[SOLVED] 2230 M.2 external enclosure that supports 512byte sector size?

uria702

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Apr 19, 2008
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I'm in need of a 2230 m.2 enclosure that supports 512byte sector size WITHOUT converting it to 4096. If anybody knows where I can find this, please let me know. It seems really hard to find this spec listing on websites like newegg, amazon, etc.
 
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SSDs may emulate 512 byte sectors if it supports 512e mode. However, physically, flash memory uses 4KiB sectors (or technically speaking, pages). Also this mode may be not a thing in newer drives, as they don't expect you to use the SSD with a system that doesn't natively support 4K.
 
SSDs may emulate 512 byte sectors if it supports 512e mode. However, physically, flash memory uses 4KiB sectors (or technically speaking, pages). Also this mode may be not a thing in newer drives, as they don't expect you to use the SSD with a system that doesn't natively support 4K.
 
I wanted to say, enclosures don't report what the sector size is for a device. At least, I don't know of any enclosures that do, because that would require the enclosure basically acting like a storage drive itself.
The enclosure does show up as a USB mass storage device. I believe ntfsinfo can report its physical sector size.

Type the following at the CMD prompt:

fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo X:​
 
The enclosure does show up as a USB mass storage device. I believe ntfsinfo can report its physical sector size.

Type the following at the CMD prompt:

fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo X:​
What I mean is the USB enclosure, assuming it takes a COTS storage, basically has to act as a storage controller itself, rather than a converter between USB and whatever storage interface the drive uses. Anything the USB enclosure reports is just relayed from the storage drive itself.
 
What I mean is the USB enclosure, assuming it takes a COTS storage, basically has to act as a storage controller itself, rather than a converter between USB and whatever storage interface the drive uses. Anything the USB enclosure reports is just relayed from the storage drive itself.
The USB-SATA bridge converts the sector size, it doesn't merely relay it. The HDD can be a 512n or 512e model, yet the bridge may still report a sector size of 4Kn to the host. That's what Seagate's enclosures do.

WD's enclosures can be "quick formatted" using WD's tool. This changes the sector size reported by the bridge, irrespective of the HDD behind the bridge.
 
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The USB-SATA bridge converts the sector size, it doesn't merely relay it. The HDD can be a 512n or 512e model, yet the bridge may still report a sector size of 4Kn to the host. That's what Seagate's enclosures do.

WD's enclosures can be "quick formatted" using WD's tool. This changes the sector size reported by the bridge, irrespective of the HDD behind the bridge.
A drive manufacturer's external enclosure is a different story. They may ship the drives without a controller board and have all that in the enclosure to prevent people from simply harvesting the drive from the external drives. After all, they sell higher capacity external drives cheaper than internal drives.

I do not believe this applies to any other storage drive to USB interface, because it doesn't make sense. There's no real reason to override what the physical sector size of the drive is.

EDIT: Okay so I looked up a tear down on Western Digital's 3.5" external drives and it appears they're using an adapter. However, the controller board on the 2.5" drives have no adapter.

Either way, again, it's the storage manufacturer making the enclosure. They can do things that generic enclosures cannot do.
 
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The reason that Seagate's USB-SATA bridge boards present a 4KB sector size to the USB host is for compatibility with a legacy OS such as Windows XP. Win XP is limited to MBR partitions which are themselves limited in size to 2^32 sectors. When the sector size is 512 bytes, this corresponds to a maximum capacity of 2TiB. To allow Win XP to support larger drives with MBR partitions, the sector size is increased to 4KB. This then enables Windows XP to see 16TiB HDDs with MBR partitions.

WD's 2.5" external drives (Passports) either have a separate USB-SATA bridge board (earlier models), or they may integrate the bridge onto the HDD's PCB. There is never a bare, conventional drive inside the enclosure.

Here is a good explanation:
https://www.klennet.com/notes/2018-04-14-usb-and-sector-size.aspx

... and another one:
https://goughlui.com/2013/10/02/experiment-usb-to-sata-bridge-chips-and-2tb-drives/
 

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