Is Windows XP compatible with new hard drives?

I have an HP Pavilion a1642x PC (Circa 2006).  I suspect the hard drive is bad. I have just purchased a Windows XP CD from Microsoft. I want to have a hardware tech replace the hard drive if it's bad and install Windows XP.  The old hard drive is Western Digital WD2500AAJS 250GB SATA (3.0Gb/seec) 7200 rpm.

 

I talked to a Geeksquad Tech at Best Buy about purchasing the drive from Best Buy and having them replace the hard drive and install Windows XP. They do not have the same hard drive at the store.  He said that Windows XP is not compatible with any of the hard drives they have in the store. But then he told me something I did not expect.   Something about XP being compatible with non-advanced format and that the newer hard drives are "advanced format"!  Does this mean I have to get a hard drive exactly the same as the old one?  I saw nothing in the hard drive specifications at the web sites I've shopped about the disk formatting!

 

Please enlighten me. Thanks.

 

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First and foremost, microsoft hasn't sold copies of Windows XP for quite a while now. Are you sure the CD you purchased is Genuine? You could run a diagnostic test on the presently installed drive to see if it is failing.

 

Data lifeguard diagnostic for Windows.

 

http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=502&sid=3&lang=en

 

If the drive is failing, you should look into imaging the present drive on to a new on by using Acronis true image. Western digital provides the software for free on its website.

 

Acronis true image.

 

http://support.wdc.com/product/downloaddetail.asp?swid=119&wdc_lang=en

 

Before you go out and spend any money on a new drive, you should check the warranty status of your present hard drive. It may still be under warranty.

 

WD Warranty+RMA Services.

 

http://support.wdc.com/warranty/index_end.asp?lang=en

 

You must have your serial # to check the status.

 

Hope this is helpful.

 

NOTE:

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Yes, that is a fact.  About three years ago new hard drives started shipping with a new advanced format that changes the sector size of the hard drive.  Formerly sectors were only 512 bytes, now they are 4096 bytes in size.  An advanced format drive must be specially prepared to work with older operating systems, and even if the drive can be successfully prepared it will perform poorly in a Windows 2000/XP system after being prepared.  Failing to properly prepare it will result in data loss.

See more info from HP here:

http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c02691731.pdf

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I have one from WD and i've had no issues. Although,as with the OP, its not a SATA drive.

 

 

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Are you sure that the CD you got from Microsoft is really Windows XP and not the (much more likely) Service Pack 3 for Windows XP?

You need something that looks like this --> http://www.pcgameshardware.com/screenshots/original/2009/04/Windows_XP_FULL_CD.jpg

Not something that looks like this --> http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Z8VFePRbOyU/To5jAb-OjbI/AAAAAAAAALo/OIEdrI8a3Nk/s1600/XPSP3.jpg

When I checked last summer, only the large capacity drives were Advanced Format. Perhaps that's expanded into smaller drives by now.  Still, you should be able to obtain a non-AF drive for your older computer from one of the online vendors (e.g., Newegg) rather than going to Best Buy.  Western Digital has a free utility that will prepare Western Digital AF drives for clean installation of XP:

http://www.wdc.com/global/products/features/?id=7&language=1
http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=805
WD White Paper --> http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/library/WhitePapers/ENG/2579-771430.pdf
-----
LemP
Volunteer Moderator
MS MVP (Windows Desktop Experience) 2006-2009
Microsoft Community Contributor (MCC) 2011-2012

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Last updated July 19, 2021 Views 4,012 Applies to: