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Multi-Sector Transfers from The Tech ARP BIOS Guide

Multi-Sector Transfers from The Tech ARP BIOS Guide

Multi-Sector Transfers

Common Options : Disabled, 2 Sectors, 4 Sectors, 8 Sectors, 16 Sectors, 32 Sectors, Maximum

 

Quick Review of Multi-Sector Transfers

The Multi-Sector Transfers BIOS feature speeds up hard disk drive access by transferring multiple sectors of data per interrupt instead of using the usual single-sector transfer mode. This mode of transferring data is known as block transfers.

There are a few available options, from Disabled and a few different multiple sectors option to Maximum.

The Disabled option forces your IDE controller to transfer only a single sector (512 bytes) per interrupt. Needless to say, this will significantly degrade performance.

The selection of 2 Sectors to 32 Sectors allows you to manually select the number of sectors that the IDE controller is allowed to transfer per interrupt.

The Maximum option allows your IDE controller to transfer as many sectors per interrupt as the hard disk is able to support.

Since all current hard disk drives support block transfers, there is usually no reason why IDE HDD Block Mode should be disabled.

Therefore, you should disable IDE HDD Block Mode only if you actually face the possibility of data corruption (with an unpatched version of Windows NT 4.0). Otherwise, it is highly recommended that you select the Maximum option for significantly better hard disk performance!

The manual selection of 2 to 32 sectors is useful if you notice data corruption with the Maximum option. It allows you to scale back the multi-sector transfer feature to correct the problem without losing too much performance.

 

Details of Multi-Sector Transfers

The Multi-Sector Transfers BIOS feature speeds up hard disk drive access by transferring multiple sectors of data per interrupt instead of using the usual single-sector transfer mode. This mode of transferring data is known as block transfers.

There are a few available options, from Disabled and a few different multiple sectors option to Maximum.

The Disabled option forces your IDE controller to transfer only a single sector (512 bytes) per interrupt. Needless to say, this will significantly degrade performance.

The selection of 2 Sectors to 32 Sectors allows you to manually select the number of sectors that the IDE controller is allowed to transfer per interrupt.

The Maximum option allows your IDE controller to transfer as many sectors per interrupt as the hard disk is able to support.

Since all current hard disk drives support block transfers, there is usually no reason why IDE HDD Block Mode should be disabled.

However, if you are running on Windows NT 4.0, you might need to disable this BIOS feature because Windows NT 4.0 has a problem with block transfers. According to Chris Bope, Windows NT does not support IDE HDD Block Mode and enabling this feature can cause data to be corrupted.

Ryu Connor confirmed this by sending me a link to a Microsoft article (Enhanced IDE operation under Windows NT 4.0). According to this article, IDE HDD Block Mode and 32-bit Disk Access have been found to cause data corruption in some cases. Therefore, Microsoft recommends that Windows NT 4.0 users disable IDE HDD Block Mode.

Lord Mike asked ‘someone in the know‘ about this matter and he was told that the data corruption issue was taken very seriously at Microsoft and that it had been corrected through the Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 2. Although he could not get an official statement from Microsoft, it is probably safe enough to enable IDE HDD Block Mode on a Windows NT 4.0 system, just as long as it has been upgraded with Service Pack 2.

Therefore, you should disable IDE HDD Block Mode only if you actually face the possibility of data corruption (with an unpatched version of Windows NT 4.0). Otherwise, it is highly recommended that you select the Maximum option for significantly better hard disk performance!

The manual selection of 2 to 32 sectors is useful if you notice data corruption with the Maximum option. It allows you to scale back the multi-sector transfer feature to correct the problem without losing too much performance.

 

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WD Introduces MAMR Technology For 40TB & Beyond!

October 13, 2017 — Western Digital just announced a breakthrough innovation for delivering ultra-high capacity hard disk drives (HDDs) to meet the future demands of Big Data with proven data center-level reliability. They also demonstrated world’s first microwave-assisted magnetic recording (MAMR) HDD and presentations from company executives and the inventor of MAMR technology, Professor Jimmy Zhu from Carnegie Mellon University.

Western Digital also showcased advancements in micro actuation and Damascene recording head technology. Western Digital expects to begin shipping ultra-high capacity MAMR HDDs in 2019 for use in data centers that support Big Data applications across a full range of industries.

 

The MAMR Technology

MAMR is one of two energy-assisted technologies that Western Digital has been developing for years. They recently innovated a breakthrough in material and process that provides the required reliable and predictable performance, as well as the manufacturability to accelerate areal density and cost improvements to an estimated average of 15% per year.

Developments in the other energy-assisted technology, specifically, heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), present new material science and reliability challenges that are not a factor in MAMR. Only MAMR demonstrates the reliability and cost profile that meets the demands of data center operators.

At the heart of the company’s innovation breakthrough is the “spin torque oscillator” used to generate a microwave field that increases the ability to record data at ultra-high density without sacrificing reliability. Western Digital’s innovative MAMR technology is expected to offer over 4 terabits-per-square-inch over time. With sustained improvements in recording density, MAMR promises to enable hard drives with 40TB of capacity and beyond by 2025, and continued expansion beyond that timeframe.

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Western Digital’s MAMR technology is the latest innovation to significantly improve areal densities. It builds upon a number of other leading innovations from the company. In addition to HelioSeal helium-filled drive technology, MAMR also builds upon the company’s micro actuation and recording head manufacturing technologies.

Western Digital’s advanced micro actuation technology for data center applications enables hard drives to accurately and reliably position magnetic heads for writing and reading at ultra-high densities. Their head manufacturing operations are the only internal supplier to utilize Damascene processing to manufacture heads with the precise tolerances and complex structures required for reliable and cost-effective recording at ultra-high densities.

The Damascene process also provides the capability to embed the spin torque oscillator that enables the manufacturing of MAMR heads. The combination of these technologies deliver superior total cost of ownership (TCO) across all sizes of cloud and enterprise data centers.

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More Than 10 Million WD Helium-Filled HDDs Shipped

18 October 2016 – Helping the world harness the power of data, Western Digital Corporation today announced that it has shipped more than 10 million WD helium-filled HDDs since the company first introduced the HelioSeal platform four years ago. First shipped in 2013, Western Digital’s HelioSeal platform has consistently pushed the envelope in terms of capacity and total cost of ownership (TCO) benefits, becoming the highest density HDDs, best suited for massive scale-out workloads.

“Extreme capacity hard drives are increasingly a key value enabler for enterprise applications and Western Digital continues to be a technology and time-to-market leader in terms of delivering capacity-optimized enterprise HDDs,” said John Chen, vice president, TRENDFOCUS. “As cloud and traditional enterprise customers continue to develop applications that make use of all of their accessible data, high density drives will be a crucial component that enables cost-effective storage of that data at scale. Western Digital’s HelioSeal platform has proven to be a key differentiator that addresses high capacity needs.”

 

More Than 10 Million WD Helium-Filled HDDs Shipped

With roots tracing back to the first hard drive manufactured 60 years ago, Western Digital continues to lead the industry by delivering innovative and reliable storage solutions that help solve challenges faced by customers in the datacenter.

The HelioSeal technology complements future magnetic recording technologies, and will enable even higher density HDDs expressly designed for enterprise applications and hyperscale workloads that require capacity to capture vast amounts of operational and historical data.

WD helium-based drives are also well suited for applications such as the Internet of Things (IoT), search and social media. Spanning three generations, the HelioSeal platform enables the highest density HDDs available today and delivers the highest HDD reliability ratings to reinforce its capabilities for use in cloud and enterprise workloads where availability and reliability are paramount concerns.

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Underscoring the overall TCO benefits is the power efficiency of the HelioSeal platform. The 10 million WD helium hard drives, or approximately 76 exabytes (EB) of storage capacity, are a testament to energy efficiency at scale.

As architects continue to design for hyperscale cloud applications, 76EB of data stored on 10TB WD helium-filled drives would save over 1 million kilowatt hours (KWh) of operating power each day, about half the power required for 8TB air-filled drives.

The energy saved in one day of operation from these drives would be enough to power about 35,000 U.S. homes for the same day, illustrating how the efficiency of the HelioSeal line can help data center architects meet eco-environmental goals and requirements.

“Western Digital is firmly committed to enabling an era where data is abundant and immediately accessible,” said Brendan Collins, vice president of product marketing, Western Digital. “The velocity at which Western Digital achieved this milestone underscores the avid need for data ubiquity across cloud and on-premise. Architects who design for hyperscale environments are sparking rapid innovation because they understand how data fluency across an organization informs smarter decisions. This is key to unlocking the power of data.”

Western Digital offers the HelioSeal platform on its enterprise-class products (under its HGST product brand as Ultrastar He10 and Ultrastar He8, and under its WD product brand as WD Gold [Our Review]), and its NAS and surveillance offerings (WD Red, WD Red Pro and WD Purple) in volume today.

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