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Windows 7: Initialize / format 500 GB Momentus XT to make bootable clone

07 Jan 2012   #1

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
Initialize / format 500 GB Momentus XT to make bootable clone

I have a Toshiba Satellite A660 PSAW3C-047017 running Windows 7 Professional 64-bit.

I bought a 500 GB Momentus XT in December so that I can clone to it (bootable clone, not recoverable image). I just bought and installed Norton Ghost 15, but it can't see the drive, which is connected to the laptop via eSATA. Disk Management says I need to initialize the disk. I can't find an explanation of what exactly initialization means. What exactly does it do?

Various forum threads say conflicting things about the end effect of initialization (whether it destroys data):

windows 7 - Will initializing disk make data unrecoverable? - Super User
Hard drive initialization question
Does Initialize Disk (via Computer Management > Disk Management) delete data? - Yahoo! Answers

Since it's a new HDD, I guess I don't have to worry about that?

Should I choose MBR (Master Boot Record) or GPT (GUID Partition Table)?

Finally, this may be a bit Seagate-specific for a non-Seagate thread, but I'll put it out there in case anyone can chime in. I've read that the Momentus XT has some intelligence built in to prevent performance-degrading alignment problems with partition boundaries when Advanced Format is used. It also advertises built-in intelligence to keep most frequently accessed content in the SDD part of the HDD. Will any of these be "messed up" by initialization, or the wrong partition style? What about formatting, is there anything to be careful about?

My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Initialize / format 500 GB Momentus XT to make bootable clone

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