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Advisor
prashant_n_s
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎02-08-2013
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Re: Aligning WD10EZEX drive using the WD Align tool

Okay.  Yes, you are right.  The newer drives have those jumper pins disabled.  Here is the break down.  WD Align can only align one partition on a drive.  Acronis, however, will actually align more than one partition.  I don't know how many it can align, but it should be at least two.  You can download and install Acronis from our downloads page.


>> I was able to align two partitions (300 GB and 631 GB) on my WD Elements SE Portable 1 TB external hard drive (Model WDBPCK0010BBK) using WD Align. So, WD Align CAN align more than one partition.

I will try Acronis. If it works, I will post an update here.
I will also try GParted as suggested by fzabkar.

Advisor
prashant_n_s
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎02-08-2013
0

Re: Aligning WD10EZEX drive using the WD Align tool

I suspect that WD Align "erroneously" reports that non-aligned partitions are aligned because it has determined that your drive is a non-AF model. That said, if this is indeed the case, then a better message would be something like "your drive is not an Advanced Format model and does not require alignment".

In fact here is a recent thread where two apparently identical AF drives are identifying themselves differently, one as AF, the other as non-AF:

http://community.wdc.com/t5/Desktop-Portable-Drives/WD20EARS-differences-why/m-p/544451#M12562

The problem is that certain aspects of AF reporting are optional, so an AF drive may not identify itself as such.

>> I am sorry I didn't mention this before. WD Align DOES RECOGNIZE the WD10EZEX as an Advanced Format drive. It is just not able to see the unaligned partitions. The Disk Alignment Test program is detecting the AF drive AND the unaligned partitions too. System Information is reporting the partition start offset as 32,256 bytes (i.e. 63 sectors... meaning unaligned). And there is NO JUMPER on pins 7-8. Also, I used the Windows XP Disk Management tool to partition the drive. So, the partitions HAVE TO BE unaligned.

Even I saw that thread about the two WD20EARS AF models. The drive label on those drives indicate BOTH are AF drives. But, they are different 'internally'. One AF drive is reporting 512-byte physical sectors. After reading such wierd experiences, I am not quite sure what is going on with WD drives.

Advisor
prashant_n_s
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎02-08-2013
0

Re: Aligning WD10EZEX drive using the WD Align tool

It occurs to me that WD Align must be able to detect when the 7-8 jumper is installed. If it were to merely base its judgment on the starting sector number, then it would incorrectly identify those single partition XP installations which have been correctly aligned by means of the AF jumper.

AIUI, the function of the jumper is to add a +1 sector offset to each LBA so that when the OS accesses sector 63, the drive transparently maps it to LBA 64, thereby aligning the partition.

The ATA standard provides several words in the Identify Device information block that enable the drive to report the sizes of its logical and physical sectors, and whether a sector offset is active. For example, word 209 reports the "alignment of logical blocks within a physical block", and word 106 indicates that the ratio of Physical sector size to Logical sector size.

Working Draft AT Attachment 8 - ATA/ATAPI Command Set (ATA8-ACS):
http://www.t13.org/documents/UploadedDocuments/docs2008/D1699r6a-ATA8-ACS.pdf

The following thread has an example of the Advanced Format words for a WD20EARS:

http://community.wdc.com/t5/Desktop-Portable-Drives/Physical-Sector-Size-different-between-WD20EARS-...

>> I never put a jumper on pins 7-8 as I do not want a single partition. After purchasing the drive, I learnt that it is an AF drive. So, I read the info available on WD website. Since it is clearly stated that the jumper option ONLY ALLOWS ONE SINGLE PARTITION (that too on OLDER drives only), I scratched that option long time ago. Only option available now is to align the partitions through software.

Advisor
prashant_n_s
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎02-08-2013
0

Re: Aligning WD10EZEX drive using the WD Align tool

From what I've been told, if in doubt the drive label will tell you if the drive is indeed AF.

 

>> Here is the picture of my drive label. I do not see 'Advanced Format' mentioned anywhere on the label.

 

WD10EZEX Drive Label

Advisor
prashant_n_s
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎02-08-2013
0

Re: Aligning WD10EZEX drive using the WD Align tool

Just to dispel any doubts that the drive is not being detected/identified as an AF drive, I am providing data reported by two programs.

 

And when I say "AF drives", I mean those drives that have 4096-byte physical sectors.

However, I am now aware of atleast one AF drive (WD20EARS) in existence that has 512-byte physical sectors.

See it here.
http://community.wdc.com/t5/Desktop-Portable-Drives/WD20EARS-differences-why/m-p/544451#M12562

In the above link, you will see two (almost) identical models, with the drive label on BOTH drives mentioning 'Advanced Format'. However, one drive reports 512-byte physical sectors while other reports 4096-byte physical sectors.




1> Here is the data reported by Disk Alignment Test program.
Information about my old PATA primary drive has been edited.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Disk Alignment Test 1.0.10 Report

Computer: JINX
Operating system: Windows XP 32-bit (2600)
Overall status: Wrong alignment is detected.

Disk 1: [ATA WDC WD10EZEX-00ZF5A0]
    * Capacity: 932 Gb
    * Logical block size: 512 bytes
    * Physical block size: 4096 bytes
    * Physical offset: 0 blocks
    * Serial number: [REMOVED]
    * Firmware: 80.00A80

Volume G:
    * Length: 300 Gb
    * Free space: 300 Gb
    * File system: NTFS
    * Cluster size: 4096 bytes
    * Placement: Disk 1 [63, 629153532]: NOT aligned

Volume H:
    * Length: 632 Gb
    * Free space: 631 Gb
    * File system: NTFS
    * Cluster size: 4096 bytes
    * Placement: Disk 1 [629153595, 1324366470]: NOT aligned
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




2> I also burned a CD with the Align tool, used the CD to boot the computer and ran the Align tool.
It said that the partitions are aligned.

It created a ZIP file which contained the Acronis System Report in four TXT files.
Below is data from the "disks.txt" file.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          PS         Speed IFace Hs-Bs-Tg Model                     
Num  NT    L9NO  Size FSsize Free FS     Type            Label       ABCHSV
---- ----- ---- ----- ----- ----- ------ --------------- ----------- ------
1-   d(0) MBR   932G    1K SATA  0-0-0    WDC WD10EZEX-00ZF5A0      
  -1  p(1) --CC  300G  300G    0b NTFS   07 NTFS, HPFS   ........... A----v
  -2  p(2) --DD  632G  632G    0b NTFS   07 NTFS, HPFS   ........... -----v
                 2.5M             free                               ------

Disk 1 properties:
  BIOS number:   0x80
  Geometry:      121602 255 63
  Total sectors: 1953525168
  Logical Sector Size:         512
  Physical Sector Size:        4096
  Logical Sector Offset:       0
  Legacy ATA Encrypted:        0
  TCG OPAL Encryption Capable: 0
  AZ Alignment enabled:        1
  BIOS extension properties:
    Extension version:   3.0
    Functions supported: Ext. EDD
    Transparent DMA:     0
    CHS information:     None
    Removable drive:     0
    Write with verify:   0
    Change-line:         0
    Lockable drive:      0
    Geometry:            16383 16 63
    Total sectors:       1953525168
    Sector size:         512

.
. [SECTOR DATA HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM HERE]
.

MBR 1-*:
  First physical sector:           0 (0 0 1)
  Table extended structure
    Extended boot sector:       0
    Extended hidden partitions: 00 Unused
                                00 Unused
                                00 Unused
                                00 Unused
    Extended boot disk:         0x00
    Extended patch flags:       FAT16(-) MS-DOS7+(-) FAT32(-) OS/2(-)
    Extended OS/2 patch:        0x00
    Extended checksum (0x59):   0x2C
    Extended size (14):         25412
    NT signature:               0xFE28DC8D
    Extended serial number:     0x0000
  i f    Start C   H  S      End C   H  S      Start       Size Type
  - - ---------- --- -- ---------- --- -- ---------- ---------- ----
  0 A          0   1  1       1023 254 63         63  629153532 07 NTFS, HPFS
    A          0   1  1       1023 254 63         63  629153532 07 NTFS, HPFS
    -          0   1  1      39162 254 63         63  629153532
  - - ---------- --- -- ---------- --- -- ---------- ---------- ----
  1 -       1023 254 63       1023 254 63  629153595 1324366470 07 NTFS, HPFS
    -       1023 254 63       1023 254 63  629153595 1324366470 07 NTFS, HPFS
    -      39163   0  1     121600 254 63  629153595 1324366470
  - - ---------- --- -- ---------- --- -- ---------- ---------- ----
  2 -          0   0  0          0   0  0          0          0 00 Unused
    -          0   0  0          0   0  0          0          0 00 Unused
  - - ---------- --- -- ---------- --- -- ---------- ---------- ----
  3 -          0   0  0          0   0  0          0          0 00 Unused
    -          0   0  0          0   0  0          0          0 00 Unused
    Boot sign (0x0AA55):        0xAA55
Partition 1-1: of type 07 NTFS, HPFS and size 300G
  First physical sector:          63 (0 1 1)
  Last physical sector:    629153594 (39162 254 63)
  Total sectors:  629153532
  NTFS bootsector structure:
    Jump code:               0xEB 0x52 0x90
    File system name:        NTFS    
    Sector size (512):       512
    Sectors per cluster:     8
    Reserved sectors (0):    0
    FAT copies (0):          0
    Root folder items (0):   0
    Total sectors (0):       0
    Media ID:                0xF8
    FAT size (0):            0
    Sectors per track:       63
    Number of heads:         255
    Hidden sectors:          63
    Big total sectors (0):   0
    Hard disk:               0x80
    Reserved:                0x00 0x0080
    Big total sectors:       629153531
    MFT cluster:             786432
    MFTmirr cluster:         39322095
    MFT record size:         -10
    Index buffer size:       1
    Serial number:           2600-84B0-0084-890F
    Boot signature (0AA55h): 0xAA55
Partition 1-2: of type 07 NTFS, HPFS and size 632G
  First physical sector:   629153595 (39163 0 1)
  Last physical sector:   1953520064 (121600 254 63)
  Total sectors: 1324366470
  NTFS bootsector structure:
    Jump code:               0xEB 0x52 0x90
    File system name:        NTFS    
    Sector size (512):       512
    Sectors per cluster:     8
    Reserved sectors (0):    0
    FAT copies (0):          0
    Root folder items (0):   0
    Total sectors (0):       0
    Media ID:                0xF8
    FAT size (0):            0
    Sectors per track:       63
    Number of heads:         255
    Hidden sectors:          629153595
    Big total sectors (0):   0
    Hard disk:               0x80
    Reserved:                0x00 0x0080
    Big total sectors:       1324366469
    MFT cluster:             786432
    MFTmirr cluster:         82772904
    MFT record size:         -10
    Index buffer size:       1
    Serial number:           689C-9FCE-9C9F-94E2
    Boot signature (0AA55h): 0xAA55
Free space 1-*: of size 2.5M
  First physical sector:  1953520065 (121601 0 1)
  Last physical sector:   1953525167 (121601 80 63)
  Total sectors:       5103
Disk 1  Partition 1
  FS:                NTFS
  FSSize:            629153529 (300G)
  BlockSize:         8 (4K)
  BlockCount:        78644191 (300G)
  FreeBlockCount:    0 (0b)
  ReservedSectors:   0 (0b)
  FATSize:           0 (0b)
  FATCount:          0 (0b)
  RootEntries:       0 (0b)
  UsedRootEntries:   0 (0b)
  InodeSize:         1024 (1K)
  InodeCount:        0 (0b)
  BytesPerInode:     0 (0b)
  VolumeLabel:       ................................
  SerialNumber:      0F 89 84 00 B0 84 00 26 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
  CheckPerformed:    0
  UsefulInformation: 0 (0b)
  BadBlockCount:     0 (0b)
  FreeInodeCount:    0 (0b)
  FilesCount:        0
  DirectoriesCount:  1
  HardLinkCount:     0
  SymLinkCount:      0
  BlockDeviceCount:  0
  CharDeviceCount:   0
  SocketCount:       0
  FifoCount:         0
  JournalSize:       0 (0b)
Disk 1  Partition 2
  FS:                NTFS
  FSSize:            1324366465 (632G)
  BlockSize:         8 (4K)
  BlockCount:        165545808 (632G)
  FreeBlockCount:    0 (0b)
  ReservedSectors:   0 (0b)
  FATSize:           0 (0b)
  FATCount:          0 (0b)
  RootEntries:       0 (0b)
  UsedRootEntries:   0 (0b)
  InodeSize:         1024 (1K)
  InodeCount:        0 (0b)
  BytesPerInode:     0 (0b)
  VolumeLabel:       ................................
  SerialNumber:      E2 94 9F 9C CE 9F 9C 68 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
  CheckPerformed:    0
  UsefulInformation: 0 (0b)
  BadBlockCount:     0 (0b)
  FreeInodeCount:    0 (0b)
  FilesCount:        0
  DirectoriesCount:  1
  HardLinkCount:     0
  SymLinkCount:      0
  BlockDeviceCount:  0
  CharDeviceCount:   0
  SocketCount:       0
  FifoCount:         0
  JournalSize:       0 (0b)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Honored Contributor
fzabkar
Posts: 1,790
Registered: ‎02-06-2010
0

Re: Aligning WD10EZEX drive using the WD Align tool

FWIW, I notice that the Acronis System Report includes the following line:

AZ Alignment enabled: 1

The following document suggests that support for the above was added in Version 2.0.11:
http://support.wdc.com/download/notes/Windows_WD_Align_Version_2_0_111_Release_Notes.pdf

It might be irrelevant, but I can't find any information on this feature.

Advisor
prashant_n_s
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎02-08-2013
0

Re: Aligning WD10EZEX drive using the WD Align tool

Obviously, you know a lot more about hard drives than I do. So, I wouldn't be able to comment on AZ Alignment.

 

I was going to mention this earlier. But, I felt it was unnecessary as WD Align is recognizing the WD10EZEX as an AF drive.

 

Now that we are considering all factors that could be the cause of the problem (especially after learning that an AF drive could have 512-byte physical sectors :smileysurprised: ), I would like to bring your attention to one line in the above Release Notes PDF file.

 

Version 1.1.0.506

* BPKT model is now recognized as an Advanced Format Disk

 

From the above line, it is my guess that WD Align is using hard-coded Drive Model Numbers. If that's the case, it is reasonable to believe that WD Align needs to be updated for the newer models.

 

Publish date for WD Align is January 2012.

WD10EZEX was launched sometime around June-July 2012 (I got this date from customer reviews for the WD10EZEX on newegg.com). cnet.com reviewed this model in September 2012.

 

I may be wrong here. But, with the information I have so far, this is all I can think of. Being a software writer myself, I am aware of the "liberties" some programmers take. And I wouldn't be surprised to know that WD Align wasn't programmed to recognize newer models like the WD10EZEX and WD20EZRX. These are the two models I know with which other people have encountered problems aligning their partitions.

 

Advisor
prashant_n_s
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎02-08-2013
0

Re: Aligning WD10EZEX drive using the WD Align tool

Hello!

I finally managed to solve the partition aligning problem on the WD Blue WD10EZEX AF drive. As I have said many times before in this thread, WD Align Tool is not able to detect unaligned partitions on the WD10EZEX model.

I recently purchased two more WD10EZEX-00RKKA0 drives (manufactured March 2013). The model number is different from the first drive I have (WD10EZEX-00ZF5A0). WD Align Tool DID NOT WORK with the two new drives also.

However, I was able to create properly-aligned partitions on all three drives using 'Acronis True Image WD Edition'. I used the 'Add New Disk' option to create primary/extended partitions.


Just FYI:
WD Align (Version: 2.0.111) publish date is January 2012.
Acronis True Image (Version: 14192) publish date is May 2012.

I can confidently say now that WD Align Tool definitely needs to be updated to accomodate the new drive models.


Thanks a lot for your help Bill_S and fzabkar. I really appreciate it.

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