Disk Formatting - Advanced Format Technology - Whitepaper & Downloads


Download Resources:

Acronis True Image WD Edition (Link)          User Manual

Software Download Matrix


Desktop Drives:

Drives with Advanced Format Technology

Advanced Format Technology - What Is It? - Whitepaper    

What models utilize Advance Format technology?
Some models of the WD Caviar Green are built using Advanced Format. Over time more models and capacities will be added. WD drives with Advanced Format include special installation information on the drive label so be sure to read the label on your drive before installing it.

Advanced Format Hard Drive Download Utility - WD Align


External Drives shipping with Advanced Format Technology

Product Name Model Number
My Book Essential WDBAAFxxxxxxx
My Book For Mac WDBAAGxxxxxxx
My Book Elite WDBAAHxxxxxxx
My Book Studio WDBAAJxxxxxxx
WD Elements Desktop WDBAAUxxxxxxx

If you have repartitioned any of the above drives under Windows XP, or formatted to FAT32 under MacOSX you will need to run the WD Quick Formatter utility on your drive.

Critical: This utility is data destructive , so you will need to back up all data on the drive prior to running it. Additionally it will create only a single FAT32 partition on the drive. If you need multiple partitions you will need to repartition the drive using Windows Vista or Windows 7.

How do I use the WD Quick Formatter to format My Book (+ SmartWare) external drives for Windows XP?


WD Quick Formatter For Windows (Link) - WD Quick Formatter is ONLY for external drives

How to Disable Power Management Settings for your Advanced Format Technology Disk in Windows 7


Can I use any of this to make AFT drive work on XP in RAID? Before drive is initialized WD Align, does not handle it and after it is included in RAID and partitioned it does not handle it as well as it does not regard it as a WD drive anymore.

Or do I need bother at all?

If I use RAID it will have “chunk size” 4K or above, say 64K. Does this automatically makes the emulated sector alignment a non-issue and RAID controller will always read/write 64K blocks of consecutive “physical sectors”? And any other soft that writes to this drive will use this “chunk size” as the “sector size”?

Edited: for all I can tell AFT can hardly be used for RAID. With an exception of RAID 1 - I cloned my previous drive, to a RAID 1 array of 2 AFT drives, understood that at this point there is no way to align partitions, then split the array up, ran WD Align on one drive, then re-built the RAID 1. Running WD Align on half full 1.5TB drive took more than 24 hours.

Needless to say just because of this “advanced thing”, for a simple task of diskspace upgrade - I spent enormous additional amount of time, and had my PC unavailable for nearly 2 days.

Maybe for a new installation, empty single drive on Vista/Windows 7 it’s acceptable, for upgrade from existing partitioned drive it’s really time-consuming.  Moreover I do not see how can I set up RAID0, RAID 5 or RAID10 using AFT drives and have RAID controller handle the drive “correctly”. And I can find nowhere it stated clearly- “though shalt not use AFT for RAID”; or else  “to use it in RAID do this…”


I too am having RAID issues with a pair of WD15EARS drives.  RAID0 and RAID1 on the Intel ICH controllers produces poor results.  (20MB/s sustained write).  However, when using windows disk management (Windows 7, 32bit) I was able to get great performance from a Striped array.  (110 MB/s writes from other drives, 70MB/s internal copies)  Mirrored arrays produced the same poor write results as the ICH arrays.  Either there is something not quite right with the firmware, or WD and M$ will have to duke it out.  I was hoping for data security, not a 3TB

I’ll give it a week to hear back from support, then these guys are going back for something else.  Perhaps I cut myself on the bleeding edge of technology…