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Identifying an Advanced Format Hard Drive

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Certain newer, large capacity hard disk drives are designated as Advance Format (AF) hard disk drives and are configured using 4KB size sectors. As a comparison, older hard disk drives used 512 byte sectors to store data. The larger sector size on AF hard disk drives is not recognized by older Microsoft operating systems, such as: Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Window Vista before SP1. Because the non-AF aware operating systems (OS) use different sector sizes, the computer runs slower and may take 30% or longer when reading and writing data.
To determine if your hard disk drive is an AF hard drive with 4KB sectors, you should download and run the HP Advanced Format Hard Drive Information tool.

Running the HP Advanced Format Hard Drive Information tool

To run the HP Advanced Format Hard Drive Information tool and determine if the hard drive is an Advanced Format model, do the following actions.
  1. On the hp.com web site, search for and download SP52575 to the notebook.
  2. Double-click the downloaded file and follow the on-screen prompts to install the information tool.
    As part of the installation, the Advanced Format Hard Disk Information tool is displayed.
    Figure 1: Advanced Format Hard Disk Information
    Advanced Format Hard Disk Information
  3. Select the Run from Windows option, and click OK.
  4. When the End User License Agreement displays, click Accept to launch the tool.
    Figure 2: Hard Disk Information
    Hard disk information, terms and agreement for use
  5. The required hard disk drive information displays.
    Figure 3: Specific disk information
    Information about your hard disk
If the tool reports that the drive is not an Advanced Format hard drive, no additional actions are needed.

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