Question Will it work - Sata 3 64mb on Windows XP

Oct 18, 2019
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Its my first time here, so very nice to meet you :)

My System has Windows XP (Proffesional 5.1) installed, My hard drive is: WDC WD1002FAEX-00Z3A0 (1TB)
I want to add another hard drive to this pc

My question is:
Will this hard drive will work with windows XP? Western Digital Purple 2TB 64MB Sata III WD20PURZ

I read in here that someone said that:
the 64 meggers should be 4k if memory serves right, thus youll have to align it prior to use with anything older than vista/w7.
But still, I would like to know if he is right or wrong...What kind of hard drives I must avoid as an XP user?
 
It will work fine, but for best performance you should not use Win9x or XP's built-in tools to create partitions on any 4k sector drive. Formatting is fine, but fdisk and diskpart will improperly align partitions on the 65th block (as is standard for 512b sector drives) rather than the correct 64th for 4k sector drives. This does not affect sequential transfer rates but greatly affects random and iops because the blocks will not line up with the sectors, and this means every block access will require reads or writes from two sectors.

So just boot from a Win 7 disc (with your XP drive disconnected!) to create the partitions, and may as well format it too there. Then cancel out of the install, shut it down and reconnect the XP drive. Or go ahead and install Win 7 on the new drive and later switch which drive to boot from in the BIOS--after all Win 7 is still supported for another 3 months while XP hasn't been for 5 years!

If you already have data on the disk and just want to check if it is aligned, open a command prompt and paste:
wmic partition get Name, StartingOffset
then divide the resulting number by 4,096. If there are no decimals, the partition is aligned. If not, an alignment tool like "WD Align System Utility-powered by Paragon" or MiniTool Partition Wizard can fix it by essentially resizing the partition almost a megabyte smaller to start at LBA 2048 (512b x 2048 is 1MB, which is exactly how Vista+ formats things). This involves moving all the data on the drive so may take some time.
 
Oct 18, 2019
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Thank you so much for your detailed and informative reply :)

So just to make sure...
If I just want it as 1 partition to have more space on my system:
  1. Aall I have to do is to install it phisically, and format it through windows XP (My Computer -> Right click on the new drive -> Format? )
  2. Will it appear when I will boot my system, or should I set something on the bios?
If I want to make 2 partions out of it:
  1. I need to create them through windows 7 system
  2. Format the partions on windows 7
  3. Connect again the original XP drive
  4. and then the new partions will appear?
  5. in this case, How the computer will know that my XP drive is the C drive? becuase its the only one with the operating system?
 
Nope, even if you want to make only 1 partition you have to make it on the Windows 7 system (or booted from a Windows 7 install disc) for it to be properly aligned.

Once this is done, you may format the partition as many times as you like using XP and it will stay aligned, until you delete the partition in Diskpart or Disk Management.

You have to select the boot priority disk in the BIOS. This is how you can multiboot to as many operating systems as you have disks--just select which disk to boot from in the BIOS. You just have to be careful if one operating system doesn't understand the format on a different disk--clicking on it will prompt you that the disk must be formatted before use! And of course, install any operating system with only one disk attached. Afterwards, plugging in the other disks will result in them being assigned drive letters D:, E:, etc

Any time you change the boot priority, the boot disk will become C: and the other letters will change as well
 
Oct 18, 2019
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Thank you so much for your help, its much more clear now :)

If I understand correctly, I should phiscally disconnect the Windows XP drive, just to be on the safe side during this whole Windows 7 new hard drive format, right?

Then I should boot windows 7 CD and format the new hard drive

After having the new hard drive formatted, I should connect the Windows XP drive, and boot the system, In the bios I will set the old Hard drive as the Boot drive

Once Windows XP will load, I should see the new hard drive right?

(I know I might repeat some things you say, but I am not that experienced, and I prefer to make sure and avoid mistakes...)
 
Yep, partitioning a disk is different from, and done before, formatting. If it has a partition, the new disk should just show up as the next available drive letter--drive D unless you already have an optical disk there, even if it is not formatted.

Disconnecting the disk that you do not want to change anything on is just good sense as it prevents accidentally formatting the wrong drive! It's more important to disconnect all other disks when installing Windows because the installer may choose a random disk to put the boot files on, and drive letters can change or other drives can get removed or formatted. You don't want that to make Windows not boot.

One more tip--if initialize disk prompts you to select GPT or MBR, choose MBR for your XP-compatible system. GPT works too but isn't bootable on Legacy BIOS, and isn't needed to use drives up to 2TB.
 
Oct 18, 2019
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again thank you so much for your help :)

Disconnecting the disk that you do not want to change anything on is just good sense as it prevents accidentally formatting the wrong drive! It's more important to disconnect all other disks when installing Windows because the installer may choose a random disk to put the boot files on, and drive letters can change or other drives can get removed or formatted. You don't want that to make Windows not boot.
I dont really understand what you mean here...

In the new hard drive i dont plan to install windows so...is it relevant for me, or is it relevant only I would install windows on it...

can you please explain it a little better (sorry that i cant understand it completly...)
 
If you are not installing Windows, then the only reason to disconnect the XP drive is to prevent accidentally working on the wrong drive. The new drive is twice as large so can easily be identified in the partitioning software if you are careful, but that's likely not something you use often enough to be fully comfortable using.

With the Win 7 disc it's actually pretty easy to accidentally just start installing. You have to choose advanced drive options before it shows the extra buttons to delete or create partitions.
 

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