However I had not really thought about all this from a forensic perspective until Adam posted a MFT carver and started asking questions on the win4n6 mailing list about 4k sectors and their impact on the MFT. I checked the large drive on my system (which is using 1TB WD caviar blacks) and sure enough I had 4k sectors. I then checked the MFT and found it was using 4k File Record Segments.
My theory at the time was that the file record segment would match the sector size if the sector was 1024 or over. This was sort of confirmed by Troy, one of the other win4n6 folk. Troy also pointed out that Microsoft have reported that they are not yet supporting 4k sectors, as mentioned in this blog post from the Microsoft storage team.
This of course got my interest up, as I had a drive clearly reporting 4k sectors, as did Adam. Upon rebooting my system I realized/remembered that I was in fact using a Highpoint Rocket RAID,not connecting directly to the drive (why I did not notice this in windows I don't know). So I copied everything off the RAID, wiped the three 1TB drives and then configured a new RAID, at which point I found that the controller will let you set the sector size from 512, 1024, 2048, 3072 or 4096 bytes (hows that for cool?). I then created a 2TB RAID using 4k sectors. This was then formatted as NTFS on this was on Windows 7 pro SP1. I confirmed once again that the MFT file record segments were 4k in size. By default it still used a 4k cluster size, so there goes file slack space! The picture below shows the BPB of the partition. The key values are Bytes/Sector (0x0100 or 4096), sectors per cluster (1) and Clusters per file record segment (1).
Now the interesting part, what tools can handle a disk using 4k sectors?
x-ways 16.1 SR-3 has no problem
FTK imager 184.108.40.2064 will mount the drive or image, but does not recognize any file system.*
Encase 6.19.4 & 6.16.2 crash when it starts processing the MFT, apparently encase 7 works*
SIFT 2.13 will mount it and show/access files correctly, although mmls appears to be hard coded to report 512 sectors, so the offsets it provides for the start of the partition are wrong.
analyzeMFT 1.7 does not support it. Adam pointed out the following comment in the code:
I have not had the time to test anything else, so I figured I would put the test image out there for everyone to play with. If you have the time please download the test image, try it out in your favourite tools and post your results in the comments. You can download it here: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0BxubffSxLhRkU21ybXNsQ1pNTk0. Since the RAID were pretty much all 0x00 once acquired it compresses down to 2GB.