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I am considering purchasing a pair of 2 TB WD Caviar Green disks to build a RAID-1 (using the integrated controller on my ASUS P6X58D-E).

Currently, my system (Windows 7) is installed on a terminally ill 1TB Seagate Barracuda (which is however still able to read after several retries).

Originally, the disk was formatted on Windows XP (and served as a non-system disk), later Windows 7 was installed onto it (without repartitioning and reformatting).

To move the system, I want to clone the disk using Acronis Disk Director.

I've heard about some performance problems with WD disks introduced by new 4K sector layout and the "impedance mismatch" between the ways Windows XP and Windows 7 handle these disks.

There are recommendations (like here) to install/remove a jumper and run/not run a certain utility called WDAlign, but I'm still not sure whether this applies to my situation.

So the questions are:

  1. Can the problems arise from cloning an XP-created partition onto a 4K disk?

  2. Should I run any utilities or set any jumpers before/after building the RAID or cloning the partitions?

share|improve this question
Green disk will hurt performance more than anything. They are designed for storage, not an OS drive. – Moab Jan 21 '11 at 14:27
When you installed W7, it wiped all formatting and reformatted the disk in the background. – Moab Jan 21 '11 at 14:29
@Moab: did it? The disk had some data on it which remained after the install. – Quassnoi Jan 21 '11 at 14:42
@Moab: are there faster disks which are as quiet as these? – Quassnoi Jan 21 '11 at 14:44
Oh, you did an upgrade install, so it used the formatting already there and moved XP my documents and other data to a folder on C:. I doubt there are any quieter, but performance will suffer on those disks, you will have to make a choice. Start reading hard drive reviews for 7200rpm disks. You might post your question on the Acronis forums, be sure to state which specific Acronis product you intend to – Moab Jan 21 '11 at 15:00
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I would use another Acronis product to create a Full disk image of the failing drive, when it is done making the image use the built in verification utility to make sure it is a good image.

Once this is done you can experiment with what works and what does not since you have a disk image to work with instead of a clone process which may only work once since the drive is on its last legs.

This software can do images, it also has a boot disc you can make to transfer the image to the raid array from an external USB drive that has the image you made.

I don't foresee any problems moving the image to the new advanced format drive.

Once the image has been transfered, and you have startup problems once you try to boot the new raid array, just do a W7 startup repair, that should get it booting.


Western Digital has free software to do what you want. Only works on WD brand drives, (it does not matter what brand the source drive is)

Acronis True Image WD Edition now supports WD Advanced Format Drives and ensures that all partitions are optimally aligned.

Supporting article



share|improve this answer
I don't have any external disks, only the current Seagate Barracuda. – Quassnoi Jan 21 '11 at 14:46
I did an edit, please read. – Moab Jan 21 '11 at 15:10
True Image WD Edition seems to be what I need, thanks! – Quassnoi Jan 21 '11 at 15:13
Good luck with the project! – Moab Jan 21 '11 at 15:14

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