Cloning 512 byte per sector drive

Can a 512 byte per sector drive be cloned to a WD Black WD1003FZEX drive?

Nope … WD Blacks use Advanced Format ie. 4096 bytes. (as virtually all the hard drive manufacturers have now adopted)

there’s no way to format 4096 bytes to 512 bytes as 4096 bytes is a “Physical” Sector size and can’t be changed.

In the specification sheet, it says “Yes” to Advanced format. Advanced format means these drives have a physical sector size of 4,096 bytes.

Thanks for your detailed response. This PC is a Dell XPS8300 running Windows 7. Do you know if the Advanced Format would impact installing Windows 7 on the WD1003. Since I cannot clone the current C drive I’ll have start from scratch with the new WD1003 (unless I can find other brands of hard drives available with 512 byte sectors). The upside of starting fresh with the new drive is I’ll finally clean up all clutter on the current disk. Thanks again for your help.

as long as you have the Microsoft Update Package (download links in the page below) and your Dell hardware and firmware supports it … then it shouldn’t be a problem for Windows 7.

another alternative from ‘starting from scratch’ is using 3rd party software to do a “Disk Copy” instead of “Sector by Sector” clone.

i’ve done it a few times when upgrading (from normal hdd to ssd hdd) and swapping hard drives … has worked fine for me everytime.

as long as you have and external enclosure to put the destination drive in … you can copy everything (including system files) then when done, shutdown, swap harddrives, power on and you’re back in business.

this is the option i choose using Aomei Partition Assistant


Thanks for continuing follow up to help me resolve this issue. Due to the age of the Dell XPS8300 in which I was trying to clone the C Drive (this model is not upgradeable to Windows 10) I have decided not to use it. I had already purchased a new loaded PC and have been migrating to it over the past year. My thought with the XPS8300 was to make it into a single purpose unit to be used primarily offline similar to using a Chromebook as a dedicated financial device (unfortunately the Chromebook does not support some of the software and peripherals I am using) but given the issue with the hard drive replacement and its inability to upgrade to Windows 10 I have decided to purchase a “skinny desktop” which I can get for less than a Chromebook and just a few dollars more than the cost of Windows 10. Fry’s has a refurbished HP with Windows 10 64 Bit, 4 GB of memory, 500 GB Hard Drive, DVD Drive, Keyboard & Mouse, 10 USB ports and 10/100/1000 GB Ethernet on sale this week for $139. This is more than sufficient to run the few applications and limited internet access I will be using it for. The Dell XPS8300 has provided good service but given the difficulty in upgrading it I think it is time to retire it (I’ll donate it to someone or group that can use it as is). Also, this approach also allows me to have the same Windows 10 OS on all of our Windows units (several desktops, a laptop and a Windows tablet).

I appreciate the effort you put into helping me understand the best approach. I hope down the road I can also help someone.