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SubjectRe: ATA 4 KiB sector issues.
On 03/08/2010 10:58 AM, James Bottomley wrote:
>> On the flipside, though, there really is very little net benefit to 4K
>> as opposed to 512 byte logical sectors: the additional protocol overhead
>> is relatively minimal, and as long as writes are aligned full blocks,
>> there shouldn't be any additional overhead on either the OS or the drive
>> side. On the plus side, you get full compatibility with the existing
>> software stack. The equation really seems rather simple.
> There's another problem that afflicts 4k drives emulating 512b: they
> have to do a read modify write for any isolated 512b write ... that
> leads to potential corruption of adjacent 512b blocks if power is lost
> at the moment the write is being done. Since most Linux filesystems are
> 4k sectors, misalignment really hammers this, plus most journal writes
> seem to be done in 512 byte increments. I suppose for USB this could be
> regarded as flakey as usual, though.

Misalignment sucks in general. This is nothing new - the RAID and flash
people have had these problems for a long time now. It's clear we need
to align our filesystems, period.

As to the read-modify-write issue: to some degree there is very little
you can do about it other than a big enough capacitor. If you can't
write a sector atomically and have it stick, you're screwed no matter what.


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