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Questions about WD align for dual booting winxp and win7

Last response: in Storage
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July 28, 2010 3:10:18 PM

I'm planning to buy a 1 Terabyte WD Caviar Green 64MB WD10EARS.

I have a 160GB Seagate hard drive with 2 partition both OS are installed in the same hard drive
Windows XP which I installed first is in the 1st partition which is 20GB and Windows 7 is in the 2nd partition which is 130GB.
My main OS is Windows 7 which I use the most. I use Windows XP too sometimes.
I also have 2 500GB Seagate hard drive.

So, How does WD align software work? Do I need to run it while I'm in Windows XP or Windows 7 after I install the new hard drive?

I have search some forums and Youtube about this but It is really confusing. Please help.

Thank you. :) 

Best solution

a c 209 $ Windows 7
a c 415 G Storage
July 28, 2010 4:28:18 PM

Are you going to use this as a data drive and leave Windows 7 & XP installed on your existing hard drive?

If so, then it's easy: connect the new drive, boot up Windows 7 from your existing drive, and use the Disk Management utility to partition and format the new drive. If you do that then the partitions will be correctly aligned and the drive will work with optimum performance in both Windows 7 and Windows XP. There will be no need to use the WD align software or use the special "XP" jumper on the drive itself.
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July 29, 2010 6:10:44 AM

sminlal said:
Are you going to use this as a data drive and leave Windows 7 & XP installed on your existing hard drive?

If so, then it's easy: connect the new drive, boot up Windows 7 from your existing drive, and use the Disk Management utility to partition and format the new drive. If you do that then the partitions will be correctly aligned and the drive will work with optimum performance in both Windows 7 and Windows XP. There will be no need to use the WD align software or use the special "XP" jumper on the drive itself.


Thank you for replying.

Yes, I will use this as data drive to store movies and stuff that's it.

If I reinstall both Windows XP and Windows 7 in the same 160GB hard drive again after the WD Caviar Green has been installed will the hard drive be fine? Will it be aligned? Do I need to disconnect the WD hard drive before I install both OS?
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a c 209 $ Windows 7
a c 415 G Storage
July 29, 2010 11:03:34 AM

The partitions on the 160GB hard drive don't have to be aligned since that drive performs essentially just as well no matter where the partitions start. It's only the WD10EARS drive that is sensitive to partition placement - and as long as you create the partitions using Windows 7 then it will be fine.

So there's no need to reinstall Windows 7 and XP. You can if you want, and if you want to have the partitions aligned on 64-block boundaries then you should install Windows 7 first and delete/recreate the partition(s) during installation. But it won't make any difference on the 160GB drive.
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July 29, 2010 7:16:35 PM

Best answer selected by Grumpvofr.
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July 29, 2010 7:22:21 PM

sminlal said:
The partitions on the 160GB hard drive don't have to be aligned since that drive performs essentially just as well no matter where the partitions start. It's only the WD10EARS drive that is sensitive to partition placement - and as long as you create the partitions using Windows 7 then it will be fine.

So there's no need to reinstall Windows 7 and XP. You can if you want, and if you want to have the partitions aligned on 64-block boundaries then you should install Windows 7 first and delete/recreate the partition(s) during installation. But it won't make any difference on the 160GB drive.


Thank you for replying again.

Another question i'm just curious. What would happen if i'm running Windows XP and I did not use WD align, what would happen? Could it ruin the hard drive?
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a c 209 $ Windows 7
a c 415 G Storage
July 29, 2010 8:25:25 PM

Grumpvofr said:
Another question i'm just curious. What would happen if i'm running Windows XP and I did not use WD align, what would happen? Could it ruin the hard drive?
Well firstly, as I mentioned above you don't need to run WD align to use XP as long as you make sure that you create the partitions using Windows 7 so that they're aligned properly. So WD align isn't necessarily a prerequisite for XP.

Even if you did use XP to create unaligned partitions and did used XP WITHOUT using WD align, you wouldn't harm the drive - what would happen is that the drive wouldn't be as fast, particularly when writing data to it.
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