Today I got my new wd20earx, but it said on the hard drive to use the advanced format for the best performance…?
If I google a picture of the earlier model wd20ears [I’m sure Western Digital has a high resolution picture of the front of this hard drive someone on their site…], it just says drive is ready as is, so maybe I don’t need this advanced format option under windows 7 then…? Here’s a picture of an earx for reference: [I’m sure Western Digital has a high resolution picture of the front of this hard drive someone on their site…]

My question is, do I really need this for my hard drive…? If I don’t use this, vs if I do, what impact does this have on the harddrive…? Which is better for it for a better longer life, and less errors…? Or is there no difference on the hard drive at all as far as longer life and errors go…? What does using the advanced format vs not using it do for the hard drive…and my data…?

So, what is the best way to set up my hard drive now that I have it…? I’l be using it as a backup solution for all of my data…so I’m just wondering.

Edit: I’m also wanting to use the western digital error checking tool ( Data Lifeguard Diagnostic ) to check for errors and everything to see if it passes, and if all sectors are ok. 

Should this tool be used before or after I use the advanced format on my hard drive…(if I should use it…?)

Thanks. ^^

You only need the advanced format option if you are using Windows XP, since you have Windows 7 you don’t need to do any changes.

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Ah, thanks, I was wondering if that was the case. :slight_smile:
Does it matter if I initialize it and give it a drive letter first then run western digital data lifeguard diagnostics to check the health of the drive, or run the western digital data lifeguard diagnostics first then initialize it and asign a drive letter…? 

Not really, it wont make any difference.

Ah, alright then. What I did was I let it go through a full format when initializing it. I then ran a ‘quick’ and ‘extended’ test on the hard drive through western digital’s data lifeguard diagnotic program…which my drive passed both the quick, and extended tests. What’s odd is that my main hard drive that I had recieved with my laptop( a 750gb seagate momentum ) has a green check mark beside it saying that it passes the smart status…but my earx has a grey question mark that says that smart status is not available. Also, when I right click on my hard drive in the program, it says health status is ‘warning’. So what does this all mean…? What should I do, and how do I get this smart status of my hard drive…?
I currently have it in a silver airlink external hard drive enclosure ( Model #: AEN-U35SE).

Data LifeGuard sometimes has problems communicating with certain SATA controllers. Some drivers can be a problem, too.

Try the following SMART tools:

HD Sentinel (DOS / Windows / Linux):

HDDScan for Windows: