Note Advanced Format disks introduce a larger physical sector (4 KB). However, to make initial versions more compatible with current computer systems, they maintain a 512 byte logical addressing interface. Therefore, they are known as “512-byte emulation disks,” or “512e” for short. For more information about Advanced Format disks, please visit the International Disk Drive Equipment and Materials Association (IDEMA) website that is listed at the end of this article.
This KB article introduces new storage infrastructure to support querying for the physical sector size of the storage device. Additionally, this KB article introduces support in certain key system components for these kinds of disks in order to improve performance, reliability, and general interoperability.
A more detailed technical discussion into the special considerations developers have to take with these kinds of disks are out of the scope of this KB article and will be detailed in a companion document on MSDN.
Issues that this hotfix rollup package fixesThis hotfix rollup package resolves the following issues that were not previously documented in a Microsoft Knowledge Base article. Any of these following issues can be encountered when you use an Advanced Format disk.
Issue 1 You receive an error message when you click the Check for Updates button on Windows Update site
Issue 2 An Issue Occurs when many small writes are performed
Issue 3 Applications cannot query the physical sector size of an external storage device
Issue 4 Applications cannot query the physical sector size of a storage device
Issue 5 Storage drivers do not support correct sector size reporting for Advanced Format disks
Issue 6 Fsutil.exe tool issue
How to obtain this update
If you are not sure which Windows version is installed, follow these steps:
- Click Start, type msinfo32 in the Start Search or Search programs and files, then press ENTER.
- Locate your operating system next to the OS Name line and your architecture type next to the System Type line.
The following files are available for download from the Microsoft Download Center:
|All supported x86-based versions of Windows 7||Download the update package now.|
|All supported x64-based versions of Windows 7||Download the update package now.|
|All supported x64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 R2||Download the update package now.|
For more information about how to download Microsoft support files, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Microsoft scanned this file for viruses. Microsoft used the most current virus-detection software that was available on the date that the file was posted. The file is stored on security-enhanced servers that help prevent any unauthorized changes to the file.
To apply this hotfix, you must be running one of the following operating systems:
- Windows 7
- Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1)
- Windows Server 2008 R2
- Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1)
For more information about how to obtain a Windows 7 or a Windows Server 2008 R2 service pack, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
You must restart the computer after you apply this hotfix.
Update replacement information
This update does not replace a previously released update.
Although Microsoft has taken steps to improve support for Advanced Format disks which run alongside Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, it is up to software developers to update their applications . It is observed to be the general trend of the Storage Industry to transition to larger sector sizes over the coming years, and applications must make sure that they are ready for this transition. Microsoft is preparing additional MSDN and TechNet documentation which will educate Developers and IT Pros as to the special considerations which have to be taken to support Advanced Format disks. The following table details Microsoft supports for different hard disk formats.
Support for Hard Disk Formats based on OS Version
|Common Name(s)||Physical sector size||Logical sector size||Windows Version with Support|
|Legacy 512 Native, 512 Native, Legacy||512 bytes||512 bytes||All Windows versions|
|Advanced Format, 512-bye Emulation, 512e, 4k/512e||4 KB||512 bytes||Windows 7 with MS KB 982018|
Windows 7 SP1
Windows Server 2008 R2 with MS KB 982018
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
|4K Native, 4k/4k||4 KB||4 KB||Not supported as of Windows 7 SP1 or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. Microsoft is conducting an investigation into the feasibility of supporting these kinds of disks in the future and will issue the necessary KB articles when it is appropriate.|
|Other||Not 4 KB or 512 bytes.||Not 4 KB or 512 bytes.||Not supported|
For more information, visit the following websites: