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Why is it better for blocks belonging to the same file to be on the same cylinder as opposed to being on the same track?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

It doesn't matter that much. Especially as the cylinder and track concepts, although still used by some utilities, is quite obsolete and has no real relationship with how the data is stored on modern disks. The number of sectors per physical track vary depending on the disk area used nowadays.

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For older hard disks the best performance are obtained by putting the file on different plates (heads) that can be read simultaneously and on alternate sectors since near sectors can not be read consecutively.

As jilliagre pointed out there are no more correspondence between the old sector coordinate and the physical disposition on disk.

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