Is the WD10-EZEX drive an Advanced Format drive (4KB sectors used internally)?

Anyone know if the  WD10-EZEX drive an Advanced Format drive (4KB sectors used internally)?  Because I seem some hints on that it may be, but I saw one statement on another forum that it wasn’t (can’t find much info on it with google).  So I am confused.  Anyone know?

And for that matter, does anyone know if WD has a list of all their Advanced Format drives?

Thanks in Advanced.

I’m 95% sure that this drive is not Adv. format.

To my understanding non of the Caviar blue drives are adv. format.

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That’s right none of the WD blue use Advanced Format. As far as I know only the WD Green line has it. Check the link below to see the ones that have it.

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The “Z” in the model number denotes “Desktop Advanced Format/WD Caviar”.

WD Model Number Format for OEM and Distribution Channels:

  Yes I have seen that PDF, and the info in it is messed up because according to that  PDF, the “X” in the WD10-EZEX model number denotes a SATA 2 drive (3.0Gb/s), but the site says it is a SATA 3 (6.0 Gb/s) interface: WD10EZEX Drive

   So one of these WD documents is lying, and thus we can’t go on the “Z” as being confirmation of AF if “X” is not confirmation of SATA 3.

As for the info at , this was for green drives.  There is one for the blue drives, but the WD10ezex drive has not been added!  This information does hint at the WD10ezex drive (being a blue drive) as NOT being an AF drive, but it still leaves some doubt in my mind :frowning: .

If I get confirmation from WD support either way I’ll post what they say.  Otherwise maybe i’ll go buy the drive, if i can return it, and test it myself.

Thanks for the feedback guys.

Checking the list of models for the WD Green I noticed that not all the adv format HDDs have the “Z” in the model number, like the  WD20EARXWD20EARS or  WD8000AARS for example.

Yeah, this seems to be a mess for trying to get a correct, confirmed answer.  Still waiting on WD Support.  I was just at my NCIX local store though, and talked to the guys there.  They seemed to think that all drives were now in AF format, even the older models (that have been built recently), even though there were no labels on the drives saying so and the website information didn’t say so. 

So either: the guy at ncix I talked to doesn’t know what he was talking about, their suppliers are giving them wrong info, or hard drive manufactures are giving them (and us) mis-information for some reason. 

At least Seagate say’s their drives have some automatic way to hide the 4KB sectors (SmartAlign) for sw that is still assuming 512B sectors (WinXP and cloning software I guess).  This way they can send you an AF drive or a non-AF drive for the same model number and you won’t know and presumably won’t care since SmartAlign will make everything work fine.  But I have read that these drives still don’t perform as well as they do when they are aligned properly, even with SmartAlign… tomshardware or someone needs to do a round-up testing this!

Well if WD doesn’t get me an answer on this by next week I might just go buy myself a Seagate.

p.s.  Can’t believe wd screwed up their model numbers?!  So what code on the drive means its an AF drive?  Starting to seem more like they are trying to hide this information from us, for goodness know why? 

The -A22 and -A23 versions of the same document differ from the -A25 version:

S SATA 3 Gb/s with 22-pin SATA connector
  SATA 1.5 Gb/s with 22-pin SATA connector (Mobile)
T SATA 3 Gb/s with 22-pin SATA connector (Mobile)
X SATA 6 Gb/s with 22-pin SATA connector

S SATA 3 Gb/s with 22-pin SATA connector
  SATA 1.5 Gb/s with 22-pin SATA connector (Mobile)
T SATA 3 Gb/s with 22-pin SATA connector (Mobile)
X SATA 3 Gb/s, 6 Gb/s capable with 22-pin SATA connector
Z SATA 6 Gb/s with 22-pin SATA connector,PL,0,0,Oznaczenia-na-dyskach-Western-Digital.pdf (A22) (A20)

FWIW, WD provides a utility called WDSSpeed to “enable Serial ATA Gen 3 (6 Gb/s) support on the following models if Gen 3 is currently disabled”.


So perhaps the meaning of “X” is that some models may be configured as 3Gbps even though they are capable of 6Gbps.

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looks like you are onto something with the SATA confusion.  And it looks like I might have read the current product code description wrong with regards to the AF code.

Any here is what I have figured out, with help from your discoveries:


| WD Product Codes, Decoded |

1) 2009 Nov:
2) 2011 Feb:,PL,0,0,Oznaczenia-na-dyskach-Western-Digital.pdf
3) 2012 July:

1) PDF 2579-001028-A20, Nov 2009, doesn’t talk about AF drives, but:
1st letter - Capacity/Form Factor code
2nd letter - Drive Brand class / Market Targetted
3rd letter - Tech Details of Drive (RPM, Cache size, etc)
4th letter - Interface Speed/Interface Connector code (SATA type, etc).  
        Here ‘X’ denotes SATA 3 speed interface.

2) PDF 2579-001028-A22, Feb 2011, does mention AF drives and uses the same code definations as the A20 pdf vesion, but now mentions AF.  
The 2nd letter now mentions AF feature, with codes N, P, U, and Z meaning AF in some type of market (Z for desktop AF market).
The 4th letter still has ‘X’ for SATA 3 speed interface.

3) PDF 2579-001028-A25, Jul 2012, does mention AF drives still.
The 2nd letter codes are expanded for AF to inlcude N,P,U, R, U, W, and Z!
The 4th letter code has changed.  Now ‘X’ looks like it denotes SATA 3 speed interface that is configured by default to run at SATA 2 speeds.  ‘Z’ denotes SATA 3 speed interface.  Not sure why they did this, but looks like I did miss read the lastest product code pdf doc :frowning:

So based on all this:
1) the WD10-EZEX is a 1TB, AF, SATA 2 configured, SATA 3 capable, drive.

2) the WD desktop blue models are incorrectly described at this page
as being SATA 3 configured drives (4th letter an ‘X’ but Interface quoted at 6 Gb/s). 

Likely a mistake, I mean ‘feature’, added by marketting:

WD10E Z EX         SATA 6 Gb/s    3.5 Inch    7200    1 TB         64 MB (AF)    
WD7500A Z EX    SATA 6 Gb/s    3.5 Inch    7200    750 GB    64 MB (AF)
WD10EALX         SATA 6 Gb/s    3.5 Inch    7200    1 TB         32 MB
WD7500AALX    SATA 6 Gb/s    3.5 Inch    7200    750 GB    32 MB    
WD5000AAKX    SATA 6 Gb/s    3.5 Inch    7200    500 GB    16 MB    
WD5000A Z LX    SATA 6 Gb/s    3.5 Inch    7200    500 GB    32 MB (AF)    

models with 2nd letter ‘Z’ are AF drives, and models with 2nd letter ‘A’ are not AF drives (standard ‘XP will be happy’ drives).

3) the WD Black models are nearly all non-AF drives currently (and it looks like the NCIX guy didn’t know what he was talking about and might have cost me $20 due to missing a sale! Frake… ):

WD2002FAEX    SATA 6 Gb/s    3.5 Inch    7200    2 TB      64 MB    
WD1502FAEX    SATA 6 Gb/s    3.5 Inch    7200    1.5 TB    64 MB   
WD1002FAEX    SATA 6 Gb/s    3.5 Inch    7200    1 TB      64 MB    
WD5002AALX    SATA 6 Gb/s    3.5 Inch    7200    500 GB    32 MB    
WD5003A Z EX    SATA 6 Gb/s    3.5 Inch    7200    500 GB    64 MB (AF)

NOTE:   The only fly-in-the-ointment, so to speak, with all this is what Alucardx23 found out yesterday and which I agree with (it concerns WD Green drives but may imply similar issues with the Blue and Black drives):

Alucardx23, Honored Contributor
Registered: 01-14-2012
Re: Is the WD10-EZEX drive an Advanced Format drive (4KB sectors used internally)?

Checking the list of models for the WD Green I noticed that not all the adv format HDDs have the “Z” in the model number, like the WD20EARX, WD20EARS or WD8000AARS for example.

So there is STILL some confusion on what drives are AF ones.  Come on WD Support, clear this up for us…


WD tech support came back and gave me an answer. 

If you can find it, look for the WD PDF 2178-001010.pdf (Product Overview), as it has a complete list of which drives are in AF format, and which are not.

But basically for the current list of hdd models:

  • all WD Green drives use AF.

  • nearly all WD Black drives don’t use AF (the 2.5" WD5000BPKT and WD7500BPKT blacks do though)

  • and WD Blue drives are mixed, but of the 3.5" WD Blue drives only the WD Blue WD10EZEX and WD7500AZEX use AF.


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