February 4, 2006

Setting the sector size - why 4 KB?

Microsoft gives the scoop in Windows NT Boot Process and Hard Disk Constraints. Here's the skinny. The partition table which Windows uses to track hard disk partitions has a field size of 32-bits. The number of sectors in a partition is thus limited to 2^32 = 4,294,967,296. The rest is multiplication: a 4KB sector size permits a maximum partition size of 4*1,024 bytes*4,294,967,296 = 17,592,186,044,416 bytes = 16 TB. The next sector size down, 2KB, permits a 8 TB partition. Hmm, I think I could have chosen a 2KB sector size.

Posted by torque at February 4, 2006 9:02 PM | TrackBack