthy process.

So if there's no booting to be performed is there no reason to consider GPT partition, now that the drive is fresh, and i still have the opportunity to turn it with as less fuss as possible?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by therock003 View Post

no it is just for data, i'm booting of an SSD, and never plan on booting from large drives. So you say MBR should be fine? Cause i used to hear people barking about converting drives that are more than 2TB to GPT. I know i can do it anytime, but since there's data loss happening on the conversion, i would need to move the data elsewhere and then move them back when conversion is complete and that's a lengthy process.

So if there's no booting to be performed is there no reason to consider GPT partition, now that the drive is fresh, and i still have the opportunity to turn it with as less fuss as possible?
If formatting a new drive I would use GPT just for forward compatibility, but if your already using it then no, there is no real reason to switch. as said above, you can also convert it later, not without fuss but with out too much of a problem.
 

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Just pay attention that it's aligned. If the partitions aren't aligned you will experience some performance regressions
 

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MBR = smaller than 2TB partitions, up to 4 main partitions max

GPT = larger than 2TB partitions, up to 128 main partitions max
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So for one GPT offers more partitions, although I'm not a partitions kind of guy, especially on data drives. But i don't think MBR offers 2TB as maximum partition size. Where is everybody getting this information. I read on an article it can go up to 4, and my external drive proves that to be correct. Any other possible benefits for GPT comes to mind, to anyone who has used it?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by therock003 View Post

So for one GPT offers more partitions, although I'm not a partitions kind of guy, especially on data drives. But i don't think MBR offers 2TB as maximum partition size. Where is everybody getting this information. I read on an article it can go up to 4, and my external drive proves that to be correct. Any other possible benefits for GPT comes to mind, to anyone who has used it?
I'm using it. again, the 2TB limit is only if you wish to boot off it. otherwise, your fine. the partitions is the biggest real advantage.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by therock003 View Post

So for one GPT offers more partitions, although I'm not a partitions kind of guy, especially on data drives. But i don't think MBR offers 2TB as maximum partition size. Where is everybody getting this information. I read on an article it can go up to 4, and my external drive proves that to be correct. Any other possible benefits for GPT comes to mind, to anyone who has used it?
With 512 byte sector and 512 byte emulation a MBR drive has a 2.2TB partition size limit.

With a 4096 byte advanced format drive you can have up to a 16TB partition size.

If your drive is detected as 4096 byte sector then you should be able to have a 4TB partition with MBR. If it is not then you have to use GPT to have a 4TB partition.

More info on GPT: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_Partition_Table

Also, "Importantly, it also contains a CRC32 checksum for itself and for the partition table, which may be verified by the firmware, bootloader and/or operating system on boot. "

Thus a little better data integrity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

With 512 byte sector and 512 byte emulation a MBR drive has a 2.2TB partition size limit.

With a 4096 byte advanced format drive you can have up to a 16TB partition size.

If your drive is detected as 4096 byte sector then you should be able to have a 4TB partition with MBR. If it is not then you have to use GPT to have a 4TB partition.

More info on GPT: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_Partition_Table

Also, "Importantly, it also contains a CRC32 checksum for itself and for the partition table, which may be verified by the firmware, bootloader and/or operating system on boot. "

Thus a little better data integrity.
are you reffering to file allocation? The minimum size a file should have when written on the disk? Isnt 4k the default though? And for data drives that files are huge, i dont think you need less than that. Small allocation sizes should be for OS that uses lots of files, and some of them maybe smaller than 4k, so they should occupy less space.

What's "4096 byte advanced"?

I'll only have to do some final reasearch on the crc function, and if i dont see it as something extremely usefull, i'll just leave my drive on MBR and switch to GPT when more than 4TB drives come out.

One last question. MBR Partition have like 180MB for partition information. (When you format a drive you'll notice that although it is completely empty, no system or hidden files, it will still have like 150+Mb used which AFAIK are the partition information. Does GPT use less than that, or help with pagefiles, or other such hidden reserved system information?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by therock003 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

With 512 byte sector and 512 byte emulation a MBR drive has a 2.2TB partition size limit.

With a 4096 byte advanced format drive you can have up to a 16TB partition size.

If your drive is detected as 4096 byte sector then you should be able to have a 4TB partition with MBR. If it is not then you have to use GPT to have a 4TB partition.

More info on GPT: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_Partition_Table

Also, "Importantly, it also contains a CRC32 checksum for itself and for the partition table, which may be verified by the firmware, bootloader and/or operating system on boot. "

Thus a little better data integrity.
are you reffering to file allocation? The minimum size a file should have when written on the disk? Isnt 4k the default though? And for data drives that files are huge, i dont think you need less than that. Small allocation sizes should be for OS that uses lots of files, and some of them maybe smaller than 4k, so they should occupy less space.
no, i am talking about the actual disk's sector capacity size. not the file systems allocation size.
Quote:
What's "4096 byte advanced"?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Format
Quote:
I'll only have to do some final reasearch on the crc function, and if i dont see it as something extremely usefull, i'll just leave my drive on MBR and switch to GPT when more than 4TB drives come out.

One last question. MBR Partition have like 180MB for partition information. (When you format a drive you'll notice that although it is completely empty, no system or hidden files, it will still have like 150+Mb used which AFAIK are the partition information. Does GPT use less than that, or help with pagefiles, or other such hidden reserved system information?
yes, it does have that space used up varying on size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
MAn i had not even heard of that. I run "Fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo x:" mentioned here and it is indeed 4k native, that's why i can get a full 4TB partition on MBR right? So if it was 512 it would split into 2.2 + the rest? Did i understand you correct that advanced format (512 emulation) allows for 4TB partitions as well? Are there many of them around or most them are either 512 or 4k native?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

MBR = smaller than 2TB partitions, up to 4 main partitions max

GPT = larger than 2TB partitions, up to 128 main partitions max
Technically it's a sector count limit.

Those Hitachi externals use native 4K sectors (rather than 512b), so their limit is 8x higher than the regular 2.2TB limit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by therock003 View Post

MAn i had not even heard of that. I run "Fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo x:" mentioned here and it is indeed 4k native, that's why i can get a full 4TB partition on MBR right?
Correct.
Quote:
Originally Posted by therock003 View Post

So if it was 512 it would split into 2.2 + the rest? Did i understand you correct that advanced format (512 emulation) allows for 4TB partitions as well?
Only under GPT.
Quote:
Originally Posted by therock003 View Post

Are there many of them around or most them are either 512 or 4k native?
So far only large Hitachi externals seem to be 4K native.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kramy View Post

Only under GPT.
So if both 512 and 512e only support 4TB on GPT what are the benefits of advanced format? I thought it was that it could emulate 4k and not need GPT for large parititons.

Anyway i got some Seagate 3TB today, so if Hitachi re the only ones that support 4K native so far, i guess i will definitely need to use GPT on those ones. Havent unboxed them yet, so i will now for sure at a later time.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by therock003 View Post

So if both 512 and 512e only support 4TB on GPT what are the benefits of advanced format? I thought it was that it could emulate 4k and not need GPT for large parititons.
Everything is moving towards 4K as a sector size, but it may take years to get there. I suppose the benefit is, everything will be standardized, which means everything will be pretty simple. Allocating memory? Increments of 4K. Cluster size? 4K. Sector size? 4K. Smallest amount of NAND that can be written in one write? 4K.
biggrin.gif


Right now certain drives have firmware work-arounds and stuff to deal with alignment problems - that's all extra code, which has to run on the drive's limited onboard controller. Scrap that code and overhead drops a little.
Quote:
Originally Posted by therock003 View Post

Anyway i got some Seagate 3TB today, so if Hitachi re the only ones that support 4K native so far, i guess i will definitely need to use GPT on those ones. Havent unboxed them yet, so i will now for sure at a later time.
I believe the Hitachis are the only 4K native ones, but things are changing every day, so I can't say that for certain.

Yes, you'll have to use GPT on the Seagates.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kramy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by therock003 View Post

So if both 512 and 512e only support 4TB on GPT what are the benefits of advanced format? I thought it was that it could emulate 4k and not need GPT for large parititons.
Everything is moving towards 4K as a sector size, but it may take years to get there. I suppose the benefit is, everything will be standardized, which means everything will be pretty simple. Allocating memory? Increments of 4K. Cluster size? 4K. Sector size? 4K. Smallest amount of NAND that can be written in one write? 4K.
biggrin.gif


Right now certain drives have firmware work-arounds and stuff to deal with alignment problems - that's all extra code, which has to run on the drive's limited onboard controller. Scrap that code and overhead drops a little.
Quote:
Originally Posted by therock003 View Post

Anyway i got some Seagate 3TB today, so if Hitachi re the only ones that support 4K native so far, i guess i will definitely need to use GPT on those ones. Havent unboxed them yet, so i will now for sure at a later time.
I believe the Hitachis are the only 4K native ones, but things are changing every day, so I can't say that for certain.

Yes, you'll have to use GPT on the Seagates.
unrelated question... I think I'm using 512 byte sectors on my hard drive (GPT) now. the hard drive is a Seagate ST1000DM003. I understand you say above the hitchis are the only 4k native, but does my hard drive support 4k, and if so what are the end advantages of doing so? is it faster or anything?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrl1357 View Post

unrelated question... I think I'm using 512 byte sectors on my hard drive (GPT) now. the hard drive is a Seagate ST1000DM003. I understand you say above the hitchis are the only 4k native, but does my hard drive support 4k, and if so what are the end advantages of doing so? is it faster or anything?
If I remember correctly those Seagates use 4K sectors, report 512b, and then have programming in their firmware that detects misalignment and adjusts for it.

GPT or MBR should make no difference to it. If you had a 3TB model you'd have to go GPT.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kramy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrl1357 View Post

unrelated question... I think I'm using 512 byte sectors on my hard drive (GPT) now. the hard drive is a Seagate ST1000DM003. I understand you say above the hitchis are the only 4k native, but does my hard drive support 4k, and if so what are the end advantages of doing so? is it faster or anything?
If I remember correctly those Seagates use 4K sectors, report 512b, and then have programming in their firmware that detects misalignment and adjusts for it.

GPT or MBR should make no difference to it. If you had a 3TB model you'd have to go GPT.
wow, great, thanks. +rep
 
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