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Sean's Windows 7 Install & Optimization Guide for SSDs & HDDs - Page 346

post #3451 of 5386
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellzlegend View Post

Is there a way to do a 4k alignment and still keep the system reserve partition?

Not that I could figure out. 1K will give you basically the same performance, don't sweat it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by xxfury2xx View Post

I've been very frustrated with my ssd lately. For some reason Windows 7 will just start stuttering, like it's running an intense program when the pc is idle at the desktop. I find this ridiculous considering the other components in system (8GB RAM, core i5-3570k). Also, while my sequential read and write speeds are fine, my random speeds are pathetically slow. I installed HD Tune to see if something was wrong with my drive, but the Health portion just comes up blank. HD Tune can give me all of the info from my 1TB HDD.

I tried installing all of the latest drivers from my motherboard's website only to be greeted by even slower random speeds! mad.gif

I'm really starting to regret spending extra money on this Samsung 830... frown.gif
Check out this guide and follow the steps in the first post and we can continue in that thread. I'm sure it is something simple. smile.gif

www.overclock.net/t/1248358/seans-ssd-hdd-troubleshooting-guide
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayjr1105 View Post


Not sure what ssd you have but I would upgrade firmware first. Check your overclock assuming you are oc'd.

Now I have an interesting problem of my own... every time I install w7 on my ssd it puts the boot partition on my hdd. My solution was to either remove the hdd during w7 install or pre format it. Why does it do that?

Sent from my SGH-I897 using Tapatalk 2
It is normal. Windows puts the reserve partition on the secondary drive in case the main drive gets corrupted. It is stupid imo. lol
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post #3452 of 5386
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

It is normal. Windows puts the reserve partition on the secondary drive in case the main drive gets corrupted. It is stupid imo. lol

Do you think I can get away with pre-wiping/formatting the secondary HDD with acronis(or similar)? Or should I just disconnect the HDD while installing Windows to the SSD to be safe? The reason I ask is because it's a federal project to disconnect/reconnect my drives. biggrin.gif
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post #3453 of 5386
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayjr1105 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

It is normal. Windows puts the reserve partition on the secondary drive in case the main drive gets corrupted. It is stupid imo. lol

Do you think I can get away with pre-wiping/formatting the secondary HDD with acronis(or similar)? Or should I just disconnect the HDD while installing Windows to the SSD to be safe? The reason I ask is because it's a federal project to disconnect/reconnect my drives. biggrin.gif
If the drive is connected the system reserve partition will be written to it with a normal install. If you don't want it to be made then follow the steps with 4k alignment where you manually set the offset and format with diskpart.
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post #3454 of 5386
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

If the drive is connected the system reserve partition will be written to it with a normal install. If you don't want it to be made then follow the steps with 4k alignment where you manually set the offset and format with diskpart.

20 minutes too late frown.gif O well, I just removed the HD while I installed. Thanks for all the help!
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post #3455 of 5386
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayjr1105 View Post

Now I have an interesting problem of my own... every time I install w7 on my ssd it puts the boot partition on my hdd. My solution was to either remove the hdd during w7 install or pre format it. Why does it do that?

It is normal. Windows puts the reserve partition on the secondary drive in case the main drive gets corrupted. It is stupid imo. lol

First time I've heard of this. In all my builds, Windows usually puts the system reserve partition on the drive where I'm installing Windows. Hmm, curious, which drive is set as the primary boot drive in the BIOS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellzlegend View Post

Is there a way to do a 4k alignment and still keep the system reserve partition?

Not that I could figure out. 1K will give you basically the same performance, don't sweat it.

Windows 7 will automatically format SSDs and advanced format drives with 4K alignment. Even the system reserved partition is aligned to 4KB (although the 103,424K reported by AS-SSD tends to confuse some folks). A lot of people tend to divide the offset reported by AS-SSD by 4,096 when it should only be divided by 4. The number reported by AS-SSD is already in kilobytes while the 4,096 requirement is in bytes which is equal to 4KiB. A lot of folks also think that the number has to be equal to 4,096 which really isn't the case at all.

In fact, you have it specifically quoted in your guide:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
A standard offset of 1024 is used for the EFI partition. This is done to avoid writing to sectors 0 through 33 of the EFI/gpt labeled "Logical Disk", and potentially overwriting the disk label. The second partition (MSR) starts at 101MB. Don't get confused because the alignment numbers in a typical Widows7 installation are shown as:

1024KB for the 100MB partition
101MB for the next partition - which is the MSR partition.

Don't think that 101MB is not divisible by 4 and that there must be a problem. If you convert 101MBs into KBs (multiply by 1024), then the number is divisible by 4 and the partition is aligned.

The same goes for the important primary partition at 232MB. (again multiply by 1024, and divide by 4). A whole number indicates alignment of the partition blocks, virtual sectors, and the logical disk volume blocks. This is what you want to acomplish with alignment.

Another comment, the following is not a valid comparison of 1K vs 4K alignment: Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

OK everyone! I just reinstalled windows 7 using 4096 alignment and there is no performance increase as far as I can tell over 1024. I get the same results as I did before in AS SSD with my crucial M4 on firmware 0009. Maybe access times?
So I am just going to use 4096 still.
Before:
attachment.php?attachmentid=236955&stc=1&d=1320168394
After:
attachment.php?attachmentid=236954&stc=1&d=1320168394

You'll notice that AS-SSD reports the 1024 K alignment as "OK" meaning it's 4K aligned. You need to have AS-SSD show alignment as bad (e.g. delete partitions and format the drive using XP). Hmm, I'll try to do a benchmark on this one of these days.
Edited by rui-no-onna - 7/19/12 at 9:39pm
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post #3456 of 5386
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rui-no-onna View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayjr1105 View Post

Now I have an interesting problem of my own... every time I install w7 on my ssd it puts the boot partition on my hdd. My solution was to either remove the hdd during w7 install or pre format it. Why does it do that?

It is normal. Windows puts the reserve partition on the secondary drive in case the main drive gets corrupted. It is stupid imo. lol

First time I've heard of this. In all my builds, Windows usually puts the system reserve partition on the drive where I'm installing Windows. Hmm, curious, which drive is set as the primary boot drive in the BIOS?
Really? There is a way to install and not have it put it on the secondary in the GUI when you choose the drive /partition to install to, but I can't be asked to think of and explain the situation.
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellzlegend View Post

Is there a way to do a 4k alignment and still keep the system reserve partition?

Not that I could figure out. 1K will give you basically the same performance, don't sweat it.

Windows 7 will automatically format SSDs and advanced format drives with 4K alignment. Even the system reserved partition is aligned to 4KB (although the 103,424K reported by AS-SSD tends to confuse some folks). A lot of people tend to divide the offset reported by AS-SSD by 4,096 when it should only be divided by 4. The number reported by AS-SSD is already in kilobytes while the 4,096 requirement is in bytes which is equal to 4KiB. A lot of folks also think that the number has to be equal to 4,096 which really isn't the case at all.

In fact, you have it specifically quoted in your guide:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
A standard offset of 1024 is used for the EFI partition. This is done to avoid writing to sectors 0 through 33 of the EFI/gpt labeled "Logical Disk", and potentially overwriting the disk label. The second partition (MSR) starts at 101MB. Don't get confused because the alignment numbers in a typical Widows7 installation are shown as:

1024KB for the 100MB partition
101MB for the next partition - which is the MSR partition.

Don't think that 101MB is not divisible by 4 and that there must be a problem. If you convert 101MBs into KBs (multiply by 1024), then the number is divisible by 4 and the partition is aligned.

The same goes for the important primary partition at 232MB. (again multiply by 1024, and divide by 4). A whole number indicates alignment of the partition blocks, virtual sectors, and the logical disk volume blocks. This is what you want to acomplish with alignment.

Another comment, the following is not a valid comparison of 1K vs 4K alignment:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1156654/seans-windows-7-install-optimization-guide-for-ssds-hdds/70#post_15532088

If you notice, AS-SSD reports the 1024 K alignment as "OK" meaning it's 4K aligned. You need to have AS-SSD show alignment as bad (e.g. delete partitions and format the drive using XP). Hmm, I'll try to do a benchmark on this one of these days.
Wut. Are you just reiterating things...I can not process blocks of text with no specific questions...if you have any or are you proving something? o.0
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post #3457 of 5386
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by rui-no-onna View Post

Windows 7 will automatically format SSDs and advanced format drives with 4K alignment. Even the system reserved partition is aligned to 4KB (although the 103,424K reported by AS-SSD tends to confuse some folks). A lot of people tend to divide the offset reported by AS-SSD by 4,096 when it should only be divided by 4. The number reported by AS-SSD is already in kilobytes while the 4,096 requirement is in bytes which is equal to 4KiB. A lot of folks also think that the number has to be equal to 4,096 which really isn't the case at all.

In fact, you have it specifically quoted in your guide:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
A standard offset of 1024 is used for the EFI partition. This is done to avoid writing to sectors 0 through 33 of the EFI/gpt labeled "Logical Disk", and potentially overwriting the disk label. The second partition (MSR) starts at 101MB. Don't get confused because the alignment numbers in a typical Widows7 installation are shown as:

1024KB for the 100MB partition
101MB for the next partition - which is the MSR partition.

Don't think that 101MB is not divisible by 4 and that there must be a problem. If you convert 101MBs into KBs (multiply by 1024), then the number is divisible by 4 and the partition is aligned.

The same goes for the important primary partition at 232MB. (again multiply by 1024, and divide by 4). A whole number indicates alignment of the partition blocks, virtual sectors, and the logical disk volume blocks. This is what you want to acomplish with alignment.

Wut. Are you just reiterating things...I can not process blocks of text with no specific questions...if you have any or are you proving something? o.0

I'm saying the system reserved partition is already 4K aligned. You keep saying it's just aligned to 1K (which it is since 4K is a multiple of 1K) but it's also aligned to 4K. xandypx's explanation regarding this is in your guide (spoiler in the quoted post).

You also have a post here (spoiler) comparing performance benchmarks with 1K and 4K alignment when in fact, both drives are 4K aligned: Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

OK everyone! I just reinstalled windows 7 using 4096 alignment and there is no performance increase as far as I can tell over 1024. I get the same results as I did before in AS SSD with my crucial M4 on firmware 0009. Maybe access times?
So I am just going to use 4096 still.
Before:
attachment.php?attachmentid=236955&stc=1&d=1320168394
After:
attachment.php?attachmentid=236954&stc=1&d=1320168394

If you want a 1K vs 4K comparison, test the SSD with partition offsets at 1023 K (1,047,552) and 1024 K (1,048,576) respectively.
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post #3458 of 5386
Got around to doing some benches today comparing unaligned vs 4K aligned. If you look at the screenshots, AS SSD shows the offset for unaligned partitions in red and specifically marks them as BAD. Not much difference with sequential read/write but you can see the performance penalty in random 4K writes is pretty significant.

Speed:


IOPS:


Only tested with SATA 3Gb/s (Intel DH57JG + Intel Core i3-530). Unfortunately, the only computer with SATA 6Gb/s port is the HTPC and it's too much of a hassle to remove from the entertainment shelf. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
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post #3459 of 5386
First off Sean, you have my utmost gratitude for this guide. It even inadvertently helped me fix a RSOD problem! I know appreciation from a random internet stranger isn't much, but it's the best I can do. I'm sure you've helped me and a lot of other PC/SSD newbies. smile.gif

System specs:

Asrock z77 extreme4
G.Skill Ripjaws 8 gb
Crucial m4 128 gb
Caviar Blue 500 gb SATA3
i5-3570k
ASUS gtx 670 direct CU II

Followed the guide all the way through, this is a new system. Just a few questions about what exactly consume a lot of "writes" on the SSD.

I've done a clean install, and used ninite.com to install the following applications:

7zip
chrome
digsby
flash
java
launchy
malwarebytes
revo
skype
steam
sumatrapdf
teracopy
utorrent
vlc

Will these applications consume a large number of writes? I think that I can move the directory for logs/files/downloads for skype, digsby, mbam, utorrent, etc., but I'm not sure if that'll reduce the wear on the SSD. I also don't know exactly how teracopy, 7zip, vlc, and launchy "use" the drive (I'll use the 500gb HDD for vlc files, but I'm not sure what difference it makes that the installation directory for VLC is in the SSD), or if they "use up" a lot of writes.

Also, about flash/java - will the constant updates also take up a lot of writes every day?

I'm also concerned about temporary internet files and the temp folder, etc. consuming a large number of writes every day - any way to remedy this? (The entire guide only mentions tempfiles in the part about CCleaner so I thought it would be a good thing to bring this up). Downloads are also a concern since they go to the temp folder by default right? Is there a way to move this?

Steam's another concern - can I simply transfer games I'm not going to play anymore to the other drive so I don't have to redownload it?

Lastly, on benchmarking software - should I install SSD or it's better of on a secondary HDD? Any help'd be greatly appreciated, I'm just extremely paranoid about prolonging my SSD's life.
Edited by ecksodia - 7/22/12 at 7:18am
post #3460 of 5386
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rui-no-onna View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by rui-no-onna View Post

Windows 7 will automatically format SSDs and advanced format drives with 4K alignment. Even the system reserved partition is aligned to 4KB (although the 103,424K reported by AS-SSD tends to confuse some folks). A lot of people tend to divide the offset reported by AS-SSD by 4,096 when it should only be divided by 4. The number reported by AS-SSD is already in kilobytes while the 4,096 requirement is in bytes which is equal to 4KiB. A lot of folks also think that the number has to be equal to 4,096 which really isn't the case at all.

In fact, you have it specifically quoted in your guide:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
A standard offset of 1024 is used for the EFI partition. This is done to avoid writing to sectors 0 through 33 of the EFI/gpt labeled "Logical Disk", and potentially overwriting the disk label. The second partition (MSR) starts at 101MB. Don't get confused because the alignment numbers in a typical Widows7 installation are shown as:

1024KB for the 100MB partition
101MB for the next partition - which is the MSR partition.

Don't think that 101MB is not divisible by 4 and that there must be a problem. If you convert 101MBs into KBs (multiply by 1024), then the number is divisible by 4 and the partition is aligned.

The same goes for the important primary partition at 232MB. (again multiply by 1024, and divide by 4). A whole number indicates alignment of the partition blocks, virtual sectors, and the logical disk volume blocks. This is what you want to acomplish with alignment.

Wut. Are you just reiterating things...I can not process blocks of text with no specific questions...if you have any or are you proving something? o.0

I'm saying the system reserved partition is already 4K aligned. You keep saying it's just aligned to 1K (which it is since 4K is a multiple of 1K) but it's also aligned to 4K. xandypx's explanation regarding this is in your guide (spoiler in the quoted post).

You also have a post here (spoiler) comparing performance benchmarks with 1K and 4K alignment when in fact, both drives are 4K aligned: Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

OK everyone! I just reinstalled windows 7 using 4096 alignment and there is no performance increase as far as I can tell over 1024. I get the same results as I did before in AS SSD with my crucial M4 on firmware 0009. Maybe access times?
So I am just going to use 4096 still.
Before:
attachment.php?attachmentid=236955&stc=1&d=1320168394
After:
attachment.php?attachmentid=236954&stc=1&d=1320168394

If you want a 1K vs 4K comparison, test the SSD with partition offsets at 1023 K (1,047,552) and 1024 K (1,048,576) respectively.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rui-no-onna View Post

Got around to doing some benches today comparing unaligned vs 4K aligned. If you look at the screenshots, AS SSD shows the offset for unaligned partitions in red and specifically marks them as BAD. Not much difference with sequential read/write but you can see the performance penalty in random 4K writes is pretty significant.

Speed:


IOPS:


Only tested with SATA 3Gb/s (Intel DH57JG + Intel Core i3-530). Unfortunately, the only computer with SATA 6Gb/s port is the HTPC and it's too much of a hassle to remove from the entertainment shelf. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)


Ok, I was getting 4K and 4KB mixed up. But I remember before xandyx saying that 4KB was better than the default 1KB offset for some reason (I think with a GPT formatted drvie) in a PM a while ago and it just stuck in my head. I forgot what it was exactly. Or it could have been with a RAID 0 set up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ecksodia View Post

First off Sean, you have my utmost gratitude for this guide. It even inadvertently helped me fix a RSOD problem! I know appreciation from a random internet stranger isn't much, but it's the best I can do. I'm sure you've helped me and a lot of other PC/SSD newbies. smile.gif

System specs:

Asrock z77 extreme4
G.Skill Ripjaws 8 gb
Crucial m4 128 gb
Caviar Blue 500 gb SATA3
i5-3570k
ASUS gtx 670 direct CU II

Followed the guide all the way through, this is a new system. Just a few questions about what exactly consume a lot of "writes" on the SSD.

I've done a clean install, and used ninite.com to install the following applications:

7zip
chrome
digsby
flash
java
launchy
malwarebytes
revo
skype
steam
sumatrapdf
teracopy
utorrent
vlc

Will these applications consume a large number of writes?
not in particular that I can think of.
Quote:
I think that I can move the directory for logs/files/downloads for skype, digsby, mbam, utorrent, etc., but I'm not sure if that'll reduce the wear on the SSD. I also don't know exactly how teracopy, 7zip, vlc, and launchy "use" the drive (I'll use the 500gb HDD for vlc files, but I'm not sure what difference it makes that the installation directory for VLC is in the SSD), or if they "use up" a lot of writes.

Also, about flash/java - will the constant updates also take up a lot of writes every day?

I'm also concerned about temporary internet files and the temp folder, etc. consuming a large number of writes every day - any way to remedy this? (The entire guide only mentions tempfiles in the part about CCleaner so I thought it would be a good thing to bring this up). Downloads are also a concern since they go to the temp folder by default right? Is there a way to move this?
I wouldn't be concerned about that and go through the hassle personally.

You can move your downloads folder to where ever you like via its properties > location tab, as shown in my guide.
Quote:
Steam's another concern - can I simply transfer games I'm not going to play anymore to the other drive so I don't have to redownload it?
Yes you can. Use Steam Mover: www.overclock.net/t/853462/ssd-owners-must-have-app
Quote:
Lastly, on benchmarking software - should I install SSD or it's better of on a secondary HDD? Any help'd be greatly appreciated, I'm just extremely paranoid about prolonging my SSD's life.
Doesn't matter where it is, if you bench the drive data will be written to the drive you test anyways.

You shouldn't have any need for concern about SSD write life honestly. You are good for a long, long time. Check this out: http://www.overclock.net/t/1179518/seans-ssd-buyers-guide-information-thread#user_SSDProsandCons

Look under lifespan.
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Le Main Rig
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