More and more advanced formed drives are on the market, and if you want to use them with your Windows Home Server V1 Microsoft advise you against it. Here we will show you what you can do it safely use them.
What is an Advanced Format Drive?
Advanced Format is a generic term pertaining to any sector format used to store data on the magnetic disks in hard disk drives that exceeds 512 to 520-bytes per sector. Advanced Format is also considered a milestone technology in the history of hard drive storage, where data has been processed in 512 byte increments since the inception of the hard disk drive in 1956. Changing the sector format convention to larger data sectors such as the 4,096-byte structure used in the first generation of Advanced Format technologies, utilizes the storage surface area more efficiently while enabling the integration of stronger error correction algorithms to maintain data integrity at higher storage densities.Read Tim’s Hard Drives Explained BYOB Supplemnt
I have a WD 2.0TB green drive – the WD20EARS drive that I want to add to my Windows Home Server.
You can use the WD Align utility or you can do perform some separate steps (which is what we are going to do).Download WD Align
The heads on these drives park after only a few seconds, which over time will shorten the life of your drive, so what you need to do is change this setting to a little over an hour.
WD provide a utility called wdidle3 to do this.
Here is how WD describe it:
This firmware modifies the behavior of the drive to wait longer before positioning the heads in their park position and turning off unnecessary electronics. This utility is designed to upgrade the firmware of the following hard drives: WD1000FYPS-01ZKB0, WD7500AYPS-01ZKB0, WD7501AYPS-01ZKB0.Download wdidle3
Burn the ISO to a CD, unplug all hard drives from your computer and plug in the WD drive and boot up using the CD. When the tool has loaded just type wdidle3 /d to reset the time. Then just unplug the drive and that’s it.
Here is a short video showing this in action.
Thanks Tim for the video!
Setting the Jumper
You need to set a jump on pins 7 and 8 (as shown below).
If in the future you want to use the drive with an OS that supports advanced format drives (such as Windows 7 or Windows Home Server 2011) then just remove the jumper, but make sure you have copied your data off first as you will lose your data.
Adding the WD20EARS drive to Windows Home Server V1
Adding the WD20EARS drive to Windows Home Server V1 is no different than adding any other drive.
Put the drive into your WHS, and you will see it on the Server Storage tab as Not Added.
Click on the drive and then click Add and follow the usual Add a Hard Drive Wizard:
And now you will see it has been added and available to use.
With these type of advanced format drives available now incredibly cheaply, more and more people are going to use them so if you want to use them in your Windows Home Server V1 you need to perform the above steps. If you are using Windows Home Server 2011 you don’t need to do the jumper setting.
The whole process only takes few minutes and should extend the life of your drive.
Are you using any advanced format drives? Have you had any problems? Let us know….