Question CAn the Internal drive from the WD elements work on another external enclosure with no problem after I used WDformatter to make it xp compatible?


May 30, 2009
Ok so i've read that the WD mybook has onboard chip hardware encryption, which means that if you take out the HD and put it into another enclosure, you won't be able to read the disk.
However, The WD elements/easystore don't have this, which means you should be able to shuc the drive and put it into another enclosure with no problem.
Now here's where my problem and question comes in. I bought an element and a easytore. I've the WDformatter program to make them XP Compatible since they're both 8tb and XP 32 bit don't read anything passed 2tb normally. The program works nicely and i can read the 8tb drive on windows XP. BUT then i read somewhere on this reddit that the program does some tricks with the block sizes and it uses the on-board WD enclosure chip to decode it at hardware level and make it work with XP.. Someone wrote that due to this and making the drive "xp-compataible" using WDformatter, that If i shucced my drive and put it in another enclosure, The enclosure won't be able to read it?
IS THIS TRUE? Can anyone tell me if this still works after using wdformatter to make it xp compatiable then shuccing it to another enclosure? I don't want to waste money to buy another enclosure and go through the process of shuccing it myself to try, but i'm very curious if anyone has experience on this?
AIUI, WD's formatter utility reprograms the firmware on the USB-SATA bridge PCB inside the enclosure. This causes it to switch from a sector size of 512 bytes (the same as the HDD) to a sector size of 4096 bytes (4KB). This enables the external drive to be partitioned in MBR mode, which is compatible with Windows XP. The HDD still reports a 512e sector size to the bridge, but the bridge reports a size of 4KB to the OS and then transparently handles the conversion.

The problem is that the file system is now partitioned and formatted for a 4KB sector size, so if you now install this drive behind a bridge that is configured for a sector size of 512 bytes, your partition and file system will not be accessible. Instead, you will now need to find an enclosure that has the same 4KB sector size. Similarly, the 4KB file system will not be accessible via a direct SATA connection inside your PC (because your HDD always reports a size of 512e to the OS).