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how to get my drive to display 4096 for the "bytes per physical sector"

I just bought 2 new "advanced format" drives:
Model: HUS724020ALE640

The problem is, when I run: fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo c:\

The "bytes per physical sector" says: 512, but it should say 4096

How do I change this configuration?

Thanks, Dan
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Dan
Asked:
Dan
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4 Solutions
 
rfportillaCommented:
Why do you want to change it?  Is the drive coming up as the wrong size or something?
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DanNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
I have an HP MSA2312i SAN and that's how the SAN drives are configured.
In talking to symantec (my backup software), they are informing me that for the granular technology to work, it has to match the settings on my SAN, which it needs to say 4096.
So I bought these drives as advanced format specifically for that purpose.

Do I have to reformat them in a special way?
They are currently setup as raid 1.
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fatchad420Commented:
The issue may not be with the drive but with your machine. Have you applied the windows update allowing you to read an advanced format drive? If you have not, then it will read as 512 when in fact it is actually 4096.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/982018
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DanNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
I am using windows server 2012 R2, so I'm assuming that should read the advanced format drives just fine, right?
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rfportillaCommented:
The fact that the drive info is readable and, I'm assuming, reporting the size correctly means that the OS doesn't have an issue reading it.  I think the 512 is just a virtualization layer, but I don't know for sure.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
http://xtremeconsulting.com/blog/new-tool-advanced-format-drives/
Download and unpack this tool. Then in command line run the IsAdvancedFormatx64.exe and see its output.
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DanNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
I tried running that program, but I get the error:
"no IDE disk not found"

I have sata disks, in a raid 1 configuration.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
If this is a hardware RAID then the 512KB size you get is what the RAID controller emulates. To check the size set the drive in non-raid mode and run the tool. It will show you the actual sector size.
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DanNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
how do I set the drive in  non-raid mode?  I have never done that before.

In the controller, if I delete the raid, then I lose all my data, so I can't do that.
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rfportillaCommented:
I think this is going off topic here.  I'm not sure where the raid is configured or if.  Don't delete any raid.  

I don't think you can change this setting.  I did some reading on the following sites:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Format
http://www.hgst.com/tech/techlib.nsf/techdocs/FD3F376DC2ECCE68882579D40082C393/$file/US7K4000_ds.pdf
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2510009
http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH143704

I would recommend looking  at all of them and then calling Symantec back and pressing them for a supported solution.

All of the 4k drives available are AF w/512 emulation.  I think this consistent with what you are seeing and it can't be changed.  Therefore, if the Symantec product is going to work, they will have to give you a supportable solution.  

Someone else may have different info, but this what I am seeing.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
You do not need to delete the RAID. You can simply take the drive, slave it to another machine and run there check. RAID1 is designed for the purpose that if one drive of the pair fails the other one continues working.
But I have re-read you comments and have a question. Are you sure that Symantec was referring to physical sector size of the drive and not to the cluster size of the file system on your SAN?
Because the file system can be formatted with 4096 sectors per cluster. The bigger the cluster size is the more effective the data storing works. Just confirm with them this point.
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andyalderCommented:
Thee disks are in an iSCSI SAN, you can't change the format that the SAN exports the logical disk to Windows. You cannot disable RAID since the drives have to go through the MSA's controllers.

HP MSA2000 doesn't support the drives you have bought although it may work with them. You'll never be able to do maintenance tasks with unsupported disks such as upgrade the firmware because HP won't provide firmware files that are compatible with them and Fujitsu's firmware files are unlikely to be accepted by the MSA although Dot Hill who make it may have a way.
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DanNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
Perhaps I wasn't clear in my question.
1.  I have a physical backup server, a dell 1950, that is my backup exec server, the drives say they are advanced format drives, but when running the ntutil command, it only displays 512.

2. Then I have my SAN, and then on my exchange server, when I run hte ntutil command, it says 4096 for the bytes per physical cluster size.

How do I get the drives on my DELL server to also display 4096 for the bytes per physical cluster size?
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rfportillaCommented:
I know this is frustrating at this point.  Can you dump the entirety of what the fsutil command returns?  

Here is a site that might have some useful info.  There is a script that can tell you if your disks are properly aligned.  
http://www.rmprepusb.com/tutorials/4k_hdd

I'll see if I can find anything else.  

I'm very surprised that Symantec isn't more helpful.  

If all else fails, maybe creating a vhdx file will work.  I think they support 4k emulation from what I understand.  I don't have a Win8 machine right now to test.  (might be a stupid idea)
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DanNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
I've tried creating a vhdx file and it still failed, with the same error message.

I attached a screenshot as you requested.fsutilfsutil.png
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
1.  I have a physical backup server, a dell 1950, that is my backup exec server, the drives say they are advanced format drives, but when running the ntutil command, it only displays 512.
Are these drives in RAID or are they standalone?
Can you take one drive as standalone and check what does the test tool return on it? 512 or 4096?
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DanNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
They both are in a hardware raid.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Then it is RAID controller which gives to upper level the 512kb.
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DanNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
So are you saying that with RAID, the drives will never be able to be used as advanced format?
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andyalderCommented:
The formats the controller supports on the back end physical disk side ore completely different than those it presents as logical disks to your OS on the front end. Where exactly do you want to see something special and why?
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
With this specific RAID controller - yes. Maybe try to use some newer RAID controller with 4k support?
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DanNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
In windows, when I run the fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo c:\ command, I need the bytes per physical sector to read 4096.

noxcho, any recomendations that will work with my server? My dell 1950 is like 5 or 6 years old, so I think the ports are just PCie ports, not sure exactly the speed.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Try first to update the firmware of your RAID controller. Maybe it is already supported in new firmware.
For example Intel did it via update: http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/server/sb/CS-032676.htm
Another option is to contact the vendor whom you got the hardware from and ask him if there is any chance to get the support of 4k on current RAID controller.
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rfportillaCommented:
PE 1950?  Are you using a PERC 6?  If so, that may be a factor.  This is an older card.  I have one and it's a pain in the (_,_).   Support for newer drives is going to be limited at best.  

I'm hoping someone else is going to have something more useful.  (::fingers crossed::)
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DanNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
I don't know what the controller is, I think it's a perc 5 actually.

So it would be best if I just buy a new raid controller is what I'm hearing, but my question is, the one in the server is built in to the board, so how would I attach the cables from a new controller to my drives?
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Do you have there a PCI port? Normally the RAID controller has the SATA ports for the drives.
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DanNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
The problem is, I have 2 tape drives, and they both are using the PCI ports that the server has.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Oops. What about buying new server then with the RAID controller that does support such drives?
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rfportillaCommented:
The perc 5i isn't technically "built in" as much as it is a daughter card.  Even still, the only upgrade would be a perc 6i and that would not help your situation.  

I don't know if anyone else has another solution for you, but you may be stuck without that feature on this server.  If Symantec doesn't have a way around it, I haven't found any way to fool the OS, there is no simple upgrade scenario: I don't know what else to try.
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andyalderCommented:
Perhaps creating a VHDX using HyperV or the MS iSCSI target could make the 512 byte sector logical drive that the RAID controller presents to the OS appear to be 4K sectored when presented to Backup Exec.
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DanNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
I have tried that as well, I created a .vhdx file and mounted the file and set that as the staging location and it still fails.
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andyalderCommented:
Hmm, using VHDX changes the bytes per physical sector to 4K but not the bytes per sector which stays as 512b

E: is a VHDX on C:
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DanNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
Thanks everyone, looks like I have to buy a new server that support advanced format with the built in raid card.  I'm already using both of the PCIe slots now, so I can't add a 3rd card.
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rfportillaCommented:
Thanks and good luck..
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