How to format Advanced Format drive

I have windows7 on a laptop, but the desktop has XP installed. Is it possible to format a 3.5" advanced format drive on Windows7 over an external drive adapter? Otherwise under XP I'd have to use the WD Align utility. Thanks.
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  1. Hello, & Welcome to Tom's Hardware!

    Specifically what is the manufacturer and model # of the new 3.5" HDD you have?
    Are you going to use this drive as a data drive on a Win-XP computer?
  2. Hi, thank you for the welcoming. It's a WD20EARX, and yes it will be used only as a data drive under XP. I may consider dual-booting with Win7 in the future, or switching to Win7 completely, but even then, this drive will be used as data storage.
  3. Hi again,

    Looking over the specs of this WD Green 1TB HDD, it does indeed have 4096 bytes per sector. Using this in a Win-XP machine could be problamatic because of the sector misalignment. WD says in a footnote they do not specifically support using this drive with Win-XP.

    To initialize and partition it, they strongly recommend you use the Acronis WD version of the alignment appl, and it should be done on the Win-XP computer, where it will be used.
  4. @eluong1, Windows 7 automatically creates aligned MBR partitions, so it would be OK to format your drive in an external enclosure attached to your laptop. You wouldn't need Acronis after that.

    Alternatively, if you wish to format your AF drive inside a Win XP box, then you could use a partitioning utility which creates aligned partitions. For example, GParted is able to create partitions on mebibyte boundaries.
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