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View Full Version : [PSA] Why new hard disks might be no fun for XP users


J Arcane
03-11-2010, 01:27 AM
Ars Technica brings this report on the hard disk sector-size changeover, (http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2010/03/why-new-hard-disks-might-not-be-much-fun-for-xp-users.ars/) and why those of you still clutching your keys for XP home might start having some problems with new drives soon.

Those of you planning new machines and intending to plug doddering old XP into them should especially reconsider springing for Windows 7.

Kelegacy
03-11-2010, 06:06 AM
I really hate having to upgrade to overpriced OS's. I think it's a racket.

Savok
03-11-2010, 06:09 AM
Yeesh. Still, Win7 is the best OS I've used since DOS, as least they aren't forcing Vista on us.

Talanvor
03-11-2010, 06:26 AM
Huh, I don't see why this is so dire. WinXP, as of now, writes partitions in a certain manner. Why couldn't it be updated to write them in a slightly different manner that would be compatible with the new HDs?

Hell, there was someone in the comments thread that already had to deal with this problem. Basically it went like: Install XP, make an image of said install on another HD, reformat and install Vista, copy the image back and set the box up to dual boot. And that's if you needed Vista, otherwise just copy XP back and boom, done.

There was also some talk about BIOS being an old standard, which is true. There's newer, but hardly anyone has it outside of Apple and Itanium servers. So you could upgrade your mobo or your OS if you want a HD larger than 2 TBs and don't want to screw around with anything.

A little too much "the sky is falling!!!!", I think.

J Arcane
03-11-2010, 08:10 AM
Why couldn't it be updated to write them in a slightly different manner that would be compatible with the new HDs?

Because it's a nearly decade old OS that MS doesn't feel like supporting anymore?

Talanvor
03-11-2010, 08:24 AM
Because it's a nearly decade old OS that MS doesn't feel like supporting anymore?

True, but think of all of the utility apps that have been released over the years for XP. This shouldn't be that big of a deal. I think it's even mentioned that Western Digital will be releasing some software to deal with this.

Honestly though, how long do you expect MS to support XP for? Man those Win 3.11 for Workgroups guys must be PISSED! :eek:

Codicier
03-11-2010, 08:43 AM
I looked into this issue (http://www.colonyofgamers.com/cogforums/showpost.php?p=503346&postcount=9) while planning to get a new external drive. The anandtech link in there has a pretty good explanation of the issue. There is software from Western Digital that appears to deal with the issue. Haven't actually bought my new drive yet. We'll see how things go if/when I do.

RandoM51
03-11-2010, 10:08 AM
Won't even be noticeable for the typical XP user. The potential overhead is only on writes that span sectors and the new drive will---most likely---still be faster than their old drive when performing such writes.

XP is easily patched to align the partition boundaries such that this isn't an issue. Indeed, Western Digital already has software to do the alignment.

On top of that, the mix for typical desktop usage is for far more read ops than write ops. If you put your pagefile on one of these new drives you'll want to make sure the partition map is properly aligned on the sector boundaries.

The other issue is support of > 2TB partitions, which has nothing to do with Windows XP and everything to do with 32-bit BIOS. I expect EFI to become quite a bit more popular when > 2TB drives become commonplace.

In short, keep on using Windows XP if it works for you. 2014 is when you'll have to worry as there will no longer be security updates.

Stoke
03-11-2010, 03:59 PM
I really hate having to upgrade to overpriced OS's. I think it's a racket.

$110 (http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Windows-Home-Premium-Upgrade/dp/B002DHLUWK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=software&qid=1268344459&sr=1-1) is hardly overpriced for a computer OS. Especially if you're upgrading from XP. Surely after 9 years you can spring for the new OS. If not, one has to wonder how this will affect you since you're probably not upgrading any hardware either. :p

Handmade.Mercury
03-11-2010, 04:26 PM
I really hate having to upgrade to overpriced OS's. I think it's a racket.

Do you run a 32-bit or 64-bit system? If you run a 32-bit system, I can get you Win7 using my MSDN subscription. Consider it the prize instead of that t-shirt I still owe you.

Goronmon
03-12-2010, 07:00 AM
They don't say the new hard drives won't work with XP, just that they were be some performance decrease. But if you are still running XP, you probably aren't super concerned about optimal performance or even worried about upgrading hardware anyways.

muddi900
03-13-2010, 05:16 AM
I only have XP on one of my machines. Its a laptop, and I don't plan to upgrade it anytime soon. It works and its all that matters. Again as Random pointed out, newer HDDs would still be faster.