Article Summary:This article is an overview of Advanced Format hard drive technology and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
The Hard Disk Drive (HDD) industry is moving towards supporting Advanced Format (AF) 4k sector hard drives to address the current technological limitations with 512-byte sector HDDs and for greater storage capacity.
The transition to Advanced Format HDDs will allow storage devices to more easily adopt larger capacities in both laptops and desktops. While hard drives that transition to 4k sectors will maintain backwards compatibility, current Advanced Format HDDs, also known as 512e HDDs, will emulate 512-byte SATA and will operate at 4k. Currently only Laptop hard drives on systems shipped after August 2010 may included an Advanced Format hard drive.
While the purpose of this transition is to easily achieve more efficient use of hard drive capacities, there is some risk of performance degradation under specific circumstances, especially with Windows XP. Users who have a need or desire to re-install or change the Operating System (OS) need to ensure the new Operating System will support Advanced Format hard drives and take the following steps:
For information on how to reinstall the Windows Operating System and align the partition, refer to:
Refer to the table below (Table 1) for information regarding the Operating System support for Advanced Format hard drives.
|Operating System||Advanced Format Aware|
|Microsoft Windows 7 SP1||Yes|
|Microsoft Windows 7||Yes|
|Microsoft Vista SP1||Yes|
|Microsoft XP (all versions)||No|
|Microsoft Windows PE 2.1 or Later||Yes|
|Microsoft Windows PE older versions||No|
Table 1: Microsoft Operating Systems and their Advanced Format Awareness
For further information regarding Advanced Format byte hard drives, refer to the Dell Knowledge Base article: "Dell Notebook and Desktop System Image Support for Advanced Format Hard Drives" .
Use Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST) driver console to verify whether the drive is Advanced Format or not. The Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver must be revision 18.104.22.1684 or later and all the latest updates for the Windows Operating System must be installed from Windows Updates.
If the system is using RAID, the Storage drivers must be loaded during the Operating System reinstallation to avoid a Windows Setup could not configure Windows on this computer’s hardware error as defined in Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: '"Windows Setup could not configure Windows on this computer’s hardware" installation error on a Windows 7-based or a Windows Server 2008 R2-based computer'.
To prevent this from occurring, users need a USB key and then need to download the latest Storage drivers.
Click on Enter a Tag to use your Service Tag to find the driver, then click Go. If the Service Tag is not available, click Select Model, select the Product Family and Product Model, then click Confirm.
Select the Operating System from the Operating System: dropdown box.
Select SATA Drives from the Category: dropdown box.
Article ID: SLN289850
Last Date Modified: 04/13/2015 02:38 PM