HOW do WD QuickFormatter "factory defaults" enable 512byte sectors for large USB drives?


WD provides the QuickFormatter tool for use with USB drives as the 3TB MyBook Essential. It allows to apply so-called “factory defaults” which set up a GPT partition table and reduce logical sector size from 4kb to 512b. 4k logical sector size is a hack to use MBR for large drives but introduces compatibility issues with Windows 7. MS considers them unsupported and not working properly for Windows versions older than Windows 8.

I wonder how that change is achieved by WD QuickFormatter: Is it a solution proprietary to WD? Does it include a reconfiguration of the USB-SATA-Adapter inside the enclosure?

The reason I’m asking is that I unfortunately got an external 3TB drive from another :wink: drive manufacturer and now have drive not serving its purposes.

I think your talking about the advance format??

trythesefirst wrote:

I think your talking about the advance format??

It is my understanding that “Advanced Format” refers to a physical sector format inside the drive. Advanced Format is common today but at interface level these drives still talk “good old” 512 byte sectors (they do “512e”).

What I am referring to are certain USB enclosures that use 4096 bytes large sectors when talking to the pc. I assume that their USB-SATA-Bridge translates them to 512 byte sectors to match the actual drive. Apparently WD and Seagate ship USB drives in such a configuration, but as far as I know only WD provides a way to switch them to standard 512 byte sectors.