Opened 5 years ago

Last modified 7 months ago

#11796 new enhancement

Support for "4K-native" hard disks.

Reported by: pulkomandy Owned by: nobody
Priority: normal Milestone: Unscheduled
Component: - General Version: R1/Development
Keywords: Cc:
Blocked By: Blocking:
Has a Patch: no Platform: All

Description

For some time now hard disks and SSDs have switched to 4K sectors instead of 512 bytes. They have, however, hidden this from the OS as it would break too much things (motherboard chipsets, BIOSes, etc). So the drives report secotrs of 512 bytes to the system and make adjustments on the firmware side.

However, we're starting to see some (high-end) drives which expose 4K sectors to the system. With an UEFI system and well-designed chipset the hardware issues should be solved, but the software needs to be adjusted as well. We need to check our MBR/GPT code, our stage1 loader, and the releated tools (drivesetup, writembr, makebootable, etc). We also need to check the ATA stack, block cache, filesystems, and make sure they don't hardcode the 512 bytes value anywhere and can handle 4K sectors properly. I suspect most of the issues would be in the bootloader and MBR, which is probably ok as these are skipped on EFI systems and it is currently unclear if an MBR is supposed to work on 4K-sector disks at all.

Change History (1)

comment:1 by waddlesplash, 7 months ago

I don't think legacy BIOSes can handle 4K disks natively, can it? That would be up to the BIOS to handle them properly, and my guess is that they don't, for the most part.

NVMe drives usually have much larger block sizes than 512, and our support for these seems fine. Anything more to be done here?

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