Dec 05

BIOS’es hang on 4K sector HDD

One would think that whatever we put on the hard drive - the BIOS should start and let us configure the system parameters. WRONG. With the new "Advanced Format" (the name (c)WDC) 4096 bytes sector technology it's no longer the truth. I tried two mobos (desktop dg33tl & a server one) with what one would name "properly aligned partitions" on WD20EARS - both ceased on booting, even entering the BIOS menu was impossible.

On one hand we want properly aligned partitions on our new tech drives: the write speed penalty for not doing so might be severe. It was 2 times slower in the quick tests I ran. IBM folks report up to 10 times worse writing performance in such case for certain conditions.
On the other hand the machine must boot, right?

A small investigation I conducted showed that the BIOS'es went wonky Continue reading