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Setting up a Western Digital EARS (4kb) HDD
05-04-2010, 08:44 AM
Post: #61
RE: Setting up a Western Digital EARS (4kb) HDD
(05-01-2010 04:56 PM)nuke12 Wrote:  No, that URL is again showing the MBR and partition table. Both are kept in absolute sector 0 on every drive and as I said, they do not contain the disk geometry. Besides all that, Linux does not use the CHS values. It only uses the LBA numbers from the table.

Again, as I stated in the other post, I captured screen shots of the partition table, as I did this. I even zeroed out the drive before starting, so nothing was left over from past usage.

(05-01-2010 02:39 PM)narra Wrote:  And to break down the CHS, look here:

http://thestarman.pcministry.com/asm/mbr...m#Decoding
I know all that. Actually, you can download a small utility called "ptcalc" and it will translate between LBA <-> CHS.

(05-01-2010 02:39 PM)narra Wrote:  But anyway, did you look at the starts for the other partitions the PCH made? Are 128 heads and 32 sectors good to get all partitions aligned?

I did the math on everything. Every start partition, the PCH created (using the sector values), was evenly divisible by eight. So yes, they were all correct. I used an A-110 but it should still work on the A/C-200.

Anyway, nothing I've seen at this point, explains why this works. I've even started looking at the source code for fdisk. It does do something though. When I created the fake partition, it had one geometry for the drive but after the PCH did it's thing, fdisk was using a different geometry.

NUKE12: Looking at fdisk's sources is waste of time. It's kernel's feature :-)
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05-04-2010, 01:23 PM
Post: #62
RE: Setting up a Western Digital EARS (4kb) HDD
Some of the problems I have is that a movie stops after an hour and this could be due to the WDEARS problem. My plan is to align with the WD align software for windows:

http://support.wdc.com/product/downloadsw.asp?sid=128

Any of you used this?

ps: I also put the HDD directly in the popcorn and it seemed to work apart from the fact that movies stop aften an hour and it sometimes disconnects ;-).

C200 | WD 3.5" 1,5 TB HD (WD15EARS) | LG Bluray (CH08LS) | Samsung UN40B6000 (HDMI)
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05-04-2010, 02:04 PM
Post: #63
RE: Setting up a Western Digital EARS (4kb) HDD
(05-04-2010 08:44 AM)UbU Wrote:  NUKE12: Looking at fdisk's sources is waste of time. It's kernel's feature :-)

You have to start somewhere and the kernel source is huge. Looking at fdisk's source tells me what kernel calls it's making and some ideas of where to look in the kernel.

Everything I read says the kernel only uses LBA numbers but I'm not fully convinced of that, at this point.

As an example of this, using the drive I played with. I zeroed out the drive before doing anything. There would not have been a partition table on the drive. Upon starting fdisk, it reported a geometry of 255 H, 63 S, 256 Cyl = 4,112,640 Sectors. The actual drive reports (using hdparm) a geometry of 16 H, 63 S, 4092 Cyl = 4,124,736 Sectors. The physical size of the drive is pretty much the same, using both sets of numbers but where did fdisk get it's numbers from? The kernel when it boots, reports 4,124,736 Sectors, the same as the drive. So why in heck is fdisk using a translated geometry, if the kernel is it's source of information?

I haven't played much, with this stuff, as far as Linux goes. Never had too many problems with Linux. Hacked that damn partition table on a number of occasions, to get drives to work in Windows machines.

C-200, A-110 both playing from a DIY Linux Raid 5 server.

Remuxes, Captures and Transcodes done on a desktop running;
Win7, Intel i7 hexacore processor with 24 GB ram, WD VR OS drive and a WD Black 2 TB data drive.
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05-04-2010, 02:19 PM (This post was last modified: 05-04-2010 02:35 PM by UbU.)
Post: #64
RE: Setting up a Western Digital EARS (4kb) HDD
(05-04-2010 02:04 PM)nuke12 Wrote:  You have to start somewhere and the kernel source is huge. Looking at fdisk's source tells me what kernel calls it's making and some ideas of where to look in the kernel.

Everything I read says the kernel only uses LBA numbers but I'm not fully convinced of that, at this point.

As an example of this, using the drive I played with. I zeroed out the drive before doing anything. There would not have been a partition table on the drive. Upon starting fdisk, it reported a geometry of 255 H, 63 S, 256 Cyl = 4,112,640 Sectors. The actual drive reports (using hdparm) a geometry of 16 H, 63 S, 4092 Cyl = 4,124,736 Sectors. The physical size of the drive is pretty much the same, using both sets of numbers but where did fdisk get it's numbers from? The kernel when it boots, reports 4,124,736 Sectors, the same as the drive. So why in heck is fdisk using a translated geometry, if the kernel is it's source of information?

I haven't played much, with this stuff, as far as Linux goes. Never had too many problems with Linux. Hacked that damn partition table on a number of occasions, to get drives to work in Windows machines.

I've got no idea what's going on, when you use new disk.
All I know is, that kernel reads disk parameters (CHS) from existing partition (if any) and than reports them to fdisk.
Look for code responsible for recognition of FAT/geometry of HDD.

UPDATE
Maybe you'll find some answers here:
http://www.win.tue.nl/~aeb/linux/Large-Disk.html
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05-07-2010, 03:20 PM
Post: #65
RE: Setting up a Western Digital EARS (4kb) HDD
New owner of C-200 here, had 1TB EARS drive prior to C-200 so used this drive in the C-200 unbeknowns the issue this model has as described here. Of note was how much heat this drive made, so much so I thought it was time to install a case fan to keep the heat at bay.

Decided to change to Samsung 2TB F3EG and the difference in temps is immense, unbelievable really, no fan needed now. The heat alone worries me using the EARS drive on the C-200.
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05-10-2010, 08:12 AM
Post: #66
RE: Setting up a Western Digital EARS (4kb) HDD
(05-07-2010 03:20 PM)sneaky Wrote:  New owner of C-200 here, had 1TB EARS drive prior to C-200 so used this drive in the C-200 unbeknowns the issue this model has as described here. Of note was how much heat this drive made, so much so I thought it was time to install a case fan to keep the heat at bay.

Decided to change to Samsung 2TB F3EG and the difference in temps is immense, unbelievable really, no fan needed now. The heat alone worries me using the EARS drive on the C-200.

The Samsung HDD runs at 5400rpm whereas the WD runs at 7200rpm. That makes for higher temps on the WD, however also a big fan of Samsung HDD's and have the 5400rpm HDD's in my NAs and NMT's.

A400: SD Card(Apps), HDMI C200: USB(Apps), BD ROM (SH-B083L(SB01)), HDMI
CAT6 Wired Network: TV Panasonic TX-P42G20, HP ProCurve 1400-8G, Netgear GS-608/605, Synology CS407
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05-10-2010, 08:16 AM (This post was last modified: 05-10-2010 08:42 AM by FLaSH.)
Post: #67
RE: Setting up a Western Digital EARS (4kb) HDD
(05-10-2010 08:12 AM)chris57 Wrote:  The Samsung HDD runs at 5400rpm whereas the WD runs at 7200rpm.

I would say that the WD EARS (WD10/15 or 20 EARS) runs at 5400rpm.
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/wd-4k-sect...819-2.html

And about the temperature: http://media.bestofmicro.com/,U-R-238275-3.png Wink

C-200, A-410
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05-10-2010, 08:44 AM
Post: #68
RE: Setting up a Western Digital EARS (4kb) HDD
Red = HOT in my bookBig GrinBig Grin

HDD brands seem to be a bit like football teams. You'll get someone swearing by WD and the next swearing by Samsung. Very few nowadays swear by Seagate, but that's another story.

Look for a 5400rpm HDD for your media player as there is no need for 7200rpm. Yes the EARS model is 5400rpm but with this issue I would stay clear untyil the long terms effects are known.

A400: SD Card(Apps), HDMI C200: USB(Apps), BD ROM (SH-B083L(SB01)), HDMI
CAT6 Wired Network: TV Panasonic TX-P42G20, HP ProCurve 1400-8G, Netgear GS-608/605, Synology CS407
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05-10-2010, 08:54 AM
Post: #69
RE: Setting up a Western Digital EARS (4kb) HDD
My 2TB EARS:

Currently no issues running.

I dont stream; all movies are on my internal HDD.. so cant say anything about that

Currently runs hot, but from pplz other opinions, not much hotter than most HDD's do.

When i start watching some crazy effects movies and lots in a row illl see if it jams,

But one week down and no issues.
I formatted in EXT3, then use gparted to changed heads and sectors RE the Opening post info.
Use EXTafd (watever its called) to usb it to my pc to update Smile
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05-10-2010, 01:32 PM (This post was last modified: 05-10-2010 01:38 PM by sneaky.)
Post: #70
RE: Setting up a Western Digital EARS (4kb) HDD
(05-10-2010 08:16 AM)FLaSH Wrote:  I would say that the WD EARS (WD10/15 or 20 EARS) runs at 5400rpm.
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/wd-4k-sect...819-2.html

And about the temperature: http://media.bestofmicro.com/,U-R-238275-3.png Wink


My fingers don't have a temperature reading but the EARS was running way hotter than the Samsung in the C200. Mind you the EARS is now in a Win7 box and is much cooler to the touch and no doubt much happier being in there. The Samsung I am still very impressed with, runs cool and silent, perfect for c-200 application.

http://www.tomshardware.com/it/charts/3....,1015.html - 36c plays 37c bees dick in it really.
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05-18-2010, 04:15 PM
Post: #71
RE: Setting up a Western Digital EARS (4kb) HDD
Hi all,
first of all, thank you for an amazing thread!
lots of work went into this one...

i have a WD 20 EARS installed in my NMT, as jasch said, i took it from the box straight into the NMT.
no problems for about 3 months...
i mostly play backups of blu-rays, (1080p with HD audio, about 20GB+ in m2ts file) and smooth as silk.
until about a week ago...
every time i tried to copy a file via network - the device would freeze...
new FW came out and i upgraded to it, but NMT apps will not upgrade. keep getting "Source is invalid" or simply freezes during installation...

i am wondering a few things:
1. does this make sense? for the HDD to work fine for a while and then "die" on me?
2. did anyone actually use the WD alignment software?
http://support.wdc.com/product/downloadsw.asp?sid=123
3. i started copying my movies off the HDD but it's so slow i think i'll give up and mux them all over again, but the question is - will it do me any good?
will the HDD after re-alignment or will i have the same issues?

thanks!
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05-18-2010, 04:58 PM
Post: #72
RE: Setting up a Western Digital EARS (4kb) HDD
@Meni;

Hard to say in your case. The normal problems this causes, are slowness and heat. Your problem could, be just something going wrong with the drive?

1) Not really but if you never aligned the drive from the beginning, you probably had issues you were not aware of.
2) I think with a Ext3 filesystem, it only tells you the partitions are not correct. It's designed for Windows and NTFS filesystems, if it's to fix anything. If you do try to use it, make sure the jumper is not installed on the drive.
3) Have no idea. I would do whatever your plans are for file recovery and then run full diagnostics on the drive in a PC. Partition the drive under Vista or Win7, run the NMT apps install again and test slowly to see if it acts ok.

** full diagnostics = you want to do the destructive write test of the drive. It will destroy any data/filesystems/partitions on the drive.

C-200, A-110 both playing from a DIY Linux Raid 5 server.

Remuxes, Captures and Transcodes done on a desktop running;
Win7, Intel i7 hexacore processor with 24 GB ram, WD VR OS drive and a WD Black 2 TB data drive.
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05-18-2010, 11:55 PM
Post: #73
RE: Setting up a Western Digital EARS (4kb) HDD
Nuke12,
it does sound strange.
i think i'll simply go to the store and replace the HDD, just to be on the safe side.
recovering my media of this drive is taking foooorrrrreeeeeeevvvvvvver and i really dont want to do it again.

i dont have vista or win7, would it be ok to follow the instructions in this thread and use gparted or the wd allign?
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05-19-2010, 12:41 AM
Post: #74
RE: Setting up a Western Digital EARS (4kb) HDD
1. You'll need a gparted Live CD. Load up gparted. Use the GUI to find your HDD (really want to make sure you're working with the right drive!!). Right-click the drive and click "information" so we're sure you're on an "msdos" partition table and not anything else. Should say "msdos".

When i click on info it just says unallocated, should i create a partition before following your instructions?

Click new, then create as primary partition, filesystem ext2? Thats what is there by default
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05-19-2010, 01:28 AM
Post: #75
RE: Setting up a Western Digital EARS (4kb) HDD
A very good article on 4k drives
in a nut shell running a drive unaligned can have up to 30% performance loss

Linux on 4KB-sector disks: Practical advice

All advice is supplied packaged by intellectual weight, and not by volume. Contents may settle slightly in transit.
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