Ghost compatibility with new Advanced Format 4K sector aligned drives.

Article:TECH143669  |  Created: 2010-11-08  |  Updated: 2013-09-10  |  Article URL
Article Type
Technical Solution



You need to know if any version of Ghost Solution Suite is compatible with new 4K sector aligned drives such as Western Digital Advanced Format and Dell Advanced Format.


Yes, Symantec Ghost is compatible with Advanced Format hard drives. 

For Windows Vista or Windows 7, disk alignment is correctly forced by the OS so there is typically no need for restore parameters for these operating systems.

For existing Windows XP images that were aligned on older 512b drives, you will need to restore your image with the -align=1MB switch.

If you install Windows XP, use a third party alignment tool to align it to 1 MB boundaries, and then capture an image of that drive, you will not need to use any additional parameters to restore the image to an Advanced Format (4K) drive.  Here is that process:

  1.                 Construct an XP image on a new 4k Aligned drive.
  2.                 Align the disk with an alignment tool (For example the Paragon Alignment Tool, a third party product, has been used by many).
  3.                 Sysprep the image (if desired)
  4.                 Boot from any WINPE and capture an image with Ghost.  
  5.                 Use the image to deploy to both the new 4k Aligned drive as well as the older 512b drive.
NOTE:  There are some applications that were designed for the CHS disk geometry. If you are going to restore an image where the drive was aligned at 1 MB boundaries, you will need to restore that image using the –align=CHS parameter.
NOTE: One observation is that an image created from a virtual machine could be deployed to a physical machine only if the image is not being deployed to an Advanced Format drive, where an image created from a physical machine could be deployed to a physical machine with either a 512 byte or an Advanced Format (4K) drive.
NOTE:  If you run into any imaging scenarios where the above solution does not work, please report the issue to Symantec Technical Support.  You can log a support case by calling 1-800-927-4017. 

NOTE: The following Microsoft KB article includes a matrix listing Microsoft's operating system support for  Advanced Format drives:


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