WDC WD5000AAKS error: will not format in Win XP

 Hello to all

I recently purchased a WDC WD5000AAKS (500 GB) as a second disk for storage purposes. This first model was exchanged (advance RMA), click-of-death.

The replacement is a  WDC WD5000AAKS-00D2B0.

Motherboard : ASROCK 4CoreDual-Sata2 (BIOS updated to the most recent version).

Chip :  Via VT8237S

OS : XP with SP2

No matter how many times nor with however many different programs, it is impossible to format the drive (and sometimes impossible even to initialise).

The BIOS correctly recognises the drive.

In XP device manager it doesn’t always show up correctly, either with an odd string in the name, for example “____P_.__O__s_____7_____+)z_4_______H_OU_-______” (each time it’s different) or with an incorrect size, often much larger than what it should be, one time up to 3TB!!!

Uninstalling and reinstalling the HD several times usually manages to correct the error and it shows up correctly in the device manager, and with the correct amount of space.

When I try to initialise and fomat in the disk manager, sometimes it initialses, sometimes it doesn’t.

But whatever I try, impossible to format.

Windows disk manager fails, as does Acronis, Easus, Paragon…,in general (but not always) at the end of the formatting cycle.

BUT all the disk test software, WD products for Windows as for DOS, HDAT2… say the disk is OK. So i try (and fail) again and again, each time “zeroing out” the HD.

There ARE system event errors, but I didn’t see them at first as they weren’t clearly marked “Error”.

For example

dmio : Harddisk0 erreur d'écriture au bloc 6 du à la suppression du disque
dmio : Harddisk0 erreur d'écriture au bloc 976772976 du à la suppression du disque

dmio : Harddisk0 erreur d'écriture au bloc 976773167 du à la suppression du disque

(excuse me; my system is in french. roughly translated : write error in block … because the disk was removed)


Atapi : Le périphérique \Device\Ide\IdePort6 n'a pas répondu dans le délai imparti.
LDM : Paramètre incorrect.  (80070057).
Atapi : Le périphérique \Device\Ide\IdePort6 n'a pas répondu dans le délai imparti.

Again, i repeat that the different disk tests showed no problem.

I looked around but found no example of a similar problem, neither here in the WD community nor elsewhere on internet.

It does seem however that the newer generation of hard disks are not totally compatible with XP :


but this seems to be more of a problem with speed, not exactly a basic problem like mine seems to be.

But I did consider the alignment problem, trying to align, either with the jumper on positions 7 and 8, or using the DOS command diskpart. Again, that didn’t change anything for me (still unable to format).

I did however notice that the DOS version of the WD lifeguard tools returned inconsistant results.



As you’ll notice in the above photos, the “End CHS” lists are not identical, and only a quick click on “back” separates thes two images. And also the drive is not correctly named (“BIOS drive”) with the EIDE section missing. At the moment where I took these photos, there were no special jumper settings nor cylinder alignments.

Again considering that XP/my motherboard might be the source of the problem, I also tried gparted (failure) another XP machine and a third with Seven. Failure…

If anyone has an answer, even the most obvious, before I send it back for a second RMA, I’d be very grateful.


Anthony (Paris France)

Maybe you should try contacting WD’s Technical Support about this. You can do so either by phone or email.

To Contact WD for Technical Support