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Set Disk Logical Block Size (Low Level Format)
Sometimes it is necessary to change the logical block size of a disk.  In my case, this usually happens when I purchase used 15K hard disks that were used in enterprise storage appliances.  They usually come with 520, 524, or 528 byte sectors and are useless with standard storage controllers until they can be reformatted with 512 byte sectors.  The good news is that this isn't tricky to do if you have the right tools.  This guide assumes that your user account can sudo.

Set Disk Logical Block Size (Low Level Format)
Install the required software:

$ sudo apt-get install sg3-utils

Download and compile setblocksize:


Find the disk you wish to reformat with a new sector size:

$ sudo sg_map -i

A list of disks will be shown.  You'll have to refer to the disk using its /dev/sg# name instead of its normal /dev/sd# name, and the map returned by the previous command will show both side by side in addition to the name of each device.

Issue the format command (replacing the # in sg# with the actual device number you wish to target):

sudo ./setblocksize -b512 /dev/sg#

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