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I recently purchased and installed a Seagate Constellation ES.3 4 TB drive, model ST4000NM0033. Right now it's suffering under a write stress test (overwrite pass of the entire drive with Write-Read-Verify turned on to allow the drive firmware to identify any bad sectors before I put anything important on the drive), but I was really surprised when I checked the SMART data and it reported that the drive uses a 512 byte logical and physical sector size. I thought that with such large drives, 4096 byte sectors was the name of the game. Running smartctl --all /dev/XXX on Debian Wheezy, I get:

smartctl 5.41 2011-06-09 r3365 [x86_64-linux-3.2.0-4-amd64] (local build)
Copyright (C) 2002-11 by Bruce Allen, http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net

=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
Device Model:     ST4000NM0033-9ZM170
Serial Number:    XXXXXXXX
LU WWN Device Id: X XXXXXX XXXXXXXXX
Firmware Version: SN03
User Capacity:    4 000 787 030 016 bytes [4.00 TB]
Sector Size:      512 bytes logical/physical
  • Does this model drive really use a 512 bytes physical sector size?

  • Do I even need to concern myself with such details?

I'm planning to align everything as if the drive was a 4 KiB physical sector size drive, if nothing else for consistency, but the smartctl output has me somewhat puzzled.

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According to Seagate the ST4000NM0033 drive does indeed use a 512 byte sector size. It seems that smartctl is reporting correctly. I don't know if you need to concern yourself with these details however.

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It would appear that you are correct; section 2.1 table 1 specifically says "sector size: 512". In which case my second question becomes moot. –  Michael Kjörling Sep 13 '13 at 7:25
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