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Sean's Windows 7 Install & Optimization Guide for SSDs & HDDs - Page 74

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zyther View Post

i have a crucial m4 128gb
I will be using windows 7 on the drive aswell as my games (battlefield 3 mainly)

should i set the align to 1024 or 4096?

4096. thumb.gif

Now if you already installed don't worry about it.

4096? Whats the difference/benefit over 1024?
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post #732 of 5384
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rage19420 View Post


4096? Whats the difference/benefit over 1024?

Congrats!

4k is more optimal for the drive. Read the info in the clicky thing below. smile.gif
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
Q: Why 4096 alignment vs. 1024?
A:
Quote:
Originally Posted by esocid;15530789 
I believe the 4096 thing is with the change in sector size of disks from 512 to 4096. So basically 4096 is the "new" first sector, rather than 512x2 (1024). If this is HDD or SSD specific, I am not positive.

http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-4kb-sector-disks/index.html?ca=dgr-lnxw074KB-Disksdth-LX
Quote:
Originally Posted by BradleyW;15533065 
Ok it's about time we got this sorted.

1. You don't need to run AHCI when using a SSD. By this, I mean you can run HDD's in raid with a SSD on its own. Whichever drives are not selected as raid will run in AHCI although the bios reports raid mode.

2. 4096 is the correct allocation size for newer storage devices. Why?
A hard drive or SSD is a chunk of free space (Let's talk in digital terms). So this free space needs to be divided into segments. By setting 1024, 1024 small little chunks can be help within a segment. By setting 4096, you can hold over 3072 more chunks per segment.

3. So yeah....why is this better?
Firstly we need to look at how information is stored and read on the hard drive. Let’s take a file. It's saved as small chunks that fit into a segment. If you use 1024 allocation size and the file will need 2000 chunks, the file will become split up. So the first 1024 chunks will be stored in the 1st segment whilst the remaining is stored into the next segment. Because the file is divided, it takes longer for the HDD/SSD and/or the OS to read/write the file. The file that requires 2000 chunks of a segment can fit into a 4096 segment. The file and information does not become scattered around. Of course, no matter what you do, chunks will become split up over time as you add and delete things on the computer and gaps in the structure appear and get filled by new files. The new files just become scattered to fill the gaps between the empty chunks that appear from previous files becoming deleted by software or the user.

4. Why to not use an allocation size higher than 4096?
Because if the units that hold tiny segments become too large of an open space, it will take the OS and the hardware far too long to find and interpret the information. It will also reduce the amount of formatted free space available to the OS and the user.

Hope this helps!
Quote:
Originally Posted by BradleyW;15611027 
Just want to clear something up.
Might wanna add to OP in my message via FQA section

Ok alignment can be 1024 or 4096. (4096 will provide better speeds in real world environments whilst 1024 will show slightly better results via benchmarks).

Allocation Unit size MUST be 4096 no matter what! Even if your alignment is at 1024!
post #733 of 5384
Quote:
Ok alignment can be 1024 or 4096. (4096 will provide better speeds in real world environments whilst 1024 will show slightly better results via benchmarks).

Allocation Unit size MUST be 4096 no matter what! Even if your alignment is at 1024!

Ok so to set the align to 4096 you do:
create partition primary align=4096

But how do you set the allocation unit size to 4096?

Also seeing as I want to do a clean install on my M4, is it best to run part magic secure erase?
post #734 of 5384
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zyther View Post


Ok so to set the align to 4096 you do:
create partition primary align=4096

But how do you set the allocation unit size to 4096?

Also seeing as I want to do a clean install on my M4, is it best to run part magic secure erase?

Default allocation size is 4k so don't worry about that.

You can secure erase if you want, but you don't need to. Just follow the steps and you'll be golden. smile.gif
post #735 of 5384
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevindd992002 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by xandypx View Post

I had posted about this earlier in the thread, but a quick recap.
The EFI partition (the first on the drive) aligns at 1024 (windows standard) as a precaution against any disk program potentionally (inadvertantly) writing to the disk label and protective MBR. This information resides in sectors 0 through 33 of a GPT "Logical Disk". If this information is altered/overwritten with incorrect information, the GPT disk will no longer be "self identifying", and important aspect of GPT. In order to write information to this area of a GPT disk, you must use a GPT "aware" disk program. The "Protective MBR" always resides at sector 0 of a GPT disk. If you recall, the protective MBR tells any MBR disk program that it cannot make changes to the disk.
An example of this is window's own repair ulility when it is not started from a UEFI device. If the utility is started from a BIOS on a GPT disk, the repair utility responds with an error that the disk cannot be repaired. This is because all BIOSs can only initiate the instruction that resides at sector 0 of any disk.

Gotcha. Sorry, I just forgot because of the long wait I made to have the Crucial M4. So if I understand right, when you don't include the align switch when using diskpart, 1024 is the default setting. So it's simple as creating the three necessary GPT partitions with alignment of 4096 before the PRIMARY partition, correct?

And 0 to 33 sectors equlas 1024K bytes of data?

Basically yes, but then again... not exactly. Trying not to get too technical, as it can be rather confusing.... Unfortunately the terminology used to explain how this works is pretty bad. There's just no "good" way to explain it because of the history of the term "Sectors". "Sectors" in discussing storage media is actually a standard that manufacturers adhere to just like a USB standard, a PCIe standard, a memory standard, or any other type of "standard" that ensures inter-operability of different components manufactured by different companies. It used to be that 63 “sectors” made up a single track of a spinning HDD.

The reason we talk about using a 4096 alignment, is because NOW, most newer HDD/SSD have a 4K "sector" Advanced format standard. The term "Sector" when talking about a spinning disk, used to refer to a space of approximately 512 bytes. The standard sector size of 512 bytes for magnetic disks, was replaced with certain media, to 1024 byte sectors with the introduction of media players and camera storage. Now we have 4096; the new 2011 standard, "Advanced Format" sectors, so now a "sector" is considered 4096 bytes.

A better way to explain the first "33" pieces of information on a GPT drive, is by looking at them as "Logical Blocks" of data on the drive. GPT drives, like most modern spinning hard disks, use logical block addressing (LBA) in place of cylinder-head-sector (CHS) addressing. As I mentioned earlier, the protective MBR of a GPT drive is contained in "LBA" ("sector") 0, the GPT header is in "LBA" 1, and the partition table of the drive follows that. Windows reserve the first 16,384 bytes (33 "sectors"/LBAs) for the GUID Partition Table, leaving LBA 34 as the first usable sector of the drive.

Windows 7 uses a default 1024 alignment for the first partition so that it does not cause a problem with misalignment of the entire drive. If it weren't for discussions and guides like this thread, most people would just opt to let windows installation perform the action of alignment. Prior to Windows 7, major alignment issues were common place, although few end users really noticed. Without the 1024 alignment of the first partition, a misalignment would occur because any partition placed immediately after the GUID partition table (the first 33 LBAs), would be placed at block LBA 34, without a specified offset. This also occurred with MBR, so GPT is not unique with this potential problem. A MBR occupies the first 512 bytes of any MBR drive, and the same problem occurs when a first partition is placed immediately after the MBR. this location falls in the middle of a sector boundry. just what is trying to be avoided by alignment.

On an "advanced format" 4KiB drive (SSDs, and most new magnetic HDDs), the next 4KiB sector boundary begins at LBA 40. By using a 1024 Offset, windows ensure that your first partition starts at what should be the beginning of a 4KiB sector boundary.

Hopefully not too confusing.
Edited by xandypx - 11/24/11 at 6:34am
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post #736 of 5384
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^My head hurts. rolleyes.gif
post #737 of 5384
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

^My head hurts. rolleyes.gif

Welcome to MY world! wackosmiley.gif
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post #738 of 5384
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You and I are going to be good friends, I just have that feeling! biggrin.gif
post #739 of 5384
Quote:
Originally Posted by xandypx View Post

Basically yes, but then again... not exactly. Trying not to get too technical, as it can be rather confusing.... Unfortunately the terminology used to explain how this works is pretty bad. There's just no "good" way to explain it because of the history of the term "Sectors". "Sectors" in discussing storage media is actually a standard that manufacturers adhere to just like a USB standard, a PCIe standard, a memory standard, or any other type of "standard" that ensures inter-operability of different components manufactured by different companies. It used to be that 63 “sectors” made up a single track of a spinning HDD.
The reason we talk about using a 4096 alignment, is because NOW, most newer HDD/SSD have a 4K "sector" Advanced format standard. The term "Sector" when talking about a spinning disk, used to refer to a space of approximately 512 bytes. The standard sector size of 512 bytes for magnetic disks, was replaced with certain media, to 1024 byte sectors with the introduction of media players and camera storage. Now we have 4096; the new 2011 standard, "Advanced Format" sectors, so now a "sector" is considered 4096 bytes.
A better way to explain the first "33" pieces of information on a GPT drive, is by looking at them as "Logical Blocks" of data on the drive. GPT drives, like most modern spinning hard disks, use logical block addressing (LBA) in place of cylinder-head-sector (CHS) addressing. As I mentioned earlier, the protective MBR of a GPT drive is contained in "LBA" ("sector") 0, the GPT header is in "LBA" 1, and the partition table of the drive follows that. Windows reserve the first 16,384 bytes (33 "sectors"/LBAs) for the GUID Partition Table, leaving LBA 34 as the first usable sector of the drive.
Windows 7 uses a default 1024 alignment for the first partition so that it does not cause a problem with misalignment of the entire drive. If it weren't for discussions and guides like this thread, most people would just opt to let windows installation perform the action of alignment. Prior to Windows 7, major alignment issues were common place, although few end users really noticed. Without the 1024 alignment of the first partition, a misalignment would occur because any partition placed immediately after the GUID partition table (the first 33 LBAs), would be placed at block LBA 34, without a specified offset. This also occurred with MBR, so GPT is not unique with this potential problem. A MBR occupies the first 512 bytes of any MBR drive, and the same problem occurs when a first partition is placed immediately after the MBR. this location falls in the middle of a sector boundry. just what is trying to be avoided by alignment.
On an "advanced format" 4KiB drive (SSDs, and most new magnetic HDDs), the next 4KiB sector boundary begins at LBA 40. By using a 1024 Offset, windows ensure that your first partition starts at what should be the beginning of a 4KiB sector boundary.
Hopefully not too confusing.

Thanks for the clarification.
post #740 of 5384
nice guide will try soon
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