Change Variable Sector Size on NVM Express* Drives


Install & Setup



Some Data Center NVM Express* (NMVe*) SSDs use Variable Sector Size technology as an alternative to Physical Sector Size, which is used by SATA SSDs.

The NVMe drives support 512, 520, 528, 4096, 4104, 4160, and 4224 bytes Variable Sector Size. The default value is 512 bytes.

Note Changing the Variable Sector Size requires you to use the NVMe format command. The command erases all data on the selected device.

Instructions for changing the Variable Sector Size to 4096 bytes

To change the Variable Sector Size:

  1. Make sure you have Intel® SSD Data Center Tool (Intel® SSD DCT) installed.
    If you haven't installed the tool, go to the Download Center. Click your operating system.
    Download and install the tool.

    Intel® SSD DCT Download Center

  2. Type the following command to identify the drive or drives on your computer and show current the SectorSize value: isdct show –a -intelssd. The example shows a drive with an Index of 0, with a Sector Size of 512 bytes:

    DriveIndex 0

    SectorSize 512 bytes

  3. Type the following command to change the Variable Sector Size to 4096 bytes: isdct start –intelssd 0 -NVMeFormat LBAformat=3 SecureEraseSetting=0 ProtectionInformation=0 MetaDataSettings=0. The example shows NVMe Format Successful:

    NVMe Format Successful

  4. Enter the following command to verify that the SectorSize value changed: isdct show –a –intelssd.


See the Intel® SSD Data Center Tool User Guide for information about these settings:

  • LBA format
  • Secure Erase Setting
  • Protection Information
  • Metadata Setting