Trying to squeeze your personal data into space constraint hard disk drive? WD (Western Digital), the famous hard disk drive manufacturer has came out with a way that is able to provide additional usable space without physically increase the original drive capacity. Named as Advanced Format, it is claimed to be able to increase the storage space by up to 11 percent while able to boost up the error correction capability on the drive by rearranging and eliminating overheads.

The mechanism behind is it is based on a new way that can partition each individual sector with its own Sync/header and ECC (Error Correction Check) overheads. Instead of putting own Sync/header and ECC in each sector, the manufacturer has moved them into a 4096 Bytes (4K) physical sectors with a relatively larger ECC block. And the outcome is obvious – users can expect an approximate of 7 to 11 percent of additional usable space as compared to conventional disk drive. However, this new method doesn’t apply to any existing drives and users can’t expect to change or modify it using simple fixes such as firmware update or software patch.

The new Advanced Format method will be deployed in the Caviar Green Line in few weeks from now before being rolled up into other product lines. It is expected to work great with Windows Vista and 7, Linux and Mac Operating Systems but Windows XP or older legacy OS users may need to do some simple jumper setting or use WD Align Utility to realign sector for additional space.

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