Support statement regarding 4K sector disks and Symantec System Recovery (SSR).

Article:TECH143704  |  Created: 2010-11-08  |  Updated: 2014-08-25  |  Article URL
Article Type
Technical Solution


Use the following steps to determine if your disk use this advanced format:

  • For Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2: Open a command prompt and type fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo <drive letter:> (example: fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo C: )

  • For Windows 8/Windows Server 2012 and later: fsutil fsinfo sectorinfo <drive letter> (example: fsutil fsinfo sectorinfo c: )

(Note: The following update may need to be installed in order to get the desired output from running the above command:


Using the results from the above step, the following table lists the drive types, Bytes per Sector value, Bytes per Physical Sector value and whether or not Symantec System Recovery 2013 supports them.

Table: Types of drives
 Bytes per Sector value Bytes per Physical Sector value  Drive type  Supported Y/N
 4096  4096  4K native  No
 512  4096 Advanced Format (also known as 512E)  Yes
 512  512  512-byte native  Yes
 4096  512  4k emulation  No


Limitations when using 4K sector disks as backup destinations:

  1. Drives will not be listed in the SSR user interface (UI) under Advanced--Drives
  2. Drives will not be listed in the SSR UI under Tasks--Options--External Drives. This means an alias cannot be used for the drive. Hence, if the drive letter for the drive changes (i.e. due to plug in/out), the backup destination will be reported as unavailable and backups may fail

The screenshot below shows an example of what the FSUTIL output would be when using an advanced format/512 disk:

The screenshot below shows an example of what the FSUTIL output would be when using a true 4k sector (non-advanced format/512) disk:


The upcoming release of SSR 2013 R2 will fully support 4k sector drives. Currently, SSR 2013 does not support 'native' 4K sector (including 'Advanced Format' or '512E') disks as a backup source (i.e. the drive(s) being backed up). These drives can be used as a backup destination (note limitations mentioned below). They are however supported as a backup destination (note limitations above). Note that SSR currently does not display native 4K disks in it's user interface (hence, they cannot be selected for backup).

SSR does support advanced format/512E disks as both backup source and destination.

For more information, please refer to

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Terms of use for this information are found in Legal Notices