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How to determine the size of cylinder?

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Anonymous
November 28, 2004 11:28:13 PM

Archived from groups: linux.redhat.install,comp.os.linux.setup,alt.os.linux,comp.os.linux.misc,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Dear experts,

I have a good technical question for you.

From the newsgroups:

"From: Gary Boswell (gboswell@dormnet.stu1.uconn.edu)
Subject: Hard Drive > 500 mb FAQ

Back in ancient times computers had a limitation in the BIOS of the following:
cylinders = 1024
heads = 16
sectors = 63
* 512
-----------
or 528,482,304 bytes
Due to these limitations the maximum size of a hard drive was:
528 chkdisk mb
503 CMOS mb"


My question is:
- for a given hard drive, how can I tell the size of the cylinder?

In either Redhat, or Windows XP?

Thanks
Anonymous
November 29, 2004 2:27:55 AM

Archived from groups: linux.redhat.install,comp.os.linux.setup,alt.os.linux,comp.os.linux.misc,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Pi*R^2*H

For computers, see Google
hard drive cylinders ... diving cylinders scuba cylinders
cng compressors hydrolic cylinders hydralic cylinders cng
cylinders cng india cng nec hard drive cylinders wax
cylinders area ...
www.faber-italy.com/hard-drive-cylinders.html - 5k -
Cached - Similar pages


Hard Drive Size Barriers, In Depth ... Translation works by
dividing the number of cylinders or a hard drive by a binary
number such as 2, 4, 8 or 16, and then multiplying the
number of heads by the ...
www.dewassoc.com/kbase/hard_drives/
hard_drive_size_barriers.htm - 70k - Cached - Similar pages


The History and Development of Hard Drive Technologies ...
today still rely on this original CMOS drive type scheme ...
a problem with more than two hard drives and ... limits to
recognizing more than 1024 cylinders, 16 heads ...
www.actionfront.com/hdtech1.html - 20k - Cached -
Similar pages


What is hard disk? - A Word Definition From the Webopedia
Computer ... ... called a cylinder. For example, a typical
84 megabyte hard disk for a PC might have two platters (four
sides) and 1,053 cylinders. ...
www.webopedia.com/TERM/h/hard_disk.html - 48k -
Cached - Similar pages


BIOS Limitations ... with the "13th bit". The 13th bit is
needed to provide support for a drive having 4096 or more
cylinders. The chart below displays ...
www.seagate.com/support/kb/disc/bioslmt.html - 27k -
Cached - Similar pages


2

<linuxquestion@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:672ceaed.0411282028.1b8dc772@posting.google.com...
| Dear experts,
|
| I have a good technical question for you.
|
| From the newsgroups:
|
| "From: Gary Boswell (gboswell@dormnet.stu1.uconn.edu)
| Subject: Hard Drive > 500 mb FAQ
|
| Back in ancient times computers had a limitation in the
BIOS of the following:
| cylinders = 1024
| heads = 16
| sectors = 63
| * 512
| -----------
| or 528,482,304 bytes
| Due to these limitations the maximum size of a hard drive
was:
| 528 chkdisk mb
| 503 CMOS mb"
|
|
| My question is:
| - for a given hard drive, how can I tell the size of the
cylinder?
|
| In either Redhat, or Windows XP?
|
| Thanks
Anonymous
November 29, 2004 9:05:59 AM

Archived from groups: linux.redhat.install,comp.os.linux.setup,alt.os.linux,comp.os.linux.misc,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

linuxquestion@yahoo.com wrote:

> Dear experts,
>
> I have a good technical question for you.
>
> From the newsgroups:
>
> "From: Gary Boswell (gboswell@dormnet.stu1.uconn.edu)
> Subject: Hard Drive > 500 mb FAQ
>
> Back in ancient times computers had a limitation in the BIOS of the following:
> cylinders = 1024
> heads = 16
> sectors = 63
> * 512
> -----------
> or 528,482,304 bytes
> Due to these limitations the maximum size of a hard drive was:
> 528 chkdisk mb
> 503 CMOS mb"
>
>
> My question is:
> - for a given hard drive, how can I tell the size of the cylinder?
>
> In either Redhat, or Windows XP?
>
> Thanks

All but ancient HDs use ZBR, which means that the number of sectors on
a cylinder varies. Outer cylinders have more sectors than inner ones.
--
Cheers, Bob
Related resources
Anonymous
November 29, 2004 4:27:01 PM

Archived from groups: linux.redhat.install,comp.os.linux.setup,alt.os.linux,comp.os.linux.misc,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

The sure way is to fire up the browser and then look up the specs for
the drive in question on the manufacturers web site.

Bob Willard wrote:

> linuxquestion@yahoo.com wrote:
>
>> Dear experts,
>>
>> I have a good technical question for you.
>> From the newsgroups:
>>
>> "From: Gary Boswell (gboswell@dormnet.stu1.uconn.edu)
>> Subject: Hard Drive > 500 mb FAQ
>> Back in ancient times computers had a limitation in the BIOS of the
>> following: cylinders = 1024
>> heads = 16
>> sectors = 63
>> * 512
>> -----------
>> or 528,482,304 bytes Due to these limitations the maximum size
>> of a hard drive was:
>> 528 chkdisk mb
>> 503 CMOS mb"
>>
>>
>> My question is:
>> - for a given hard drive, how can I tell the size of the cylinder?
>>
>> In either Redhat, or Windows XP?
>>
>> Thanks
>
>
> All but ancient HDs use ZBR, which means that the number of sectors on
> a cylinder varies. Outer cylinders have more sectors than inner ones.
Anonymous
November 29, 2004 6:16:06 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Bob I wrote:
> The sure way is to fire up the browser and then look up the specs for
> the drive in question on the manufacturers web site.
>

I wish it were true, Bob I, but major HD vendors no longer publish detailed
specs online. The cursory specs tell you how many usable sectors a HD
has, but not the ZBR table of sectors/cylinder vs. cylinder.

If you know where to get those details from WDC and Seagate for current SATA
and PATA HDs, I'd be rather interested.
--
Cheers, Bob
Anonymous
November 29, 2004 7:02:39 PM

Archived from groups: linux.redhat.install,comp.os.linux.setup,alt.os.linux,comp.os.linux.misc,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Bob I wrote:
> The sure way is to fire up the browser and then look up the specs for
> the drive in question on the manufacturers web site.
>
What an interesting idea!

However, Maxtor do not tell me the number of cylinder size or the number
of cylinders on my four KU018L2 hard drives. They tell me the drives have
one disk with two heads and two recording surfaces. That there are 512
bytes per sector. Other models have 2 or 4 disks, so 4 or 8 recording
surfaces. (With my two 6Y080P0 drives, they tell me that they have 512
bytes per block, and it is logically CHS 16383/16/63, but I do not know
what that really means since they have models from 60GBytes to 200GBytes
with the same specification of logical CHS. They obviously do not take the
CHS specification very seriously.)

So clearly a cylinder has two tracks, if that is what you mean by cylinder
size. The other models have 4 track or 8 track cylinders.

But so what? How many sectors are on a track? That very clearly varies. If
I try to read an entire drive; e.g., running badblocks in verbose mode on
it, I can see that it slows down from around 57 Megabytes/second at the
outside edge to about 31 Megabytes/second at the center. So clearly the
number of sectors/track is not constant, but monotonically decreasing.

--
.~. Jean-David Beyer Registered Linux User 85642.
/V\ Registered Machine 241939.
/( )\ Shrewsbury, New Jersey http://counter.li.org
^^-^^ 15:45:00 up 37 days, 18:40, 3 users, load average: 4.11, 4.15, 4.10
Anonymous
November 29, 2004 7:02:40 PM

Archived from groups: linux.redhat.install,comp.os.linux.setup,alt.os.linux,comp.os.linux.misc,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Jean-David Beyer wrote on 11/29/2004 13:02:
> But so what? How many sectors are on a track? That very clearly varies.
> If I try to read an entire drive; e.g., running badblocks in verbose
> mode on it, I can see that it slows down from around 57 Megabytes/second
> at the outside edge to about 31 Megabytes/second at the center. So
> clearly the number of sectors/track is not constant, but monotonically
> decreasing.

Of course it does. There is more space on the outer tracks...
This is called zone-bit recording:
http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/geom/tracksZBR-c.html

-Joe
Anonymous
November 29, 2004 9:39:07 PM

Archived from groups: linux.redhat.install,comp.os.linux.setup,alt.os.linux,comp.os.linux.misc,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Dear user:
I am wondering why you need this!
On old IDE drives the CHS information was written on the disk... and was kae
anyway, but useful for BIOS setting.

For a long time (over 10 years) IDE/ATA has a query command to query the CHS
information: the host can request and get this info from the disk.

There even was a command to change it (YES!).

Today, the data is accessed by LBA (logical block address).
A logical block is still often 512 bytes of data, but in my opinion it
should be bumped to a higher number, like 2k (2048 bytes).

So you really do not need to know the number of CHS on your disk excepted
for curiosity.
----

linuxquestion@yahoo.com wrote:
> Dear experts,
> I have a good technical question for you.
Anonymous
November 30, 2004 12:13:21 AM

Archived from groups: linux.redhat.install,comp.os.linux.setup,alt.os.linux,comp.os.linux.misc,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

linuxquestion@yahoo.com wrote in
news:672ceaed.0411282028.1b8dc772@posting.google.com:

> Dear experts,
>
> I have a good technical question for you.
>
> From the newsgroups:
>
> "From: Gary Boswell (gboswell@dormnet.stu1.uconn.edu)
> Subject: Hard Drive > 500 mb FAQ
>
> Back in ancient times computers had a limitation in the BIOS of the
> following:
> cylinders = 1024
> heads = 16
> sectors = 63
> * 512
> -----------
> or 528,482,304 bytes
> Due to these limitations the maximum size of a hard drive was:
> 528 chkdisk mb
> 503 CMOS mb"
>
>
> My question is:
> - for a given hard drive, how can I tell the size of the cylinder?
>
> In either Redhat, or Windows XP?

You cannot. Modern IDE drives use logical block addressing which masks the
physical layout of the disk from the user. The old CHS method is
maintained for legacy only and only allows you to use a portion of the
drive's capacity. Furthermore, the notion of Cylinder, Head, and Sector
has nothing to do with the physical disk attributes when using the CHS
values provided by the drive.

You may get some information from the disk vendor's OEM Data Sheet. For
instance, Hitachi sites varying recording zone densities for tracks along
with some other information that should allow you to determine the sectors
per track and then the sectors per cylinder. You will need to do this
off-line calculation for each model and capacity you employ as these
values may (and often do) change.

--
- Mark ->
--
Anonymous
November 30, 2004 12:57:21 AM

Archived from groups: linux.redhat.install,comp.os.linux.setup,alt.os.linux,comp.os.linux.misc,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

linuxquestion@yahoo.com wrote:
> Dear experts,
[snip]
> - for a given hard drive, how can I tell the size of the cylinder?

For the purposes of partition placement, fdisk will tell you the 'size of the
cylinder' of any installed hard drive

~ $ sudo /sbin/fdisk -l /dev/hda

Disk /dev/hda: 20.4 GB, 20490559488 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 2491 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Or, you can examine the contents of /proc/ide/<drive_id>/geometry

~ $ cat /proc/ide/hda/geometry
physical 39703/16/63
logical 2491/255/63



- --
Lew Pitcher

Master Codewright & JOAT-in-training | GPG public key available on request
Registered Linux User #112576 (http://counter.li.org/)
Slackware - Because I know what I'm doing.
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Version: GnuPG v1.2.4 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: Using GnuPG with Thunderbird - http://enigmail.mozdev.org

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Anonymous
November 30, 2004 7:28:32 AM

Archived from groups: linux.redhat.install,comp.os.linux.setup,alt.os.linux,comp.os.linux.misc,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

linuxquestion@yahoo.com writes:
> My question is:
> - for a given hard drive, how can I tell the size of the cylinder?

I hope you realize that for most modern hard drive this question is
meaningless. That is if you really want to know what you're asking.

Since the hard drive changes the size of the cylinders to pack more
data in the outer cylinders. You could try to ask what is the size of
a given cylinder? But it would not serve much, because modern hard
drives remap bad sectors on other cylinder "transparently", and use
really only LBA, even if the CHS addressing is still supported for
legacy.

--
__Pascal Bourguignon__ http://www.informatimago.com/
The world will now reboot; don't bother saving your artefacts.
Anonymous
November 30, 2004 4:57:14 PM

Archived from groups: linux.redhat.install,comp.os.linux.setup,alt.os.linux,comp.os.linux.misc,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Lew Pitcher <lpitcher@sympatico.ca> wrote in
news:BjRqd.12106$Ad3.762097@news20.bellglobal.com:

> [snip]
>> - for a given hard drive, how can I tell the size of the cylinder?
[snip]
> Or, you can examine the contents of /proc/ide/<drive_id>/geometry
>
> ~ $ cat /proc/ide/hda/geometry
> physical 39703/16/63

This is bogus, of course, and has nothing to do with the physical number
of cylinders, heads, or or sectors on the disk. Only the vendor's data
sheet will give you the physical information.

--
- Mark ->
--
Anonymous
December 1, 2004 2:05:49 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Since the drive electronics are doing the interpretation for use by the
interface the "actual sector count" on each individual track or cylinder
is "immaterial" for anything attached. The only reason to know that
would be to design and program the drive electronics. What you do get is
the "allowed" configuration for LBA use and the number of
cylinders/tracks.

Bob Willard wrote:

> Bob I wrote:
>
>> The sure way is to fire up the browser and then look up the specs for
>> the drive in question on the manufacturers web site.
>>
>
> I wish it were true, Bob I, but major HD vendors no longer publish detailed
> specs online. The cursory specs tell you how many usable sectors a HD
> has, but not the ZBR table of sectors/cylinder vs. cylinder.
>
> If you know where to get those details from WDC and Seagate for current
> SATA
> and PATA HDs, I'd be rather interested.
!