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Support for the Advanced Format Drives that have a 4-KB hard disk sector
Technical Articles ID:   KB71582
Last Modified:  6/6/2018


McAfee Drive Encryption (DE) 7.x
McAfee File and Removable Media Protection 5.x, 4.3.x

Advanced Format Drives (4096-byte sector size)
- Western Digital
- Dell
- Seagate

For details of DE supported environments, see KB79422.
For details of FRP supported environments, see KB81149.



Background information
Because the physical storage capacity of drives has increased, the legacy 512-byte hard drive sector size had to be replaced so it could handle larger files and use the available storage space more efficiently.

Hard disk data has been processed in 512-byte increments since its first development in 1956. The new first generation of Advanced Format (AF) drive technology hard disks with a 4 kilobyte (4,096 byte) hard drive sector size replace the traditional 512-byte sector size disks. Although this technology uses the storage area more efficiently for large files, it is less efficient for smaller files.

  • The new drives can emulate the 512-byte sector size to allow backward compatibility.
  • Current AF Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) are also known as 512e HDDs.
All products listed above do not currently support the 4-Kb native drives because many of the current Microsoft operating systems do not support this format.

This issue is being evaluated for consideration in a future release or patched version of the Drive Encryption and File and Removable Media Protection products. 


Encryption products do support Microsoft operating systems that support drives that use the Advanced Format (4 KB physical and 512-byte logical sector size). The drives in this mode emulate 512-byte sectors, so no issues are expected.

Summary based on the details provided
Drive Type
Supported Windows Operating Systems
Supported by
Endpoint Encryption
4 KB native
- 4 KB (4,096 byte) logical sector size
Update October 2014:
Microsoft Windows 8 and Windows 2012 Server do now support the 4-Kb native driver.
For details, see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2510009/en-us
Advanced Format
- 4 KB physical and 512-byte logical sector size
Supported on:
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
512 byte native
(512 byte physical and logical sector size)
All operating systems Yes
For up-to-date details about the Microsoft support policy for large sector drives in Windows, see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2510009.


An alternative solution that you can use in place of the DE solution, provided the platform meets the MNE requirements, is outlined below.

MNE 2.0 added support for ePO management of Windows BitLocker in July 2014, so it provides a method for managing BitLocker on Windows systems that support 4-Kb native drives.

MNE 2.0 and later includes the following product enhancements:
  • BitLocker management - Parity with MNE 1.0 features that provided management of Apple FileVault
  • Automated key rotation  - Mac OSX
  • Additional language support - Korean, Chinese-Simplified, Chinese-Traditional
  • Additional platform support 
Platform requirements:
Supported Windows/Mac Operating Systems and McAfee product releases can change. To find the currently supported OSs and McAfee product, see the following articles:

IMPORTANT: All customers are licensed for one of the data protection suites. Both suites provide customers the option to deploy DE or MNE. The choice is the customer's preference. We want our customers to pick the appropriate offering (DE or MNE) for their business needs.


The content of this article originated in English. If there are differences between the English content and its translation, the English content is always the most accurate. Some of this content has been provided using Machine Translation translated by Microsoft.

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