Originally Posted by Goes to 11
A question about all the formatting info above--more a question about terminology, I think. Would it be correct for me to say that the "format" in the WD advanced format is not the same "format" as when I format a drive to NTFS or FAT32 or whatever? That this is just an unfortunate (in my opinion) use of the same word for two different things, causing confusion for newbies the way MS Windows "Explorer" is not the same as MS Internet "Explorer?"
Yes; when WD refers to "advanced format," they're talking about the low-level format, where sector markers are written to each track of the drive. When you "format" a drive to NTFS, FAT32, etc., that's a "high-level" format which just initializes the desired file system by writing data to certain sectors, which were already marked by the low-level format at the factory.
By changing the low-level format from 512-byte to 4096-byte sectors, only 1/8 as many sector markers are needed, thus increasing drive capacity. And all modern file systems allocate space in multiples of 4096 bytes anyway. 512-byte sectors are a relic of the era when drive capacities were measured in megabytes rather than gigabytes and terabytes.