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Document ID: c03195193

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HP Business PCs, Workstations, and Point of Sale Systems - HP is Transitioning to Advanced Format Hard Drive Technology

Release date : 08-Feb-2012

Last updated : 08-Feb-2012

HP will begin shipping Advanced Format Hard disk drives (4K) for 3.5-inch drives in all Business PCs, Workstations, and Point of Sale Systems by the end of the first quarter of the 2012 calendar year. This is due to the supply shortages resulting from flooding in Thailand.
Advanced Format technology uses 4K byte sector boundaries for physical data storage on the hard drive, but will continue to communicate logically to the system in 512 byte sectors. These 512 byte logical sectors are known as 512 byte emulation or 512e and are necessary to maintain compatibility with current and legacy operating systems.
During the transition, Business PCs, Workstation, and Point of Sale Systems will ship with either Advanced Format hard drives or 512n hard drives until the supply of 512n drives is depleted. Spare Parts will ship either Advanced Format hard drives or 512n hard drives until the supply of 512n drives are depleted.
SKU numbers for the systems will remain the same regardless of the hard drive technology used in the configuration.

HP is moving to Advanced Format hard drives in new Business PCs, Workstations, and Point of Sale Systems earlier than planned due to supply shortages resulting from flooding in Thailand. 3.5-inch, 7200 RPM Advanced Format hard drives (all capacities) will begin shipping sooner than expected as HP’s hard drive suppliers have a greater and more stable supply of this hard drive technology.
  • Older operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows XP, Vista prior to SP1, and early versions of Linux, may require action to align hard drive data on 4K byte sector boundaries to provide maximum hard drive performance.
  • To align an Advanced Format hard drive for these older operating systems, HP recommends that you assess your usage environment and, if necessary, follow the procedures outlined in the Preparing Advanced Format Hard Drives for Microsoft Windows White Paper.
  • To detect what type of hard drive is in the configuration, the HP Hard Drive Detection Tool can be used. Click here to download the HP Hard Drive Detection Tool.
  • Using an Advanced Format hard drive in the following operating systems should not require any extra actions, software updates or drivers:
    • Microsoft Windows 7
      Microsoft has released an update which improves the performance of ”Advanced Format or 512-byte emulation” drives on Windows 7. This update is already included in Windows 7 pre-installed images that ship with Hewlett-Packard Workstations. If you are using the preinstalled image as shipped, no action is required. If you are re-creating your own custom image, please consider including this update in your custom image in order to achieve the same level of compatibility and performance with “Advanced Format” drives.
      The Microsoft update may be obtained at this link:
    • Microsoft Windows Vista SP1 or higher
    • Microsoft Windows PE 2.1 or higher
    • SuSE Linux SLE11-SP1 or higher
    • RedFlag Linux v2.6.31 or higher
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 or higher
Although these operating systems are compatible with Advanced Format technology, alignment issues may occur when using older third-party deployment tools. Contact the deployment tool vendor for more information on the deployment tool's ability to work with Advanced Format hard drives. If you are using an HP factory image on your system, no action is required.
Components affected:
HP hard disk drives shipped on all HP Business PCs, Workstations, and Point of Sale Systems.


Effective date : 15-Feb-2012

Hardware platforms affected : HP Business Desktop PCs, HP Business Desktop PCs, Point of Sale (POS) Systems, Workstations

HP Inc. shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein. The information provided is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. To the extent permitted by law, neither HP or its affiliates, subcontractors or suppliers will be liable for incidental, special or consequential damages including downtime cost; lost profits; damages relating to the procurement of substitute products or services; or damages for loss of data, or software restoration. The information in this document is subject to change without notice. HP Inc. and the names of HP products referenced herein are trademarks of HP Inc. in the United States and other countries. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.