8TB drive has minimal disk identification area

The Drive ID area seen when my new 8TB My Book drive is connected with my Windows 7 computer only allows 11 digits. My 6TB, 5TB, and 4TB My Book and Elements drives allow 31 characters to name the drives attached to the computer. Why the reduction? Is there not enough space on the 8TB drive to allocate 31 characters for the ID area? Or is this an error that can be corrected with a simple fix or firmware upgrade?

If anyone has a fix, I’d love to hear about it. I just ordered an additional five 8TB drives for my system and the extra digits really help the identification when selecting which drive to use for backing up data.

How’s it formatted? Differently than the others? The Drive ID or Volume ID is a formatting characteristic of the volume; not related to the hardware at all.

That is, unless you’re talking about something different, in which case a screen shot would help.

The new 8TB drive is formatted exFAT, where my other drives are all NTFS. I’ve had no previous experience with exFAT so I performed some tests before I put the new drive into full use. The format won’t work with my media player. I don’t have an xBox so that’s not a problem. The transfer speed for backups when hooked up to my computer was an eye-opener. Normally, I see transfer rates in the 65 MB/sec range with USB 3.0. With the 8TB drive, backing up from 5TB and 6TB drives with NTFS formatting, I see speeds in the 130 MB/sec range with USB 3.0. If the speed is related to the formatting, I’ll probably stay with the exFAT, but I sure wish the ID area was larger. I should get the additional drives I ordered in a few days. At that time I’ll be able to perform some more testing. If they come as exFAT, I’ll reformat one to NTFS to see if the speed is related to the formatting. I’m attaching a screen shot so you can see the difference in the ID sizes. I temporarily changed the ID’s to show as sequential numbers so as to give a better example.

I received the additional 8TB drives I ordered after testing the one drive. I began the new test by reformatting a drive from exFAT to NTFS. I expected the reformat to take some time, but it was complete before I finished taking a sip of coffee. So I began a backup from an assortment of WD 5 TB and WD 6 TB drives. With the exFAT formatting, the backup had been accomplished at speeds averaging in the 130 MB/sec range. With the reformatted drive, the average backup speeds ran around 80 MB/sec. That’s an incredible time difference. I performed the same test on a second 8 TB drive reformatted to NTFS to verify the first results. The results were the same.

Since I perform massive complete backups on a regular basis, I’m going to use the exFAT formatted drives in spite of the inadequate volume ID space. I just wish I understood why the designers of exFAT did this. We’re only talking about 20 characters. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the exFAT formatting is referred to as FLASH memory formatting. But a savings of fifty percent of the time required to perform a backup can’t be ignored, so exFAT it is.