Hard drive evolution could hit Microsoft XP users

While I understand the need, I sure didn’t see this one coming.  Apparently, drive manufacturers have agreed to make a change to future hard drives, which Seagate’s David Burks has said he expects to result in a 10% performance drop for XP users.  What worries me the most about this–and will concern many HTPC users–is the fact that Windows Home Server also has the same issue.  While I’ve been axiously anticipating higher density drives and WHS2 (aka Vail), it looks like the two may need to go hand-in-hand, but possibly replacing all my drives at the same time does not sound very appetizing!

By early 2011 all hard drives will use an "advanced format" that
changes how they go about saving the data people store on them.  The
move to the advanced format will make it easier for hard drive makers
to produce bigger drives that use less power and are more reliable.

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

Moving to an advanced format of 4K sectors means about
eight times less wasted space but will allow drives to devote twice as
much space per block to error correction.