Hard drives are about to undergo a change from the present format to an advanced format early next year. All hard drive manufacturers have agreed to adopt the new format by the end of January 2011 through the International Disk Drive Equipment and Materials Association (IDEMA). The new changes will make it easier for hard discs to save data thus resulting in better use of power and reliability. Presently, hard drives are formatted into standard blocks of 512 bytes while advances in technology has seen the production of drives that can hold up to one terabyte of data hence resulting in a lot of spaces being wasted per block.
The new format will see a move to an advanced format of 4K sectors thus resulting in better performance, efficiency and error handling. Unfortunately, older versions of many operating systems were not configured to handle 4K hard disc formats therefore computer users who swap an old drive for the 4K ones will be potentially faced with compatibility problems. However, computer users with operating systems that were released after September 2009 such as Windows 7, Vista, OS X Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard and Linux Kernel, will not be affected as these systems are already 4K aware. Hopefully, more can be done to make older operating systems more compatible with the advanced hard drive before sale begins.
Are you aware of the imminent hard disc format change? Can more be done to make people more aware of the situation?