What does ALIGN mean? (WD align failing?)

My WD 3T drive first partition (2T) starts at sector 63 (512 byte sector number).  (Win XP)   A Windows cluster display shows that cluster 0 starts at 63.  Thus this drive is NOT aligned, right?  But WD Acronis Align says “aligned.”  How is this possible?

(I’ve zeroed, done this multiple times, etc. no change.)

Check the following KB article for more information on this.

How to use the Acronis Alignment Tool to realign an Advanced Format drive

http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5341

Thanks but I have run this and it reports that the drive is “aligned.”  But how can it be aligned and start at sector 63?

   Thus I’m looking for someone who actually knows what alignment is, means, etc.  Can anyone confirm that sector 63 is ok for an aligned drive?

A drive reports its Advanced Format status via several words in the ATA Identify Device information block. These words are optional, so the drive may in fact be an AF model without identifying itself as such. In this case Acronis wouldn’t be aware of the drive’s physical sector size and would assume that it is 512 bytes.

Can you capture the drive’s Identify Device data using CrystalDiskInfo? We could then compare these data against the ATA standard.

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I used Crystal and it gives me only SMART info which does not include physical sector size.  However, I used HD Sentinel and it does say Advanced Format.   Plus the WD site says the 3T is Advanced Format.  Plus the WD Align program (by Acronis) has the same error.

    I’m starting to believe that noone  knows  – it’s black magic.

Some HD utilities get their drive information from a database of specifications rather than from the drive itself. What you need to do is to get the raw Identify Device data that are returned by the drive, before the software has “interpreted” it. To this end you would use CrystalDiskInfo’s Edit -> Copy Option to include the Identify Device data, and Edit -> Copy to copy the disk information to the clipboard. Then use Edit -> Paste (or Ctrl-V) in your browser to copy the information into your next post, or paste it into a word processor or Windows NotePad.

Crystal still doesn’t give info on logical vs physical sectors - see below.  But I used Acronis System Report…

Here is the Acronis System Report:

Disk 2 properties:
  BIOS number:   0x81
  Geometry:      364802 255 63
  Total sectors: 5860533168
  Logical Sector Size:         512
  Physical Sector Size:        4096
  Logical Sector Offset:       0
  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:       1565565872
    Sector size:         512

Here is the data from Crystal:  (Look at the 2nd disk, the 3T drive


CrystalDiskInfo 6.1.14 Shizuku Edition © 2008-2014 hiyohiyo
                                Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/

    OS : Windows XP Professional SP3 [5.1 Build 2600] (x86)
  Date : 2014/07/20 0:30:41

– Controller Map ----------------------------------------------------------
 + Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller [ATA]
   + Primary IDE Channel (0)
     - WDC WD1002FAEX-00Y9A0
   + Secondary IDE Channel (1)
     - WDC WD30EZRX-00SPEB0
 + Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller [ATA]
   + Primary IDE Channel (0)
     - PLDS DVD±RW DH-16A6S
   + Secondary IDE Channel (1)
     - Hitachi HDS723020BLA642

– Disk List ---------------------------------------------------------------
 (1) WDC WD1002FAEX-00Y9A0 : 1000.2 GB [0/0/0, pd1] - wd
 (2) WDC WD30EZRX-00SPEB0 : 3000.5 GB [1/1/0, pd1] - wd
 (3) Hitachi HDS723020BLA642 : 2000.3 GB [2/3/0, pd1]


 (1) WDC WD1002FAEX-00Y9A0

…etc…

 (2) WDC WD30EZRX-00SPEB0

           Model : WDC WD30EZRX-00SPEB0
        Firmware : 80.00A80
   Serial Number : WD-WCC4E1518889
       Disk Size : 3000.5 GB (8.4/137.4/3000.5/3000.5)
     Buffer Size : Unknown
     Queue Depth : 32
    # of Sectors : 5860533168
   Rotation Rate : 5400 RPM
       Interface : Serial ATA
   Major Version : ACS-2
   Minor Version : ----
   Transfer Mode : SATA/300 | SATA/600
  Power On Hours : 381 hours
  Power On Count : 351 count
     Temperature : 36 C (96 F)
   Health Status : Good
        Features : S.M.A.R.T., 48bit LBA, NCQ
       APM Level : ----
       AAM Level : ----

– S.M.A.R.T. --------------------------------------------------------------
ID Cur Wor Thr RawValues(6) Attribute Name
01 200 200 _51 000000000000 Read Error Rate
03 185 180 _21 000000001E24 Spin-Up Time
04 100 100 __0 00000000015F Start/Stop Count
05 200 200 140 000000000000 Reallocated Sectors Count
07 200 200 __0 000000000000 Seek Error Rate
09 100 100 __0 00000000017D Power-On Hours
0A 100 100 __0 000000000000 Spin Retry Count
0B 100 100 __0 000000000000 Recalibration Retries
0C 100 100 __0 00000000015F Power Cycle Count
C0 200 200 __0 000000000004 Power-off Retract Count
C1 199 199 __0 000000000DEB Load/Unload Cycle Count
C2 116 114 __0 000000000024 Temperature
C4 200 200 __0 000000000000 Reallocation Event Count
C5 200 200 __0 000000000000 Current Pending Sector Count
C6 200 200 __0 000000000000 Uncorrectable Sector Count
C7 200 200 __0 000000000000 UltraDMA CRC Error Count
C8 200 200 __0 000000000000 Write Error Rate

– IDENTIFY_DEVICE ---------------------------------------------------------
        0    1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9
000: 427A 3FFF C837 0010 0000 0000 003F 0000 0000 0000
010: 2020 2020 2057 442D 5743 4334 4531 3531 3838 3839
020: 0000 0000 0000 3830 2E30 3041 3830 5744 4320 5744
030: 3330 455A 5258 2D30 3053 5045 4230 2020 2020 2020
040: 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 8010 4000 2F00
050: 4001 0000 0000 0007 3FFF 0010 003F FC10 00FB 0110
060: FFFF 0FFF 0000 0007 0003 0078 0078 0078 0078 0000
070: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 001F 970E 0004 004C 0040
080: 03FE 0000 746B 7D61 4123 7469 BC41 4123 207F 00CD
090: 00CD 0000 FFFE 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
100: A3B0 5D50 0001 0000 0000 0000 6003 0000 5001 4EE2
110: 5F63 A3AA 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 401C
120: 401C 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0029 0400
130: 0001 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
140: 0000 0000 0004 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
150: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
160: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
170: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
180: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
190: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
200: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 7035 0000 0000 0000
210: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 1518 0000 0000
220: 0000 0000 103E 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
230: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0001 1000 0000 0000 0000 0000
240: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
250: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 B7A5

– SMART_READ_DATA ---------------------------------------------------------
     +0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 +8 +9 +A +B +C +D +E +F
000: 10 00 01 2F 00 C8 C8 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 03 27
010: 00 B9 B4 24 1E 00 00 00 00 00 04 32 00 64 64 5F
020: 01 00 00 00 00 00 05 33 00 C8 C8 00 00 00 00 00
030: 00 00 07 2E 00 C8 C8 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 09 32
040: 00 64 64 7D 01 00 00 00 00 00 0A 32 00 64 64 00
050: 00 00 00 00 00 00 0B 32 00 64 64 00 00 00 00 00
060: 00 00 0C 32 00 64 64 5F 01 00 00 00 00 00 C0 32
070: 00 C8 C8 04 00 00 00 00 00 00 C1 32 00 C7 C7 EB
080: 0D 00 00 00 00 00 C2 22 00 74 72 24 00 00 00 00
090: 00 00 C4 32 00 C8 C8 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 C5 32
0A0: 00 C8 C8 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 C6 30 00 C8 C8 00
0B0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 C7 32 00 C8 C8 00 00 00 00 00
0C0: 00 00 C8 08 00 C8 C8 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
0D0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
0E0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
0F0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
100: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
110: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
120: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
130: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
140: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
150: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
160: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 82 00 F0 96 01 7B
170: 03 00 01 00 02 FF 05 84 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
180: 00 00 01 07 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
190: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
1A0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
1B0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
1C0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
1D0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
1E0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
1F0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 F8

– SMART_READ_THRESHOLD ----------------------------------------------------
     +0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 +8 +9 +A +B +C +D +E +F
000: 10 00 01 33 C8 C8 C8 C8 C8 C8 C8 00 00 00 03 15
010: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 04 00 00 00 00 00
020: 00 00 00 00 00 00 05 8C 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
030: 00 00 07 00 C8 C8 C8 C8 C8 C8 C8 00 00 00 09 00
040: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 0A 00 00 00 00 00
050: 00 00 00 00 00 00 0B 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
060: 00 00 0C 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 C0 00
070: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 C1 00 00 00 00 00
080: 00 00 00 00 00 00 C2 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
090: 00 00 C4 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 C5 00
0A0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 C6 00 00 00 00 00
0B0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 C7 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
0C0: 00 00 C8 00 C8 C8 C8 C8 C8 C8 C8 00 00 00 00 00
0D0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
0E0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
0F0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
100: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
110: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
120: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
130: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
140: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
150: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
160: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
170: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
180: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
190: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
1A0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
1B0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
1C0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
1D0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
1E0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
1F0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 55


 (3) Hitachi HDS723020BLA642

…etc…

Words 106 and 209 in the Identify Device output are the ones that apply to Advanced Format models.

Word 106 = 0x6003

This is telling us that there are 8 logical sectors per physical sector.

Word 209 = 0x0000

This is confirming that there is no offset between the first logical sector and the beginning of the physical sector. What this means is that jumper 7-8 is not installed. WD provided this jumper on earlier models so that a default Windows XP installation (at sector 63) would be automatically aligned. It did this by adding a +1 sector offset to each LBA. This meant that when XP accessed sector 63, the drive transparently redirected it to sector 64.

In short, the drive is correctly identifying itself as an Advanced Format model.

OK, so the drive is correct.  And the Align program wrong???  How to fix this?

FYI: For other’s information:  SUMMARY:

CRYSTAL IDENTIFY DEVICE Analysis:

The IDENTIFY DEVICE word number 106 shows 6003 hex which according to the document

   http://www.t13.org/documents/UploadedDocuments/docs2009/d2015r1a-ATAATAPI_Command_Set_-_2_ACS-2.pdf

means that the device has a 4096 byte physical sector size, i.e. 8 logical sectors of 512 bytes.

Thus the Align program should be properly detecting that the 3T drive is Advanced Format.

Alternate Alignment:

The word 209 is 0000 hex.  I.e. no internal drive translation.

If word 209 was 4001h through 4007h it would mean the drive has been “aligned” by altering the sector number by 1 to 7 sectors.   4001h would mean  sector 63 has been adjusted to 64, i.e. the first cluster starts at actual physical sector 64 even though the OS is specifying sector 63.   In this case, 4001h, the drive translates the sector number requested by n+1 so that access is aligned.