Why does my elements have 4k physical and logical?

I got a elements external with 3 tb storage drive. Bought in 2016. None of my othet intetnal or elements extetnal drives have 4096 bytes/sector physical and logical. But this drive has. How is this possible?

And most importantly. How can I format my other wd drives from 512e to 4k logical/physical as well?

Hi @Ezio,

Please contact the WD Technical Support team for best assistance and troubleshooting:

WD support is ■■■■. I will get t a BS answer. So no. I need community help.

Hey dear,
It is possible for external hard drives to have a 4096 bytes/sector physical and logical size, even if they were purchased before this became a common feature. This is because hard drive manufacturers have been transitioning to the Advanced Format standard, which uses 4096-byte sectors, in order to increase storage capacity and improve performance.

To format your other WD drives from 512e to 4k logical/physical, you will need to use a tool that supports Advanced Format. You can try using the WD Advanced Format utility, which is available for free download on the WD website. This tool allow you to align your hard drives partition and cluster to the 4096-bytes sector size, which can help to improve performance and prevent data lose.

I hope you understand it!

Earlier external models were configured with a 4KB logical sector size to enable them to be used with legacy OSes such as Windows XP. Seagate does it this way as well.

WD used to provide a Quick Formatter tool which allowed the user to choose either 512B or 4KB sectoring. Be aware that this will probably be data destructive, so backup your data before using it. Note that this tool is not the same thing as the Advanced Format alignment tool. The alignment tool would not be applicable in your situation, AIUI.


In 2010, hard drive manufacturers started transitioning from the traditional 512 bytes per sector to a larger 4096 bytes per sector, also known as Advanced Format or 4K sector drives. This change was introduced to accommodate increasing storage capacities and improve drive efficiency.