WD Align fails - 1Tb (WD10EARS-22Y5B1) HD, after use with (Ubuntu Rescue Remix) for data recovery

After failure of a 750GB - WD7500AARS (Drive A), I purchased a 1TB WD10EARS-22Y5B1 (Drive B).
The plan was to use recovery software - Ubuntu Rescue Remix, to recover data from failed (Drive A) to new (Drive B).

Please see here for information on how to recover data from your failed(ing) hard drive using Ubuntu Rescue Remix:
[Please Note - this only works if your drive can still be seen by the PC Bios, i.e no good for completely dead HD’s !]

The recovery took over 1 week to complete, but I managed to save over 99.9% of my Hard Drive Data, before sending the faulty drive (Drive A), to WD for a replacement. This method requires the recovery HD to be larger than the drive you are trying to recover data from. This is because Ubuntu Rescue Remix or to be precise, it’s O/S command - “sudo ddrescue -r 3”, creates a faithful bit by bit copy of the failed hard drive and generates a log file of the recovery as well. The result is your recovery hard drive (Drive B), contains two files, a bit copy and a log file. As part of preparation of the recovery (Drive B), a Linux partition is created and formatted. This file system is Ext3.

When WD sent back a replacement HD, (Drive C), I used (Drive B) and the final step of the recovery process, to recreate my lost data. Happily %99.9 of my precious data was intact!
Now my data was recovered, I wanted to use the 1TB hard drive in one of my PC’s.

I acquired another WD 1TB HD (Drive D) - WD10EARS-003BB1. This was an almost identical spec to (Drive B).

When it arrived, I installed XP, and successfully aligned my 3 partitions (System, Data, and Media), using the WD-Align tool. It should be noted this was a quick procedure as there was very little data on the drive at this point. With the partitions successfully aligned, I then filled them with my data and media files and happily used the drive for a year.

Starting to feel nervous about my lack of a 1TB drive backup, I decided to archive (Drive D), and start using (Drive B) in it’s place, I checked (Drive B) with the WD-Align tool.
The bootable version of WD-Align, claimed there was no WD hard drive visible!
The GUI version of WH-Align, could see the disk and a single partition.

I figured this could be something to do with the Linux Partition on the disk - left by the Ubuntu Rescue Remix data recovery procedure.

I started my system up with both drives installed.
WD-Align GUI saw (Drive D) with 3 aligned partitions of NTFS, and (Drive B), as a single partition of Ext3.
No Problem I thought, I’ll delete the Ext3 partition. Xp wouldn’t let me. OK, I’ll clone (Drive D) onto (Drive B).
4 Hours later, (Drive B) was a working clone of (Drive D). It booted fine, and XP’s file management utility reported the partitions were XP partitions and all good.
(Note to complete the clone, I’d used an old copy of Ghost (v8.0), booting on a USB pen, with a BartPE XP shell)
WD-Align Gui still saw the cloned (Drive B) as having only 1 Ext3 partition, and the bootable version still said there was no Wd HD at all!

So at this point, XP and the installed Apps on (Drive B) are happy, but WD-Align is telling me there is a big problem!
Also - my XP Pro partitions on (Drive B), a 1TBAdvanced Format Hard drive, are not aligned, which degrades
performance, and leaves me nervous about the integrity of my data. Why are the WD-Align tools not working?

Hello Mate,

WD Aligns only works with Windows XP…

OK - all is well and the issue is fixed. Here’s roughly how this was done …

(1) Booted up pc with just (Drive B) installed, from a 4Gb Corsiar USB drive, loaded with a copy of Ultimate Boot CD.
Started up MiniXP and used Computer Management - Disk Management to delete all the partitions.

(2) Re-instated (Drive D), so both D and B were installed, and booted the Pc from (Drive D).
Downloaded and Installed, MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition v7.5 (Free)
Used MiniTool Partition Wixard to wipe Disk (Fill sectors with Zero) Quick.

(3) Created and formatted a new NTFS partition on (Drive B) using XP’s computer Management - Disk Management.

(4) Used MiniTool Partition Wizard to “Rebuild MBR”.
I’m guessing the rogue Ext3 FS flag was lurking in here somewhere.

(5) Used MiniTool Partition Wizard to wipe Disk i.e (Drive B), (Fill sectors with Zero) Quick.

(6) Cloned (Drive D) to (Drive B), booting off my Corsair USB drive in BartPE XP, and using Ghost 8.0.

(7) Started the pc and ran WD-Align Gui. All 6 partitions, 3 per Drive now showing correctly as NTFS.
(Drive D) partitions showing as unaligned (as expected!)

(8) Ran WD-Align Gui on (Drive B). This took 10 hours as the drive is 90% full of data.
My system’s a dual core HP DC 7800, with 2GB Ram so not cutting edge, but no slouch either!
All three partitions on (Drive B) now showing correctly as NTFS, and aligned. Job done!

You could probably achieve the same much more efficiently, but in the heat of battle etc etc …
Hope this post and it’s lengthy explanations are useful to those attempting to rescue their failing WD HD data and wrestle with WD-Align on XP with Advanced Format HD’s.