I bought a 2 TB Western Digital internal hard drive to put in an enclosure and use as external storage.

I want to move files off a Windows XP desktop computer because of the computer's age.

Should I format the new WD hard drive with NTFS using my Windows 8 laptop, and will it also be compatible when attached to the Windows XP computer?

  • 3
    There is no reason NTFS compatibility would be a problem.
    – Ramhound
    Sep 27, 2014 at 3:14
  • Do not use GPT. Windows XP doesn’t support it. At all.
    – Daniel B
    Sep 29, 2014 at 8:16

3 Answers 3


In my understanding, NTFS doesn't have major changes for a very long time. So XP should access your HD if you format it in Win8. Please see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTFS#Versions.

But I didn't try it before. Why don't you have a try without copying files to it?


It will work properly with the XP and there are no issue with NTFS. The only thing that you should have in mind is that because of the Advanced Format of the drive you need to partition it on the Windows 8 machine. Actually any Windows OS above XP would do the job. XP has some issues aligning partitions on 512e (Advanced Format) drives. But this is a problem only when formatting the drive. Once formatted on a newer OS it should work just fine with XP.

  • Improper alignment will reduce performance. It won’t cause other effects.
    – Daniel B
    Sep 29, 2014 at 8:15

I had an issue with NTFS 64kb cluster size formatted external drive. It was working fine in XP until once being attached to a Windows 10 PC. Probably it has upgraded some NTFS internal structures because XP cannot recognize the disk anymore, but Windows 10 can. I think I've read somewhere that the issue is related to 64kb cluster size.

Also, talking about incompatibility there is a documented journaling $LogFile version incompatibility between Windows <= 8 and Windows >= 8.1 versions.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .