Even die hard Windows XP users will have to upgrade next year because their favourite operating system can't handle the new generation of harddrives.
By early 2011 all hard drives that come onto the market will use an "advanced format" that changes how they go about saving the data people store on them.
It will mean that hard drive makers can produce bigger drives that use less power and are more reliable. But it will not run on Windows XP which has a hard-drive formatted into blocks 512 bytes in size.
The 512 byte format dates from the days of the floppy and is now hopelessly out of date. David Burks, a product marketing manager for storage firm Seagate said that the fine resolution on hard drives is causing a problem, he said, because of the wasted space associated with each tiny block.
Each 512 byte sector has a marker showing where it begins and an area dedicated to storing error correction codes. In addition a tiny gap has to be left between each sector. In large drives this wasted space where data cannot be stored can take up a significant proportion of the drive, he said.
The new formats use 4K sectors that means about eight times less wasted space but will allow drives to devote twice as much space per block to error correction. Windows XP was released before the 4K format was decided upon while Windows 7, Vista, OS X and versions of the Linux kernel released after September 2009 are all 4K aware.
Although there are emulators for Windows XP being developed they will slow the drive right down.
Source : Fudzilla