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I would like to understand the compatibility of the Advance Format drives with existing OS's, particularly if the Hard Drive has 512 emulation (AF 512e).

I understand the basics of how the 512 Emulation works on the hard drives, but I have not seen anything to clarify the behavior of such drives in a compatible operating system.

According to the MSDN documentation, under Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008, they are compatible with the 512e emulation (and having logical sectors of 512 bytes and physical sectors of 4096 bytes). It also shows that Windows 8 and Server 2012 have native 4K sector support, but what happens when you put a AF 512e hard drive in a computer where the OS natively supports 4K sectors?

  • Will the AF 512e hard drive operate as a native 4K hard drive in a scenario where the OS supports a 4K?
  • Or will the 512 Emulation still make the OS believe that the sectors are 512 bytes?
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The emulation is done in the hard drive, so the operating systems treat it as a 512 sector drive. They have no control over the emulation process.

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