You may already realize this but, at least for now, all HDDs on the 
market with 4k physical sector size still report and work with 512b 
sector sizes.
Some also report extended attributes that let aware OSs know they have 
4k physical sector sizes.

Thus, they ARE backwards compatible, and the price for that is that if 
you aren't able to realize they are 4k underneath then you may get 
slower performance (5%-10%) on certain operations that "needlessly" 
cross physical sector boundaries.

And yes, you can use multiple logical 512b sectors within the physical 
4k sector for different files, so you aren't wasting space on files <4k.

Out of curiosity, what are folks generating that would make lots of 
small files? 4k is only 512 one-byte characters. Add a little metadata 
and you've not got a lot of information to work with there that would 
keep you far enough under 4k to showing meaningful waste.

My response to this post is 963 bytes worth of characters for example.

On 4/11/11 6:44 AM, Jack wrote:
> Might be simpler just to KEEP 512-byte sectors, as I am almost certain
> they could, IF their firmware-engineers were told to do so in "new" 4K
> sector disks.   Might also save them a lot of LOST business, for I bet
> a "4K and ONLY 4K" decision may cost them a lot of Windows/Linus users
> as well, not merely those of us who still use and like DOS.

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