Partition Alignment

Discussion in 'Windows 64bit' started by Bobby Johnson, May 26, 2009.

  1. I first ran across the information the OZC SSD Forum. After seeing it
    there I checked the hard drives I had used for Vist and for Win 7 with a
    relatively old Microsoft utility called 'diskpar' which dates back to
    Win 2000 and the difference was significant. Diskpar was used with Win
    2000 to align partitions for RAID use, but starting with Vista all hard
    drive partitions are aligned.

    From what I have found on the subject aligning the partitions is
    supposed to improve overall disk performance. Partitions made with XP
    and prior would have 63 hidden sectors with the partition starting on
    sector 64. Supposedly when the disk is accessed with 4096 clusters this
    forces data to be read or written in 2 steps. Where as if the partition
    is aligned to a multiple of 4096, 32KB being the minimum, the access is
    completed in 1 step. OCZ found that XP's alignment was the cause of
    stutter with SSDs. I currently have SSDs in a Dell 1501 and an Eee PC
    1000HE both with Win 7 x86 and it's great. Boot time is less than 30
    seconds after POST is complete.

    If you look at a drive that Win 7 has partitioned there are 2048 hidden
    sectors for a starting offset of 1,048,576. Also with Win 7 it creates
    a 100MB system partition where most of the system files needed for
    booting are placed. This partition is hidden in Win 7.

    So Vista and Win 7 should always do the partitioning during installation
    for optimum hard drive configuration and performance.


    Kue2 wrote:
    > Hi Bobby
    > Yes, sounds very interesting. I was not aware of partitioning

    aligning in Vista or in Win7. Maybe someone that is familiar with it
    > will explain it in more detail.
    >
    > "Bobby Johnson" <> wrote in message

    news:...
    >> What about partition alignment? I have recently read multiple posts

    and articles about Win 7 automatically aligning partitions for better
    performance. Most of the articles point out that Vista also aligns
    partitions but it wasn't a hot subject last year.
    >>
    >> I'm still trying to find Paul Harvey's "rest of the story" on

    partition alignment. And, yes, I know it was previously thought to only
    be applicable to RAID, but as I said before, it seems to be the current
    'in thing' for all hard drives.
    >>
    >> I am really curious about the whole alignment idea.
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> R. C. White wrote:
    >>> Hi, Kue2.
    >>>
    >>>> Not loading Vista loading Win7 - 32 RC build 7100
    >>>
    >>> But the rule still applies!
    >>>
    >>> The Golden Rule of dual-booting is to ALWAYS install the NEWEST

    operating system LAST!
    >>>
    >>> We usually hear it as Jawade said: oldest first. But the

    important point is to install the newest last. If there are only two,
    then it's the same thing, but if you are installing 3 or more OSes, it
    might not matter which comes first, so long as you finish with the latest.
    >>>
    >>> The Win7 Setup.exe knows exactly how to deal with any Win2K, WinXP

    or Vista - or earlier Win7 - installations that it finds (and, yes, it
    will look for them). But WinXP Setup hasn't the foggiest idea of what
    to do about either Vista or Win7, neither of which even existed when
    that version of Setup.exe was written back in 2001.
    >>>
    >>> One other fine point: Put the OS that is most likely to be

    abandoned some day on the "other" partition. That way, when you decide
    to go Win7 all the way, it will be easy to delete the partition where
    WinXP is installed if that is not also your "System Partition" that is
    used to boot the computer.
    >>>
    >>> If it were my system and I were starting fresh with a new hard

    drive, I'd repartition it before I start. Make the first partition
    quite small - maybe as small as 1 GB - and mark it Active (bootable).
    Then make the other two partitions for the two operating systems. Then
    install WinXP to the third partition; it will write its few startup
    files (NTLDR, NTDETECT.COM and Boot.ini) to the first partition and then
    put its \Windows folder tree with all those other files into that third
    partition. Finally, install Win7 to the second partition; it will put
    its own few startup files (bootmgr and the hidden \Boot folder) into the
    first partition - preserving NTLDR, etc., to be used in dual-booting
    into WinXP - and then put all those other GBs of files into the \Windows
    folder on the second partition.
    >>>
    >>> RC
     
    Bobby Johnson, May 26, 2009
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Bobby Johnson

    R. C. White Guest

    Hi, Bobby.

    "Partition alignment" was a hot topic several years ago when we were
    converting a lot of FAT drives to NTFS, especially when Win2K, followed
    closely by WinXP, arrived and used NTFS as the default. Conversion was a
    major headache for a couple of years. If you have some old newsgroup
    archives, you should find a lot of threads about this during that time
    period. Part of the problem was changing from 512-byte to 4-KB default
    cluster sizes; we had to "align" the old clusters to be sure that every
    512-byte cluster began at the start of a 4-KB cluster. Or that every
    partition had to be "aligned" to start at the beginning of a 4-KB cluster.
    I've forgotten the details and don't care to re-learn obsolete details.

    Microsoft quickly solved the problem in about 2000 and I haven't even seen
    it mentioned in maybe five years or more - until the term popped up in the
    thread here a few days ago. And I don't see its relevance to anything we
    are working on today.

    RC
    --
    R. C. White, CPA
    San Marcos, TX

    Microsoft Windows MVP
    Windows Live Mail 2009 (14.0.8064.0206) in Win7 Ultimate x64 RC 7100

    "Bobby Johnson" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I first ran across the information the OZC SSD Forum. After seeing it
    > there I checked the hard drives I had used for Vist and for Win 7 with a
    > relatively old Microsoft utility called 'diskpar' which dates back to Win
    > 2000 and the difference was significant. Diskpar was used with Win 2000
    > to align partitions for RAID use, but starting with Vista all hard drive
    > partitions are aligned.
    >
    > From what I have found on the subject aligning the partitions is supposed
    > to improve overall disk performance. Partitions made with XP and prior
    > would have 63 hidden sectors with the partition starting on sector 64.
    > Supposedly when the disk is accessed with 4096 clusters this forces data
    > to be read or written in 2 steps. Where as if the partition is aligned to
    > a multiple of 4096, 32KB being the minimum, the access is completed in 1
    > step. OCZ found that XP's alignment was the cause of stutter with SSDs.
    > I currently have SSDs in a Dell 1501 and an Eee PC 1000HE both with Win 7
    > x86 and it's great. Boot time is less than 30 seconds after POST is
    > complete.
    >
    > If you look at a drive that Win 7 has partitioned there are 2048 hidden
    > sectors for a starting offset of 1,048,576. Also with Win 7 it creates a
    > 100MB system partition where most of the system files needed for booting
    > are placed. This partition is hidden in Win 7.
    >
    > So Vista and Win 7 should always do the partitioning during installation
    > for optimum hard drive configuration and performance.
    >
    >
    > Kue2 wrote:
    > > Hi Bobby
    > > Yes, sounds very interesting. I was not aware of partitioning

    > aligning in Vista or in Win7. Maybe someone that is familiar with it
    > > will explain it in more detail.
    > >
    > > "Bobby Johnson" <> wrote in message

    > news:...
    > >> What about partition alignment? I have recently read multiple posts

    > and articles about Win 7 automatically aligning partitions for better
    > performance. Most of the articles point out that Vista also aligns
    > partitions but it wasn't a hot subject last year.
    > >>
    > >> I'm still trying to find Paul Harvey's "rest of the story" on

    > partition alignment. And, yes, I know it was previously thought to only
    > be applicable to RAID, but as I said before, it seems to be the current
    > 'in thing' for all hard drives.
    > >>
    > >> I am really curious about the whole alignment idea.
    > >>
    > >>
    > >>
    > >> R. C. White wrote:
    > >>> Hi, Kue2.
    > >>>
    > >>>> Not loading Vista loading Win7 - 32 RC build 7100
    > >>>
    > >>> But the rule still applies!
    > >>>
    > >>> The Golden Rule of dual-booting is to ALWAYS install the NEWEST

    > operating system LAST!
    > >>>
    > >>> We usually hear it as Jawade said: oldest first. But the

    > important point is to install the newest last. If there are only two,
    > then it's the same thing, but if you are installing 3 or more OSes, it
    > might not matter which comes first, so long as you finish with the latest.
    > >>>
    > >>> The Win7 Setup.exe knows exactly how to deal with any Win2K, WinXP

    > or Vista - or earlier Win7 - installations that it finds (and, yes, it
    > will look for them). But WinXP Setup hasn't the foggiest idea of what to
    > do about either Vista or Win7, neither of which even existed when that
    > version of Setup.exe was written back in 2001.
    > >>>
    > >>> One other fine point: Put the OS that is most likely to be

    > abandoned some day on the "other" partition. That way, when you decide to
    > go Win7 all the way, it will be easy to delete the partition where WinXP
    > is installed if that is not also your "System Partition" that is used to
    > boot the computer.
    > >>>
    > >>> If it were my system and I were starting fresh with a new hard

    > drive, I'd repartition it before I start. Make the first partition quite
    > small - maybe as small as 1 GB - and mark it Active (bootable). Then make
    > the other two partitions for the two operating systems. Then install
    > WinXP to the third partition; it will write its few startup files (NTLDR,
    > NTDETECT.COM and Boot.ini) to the first partition and then put its
    > \Windows folder tree with all those other files into that third partition.
    > Finally, install Win7 to the second partition; it will put its own few
    > startup files (bootmgr and the hidden \Boot folder) into the first
    > partition - preserving NTLDR, etc., to be used in dual-booting into
    > WinXP - and then put all those other GBs of files into the \Windows folder
    > on the second partition.
    > >>>
    > >>> RC
     
    R. C. White, May 27, 2009
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. And, if you look at the OCZ forum on SSDs, you will find that they have
    identified partition mis-alignment as a major cause of 'stutter' on SSDs.

    Frank Shu, Senior Program Manager, did a PowerPoint presentation about
    it as it relates to SSDs and Win 7, but it has been found to also help
    standard hard drives. So, partition alignment is not a dead, or
    obsolete, issue. And Windows 7 is something a lot of people are working
    on today. Apparently it is relevant today.

    http://download.microsoft.com/download/5/E/6/5E66B27B-988B-4F50-AF3A-C2FF1E62180F/COR-T558_WH08.pptx


    R. C. White wrote:
    > Hi, Bobby.
    >
    > "Partition alignment" was a hot topic several years ago when we were
    > converting a lot of FAT drives to NTFS, especially when Win2K, followed
    > closely by WinXP, arrived and used NTFS as the default. Conversion was
    > a major headache for a couple of years. If you have some old newsgroup
    > archives, you should find a lot of threads about this during that time
    > period. Part of the problem was changing from 512-byte to 4-KB default
    > cluster sizes; we had to "align" the old clusters to be sure that every
    > 512-byte cluster began at the start of a 4-KB cluster. Or that every
    > partition had to be "aligned" to start at the beginning of a 4-KB
    > cluster. I've forgotten the details and don't care to re-learn obsolete
    > details.
    >
    > Microsoft quickly solved the problem in about 2000 and I haven't even
    > seen it mentioned in maybe five years or more - until the term popped up
    > in the thread here a few days ago. And I don't see its relevance to
    > anything we are working on today.
    >
    > RC
     
    Bobby Johnson, May 27, 2009
    #3
  4. Bobby Johnson

    R. C. White Guest

    Hi, Bobby.

    Thanks for the update. I'll read that reference when I get time. I've not
    yet dealt with an SSD and haven't run into the partition (or cluster?)
    alignment issue in a long time so I'm surprised to hear the phrase again.
    In fact, I'm wondering if I am thinking of the same thing. Partition
    alignment might be quite different from cluster alignment.

    RC
    --
    R. C. White, CPA
    San Marcos, TX

    Microsoft Windows MVP
    Windows Live Mail 2009 (14.0.8064.0206) in Win7 Ultimate x64 RC 7100

    "Bobby Johnson" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > And, if you look at the OCZ forum on SSDs, you will find that they have
    > identified partition mis-alignment as a major cause of 'stutter' on SSDs.
    >
    > Frank Shu, Senior Program Manager, did a PowerPoint presentation about it
    > as it relates to SSDs and Win 7, but it has been found to also help
    > standard hard drives. So, partition alignment is not a dead, or obsolete,
    > issue. And Windows 7 is something a lot of people are working on today.
    > Apparently it is relevant today.
    >
    > http://download.microsoft.com/download/5/E/6/5E66B27B-988B-4F50-AF3A-C2FF1E62180F/COR-T558_WH08.pptx
    >
    >
    > R. C. White wrote:
    >> Hi, Bobby.
    >>
    >> "Partition alignment" was a hot topic several years ago when we were
    >> converting a lot of FAT drives to NTFS, especially when Win2K, followed
    >> closely by WinXP, arrived and used NTFS as the default. Conversion was a
    >> major headache for a couple of years. If you have some old newsgroup
    >> archives, you should find a lot of threads about this during that time
    >> period. Part of the problem was changing from 512-byte to 4-KB default
    >> cluster sizes; we had to "align" the old clusters to be sure that every
    >> 512-byte cluster began at the start of a 4-KB cluster. Or that every
    >> partition had to be "aligned" to start at the beginning of a 4-KB
    >> cluster. I've forgotten the details and don't care to re-learn obsolete
    >> details.
    >>
    >> Microsoft quickly solved the problem in about 2000 and I haven't even
    >> seen it mentioned in maybe five years or more - until the term popped up
    >> in the thread here a few days ago. And I don't see its relevance to
    >> anything we are working on today.
    >>
    >> RC
     
    R. C. White, May 27, 2009
    #4
  5. Bobby Johnson

    Dave Warren Guest

    In message <> "R. C.
    White" <> was claimed to have wrote:

    >Thanks for the update. I'll read that reference when I get time. I've not
    >yet dealt with an SSD and haven't run into the partition (or cluster?)
    >alignment issue in a long time so I'm surprised to hear the phrase again.
    >In fact, I'm wondering if I am thinking of the same thing. Partition
    >alignment might be quite different from cluster alignment.


    It's really cluster alignment that is the issue here, but since most
    SSDs expect 4KB clusters, and NTFS defaults to 4KB clusters (and
    performs best with 4KB clusters for general purpose workloads), the
    result is that if you start your partition aligned correctly, the
    resulting data clusters are also properly aligned.
     
    Dave Warren, Jun 1, 2009
    #5
  6. Sounds good to me.

    Thanks


    Dave Warren wrote:
    > In message <> "R. C.
    > White" <> was claimed to have wrote:
    >
    >> Thanks for the update. I'll read that reference when I get time. I've not
    >> yet dealt with an SSD and haven't run into the partition (or cluster?)
    >> alignment issue in a long time so I'm surprised to hear the phrase again.
    >> In fact, I'm wondering if I am thinking of the same thing. Partition
    >> alignment might be quite different from cluster alignment.

    >
    > It's really cluster alignment that is the issue here, but since most
    > SSDs expect 4KB clusters, and NTFS defaults to 4KB clusters (and
    > performs best with 4KB clusters for general purpose workloads), the
    > result is that if you start your partition aligned correctly, the
    > resulting data clusters are also properly aligned.
     
    Bobby Johnson, Jun 1, 2009
    #6
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. Melv

    epson print head alignment

    Melv, Aug 19, 2003, in forum: Computer Support
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    7,155
    Patrick
    Aug 19, 2003
  2. rte
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    1,396
  3. JC
    Replies:
    8
    Views:
    1,225
  4. monroe2020

    Smart Media Picture Alignment

    monroe2020, Jul 29, 2004, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    339
    Jim Townsend
    Jul 29, 2004
  5. Francis Knight

    Olympus C2500L Optical Alignment

    Francis Knight, Jul 29, 2004, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    343
    Paul H.
    Jul 30, 2004
Loading...

Share This Page