4k alignment from a free partitioning tool

Subject: Storage | August 12, 2013 - 05:37 PM |
Tagged: ssd, partition, MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition, 4k

SSDs and modern OSes no longer use the old 512 byte LBA alignment, or at least they don't need to and in the case of SSDs offer larger disk size and faster performance.  However many people are not aware of 4k alignment nor how to check if their SSD is aligned nor what to do even if they do know it is not aligned.  Hardware.Info put together a short article on the steps to verify if your SSD is aligned as well as covering a free partitioning tool called MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition which will help you align your SSD as well as other tasks common to partitioning software.  As with any major changes being made at this low a level, do realize that this could cause data loss, but aligning those sectors is a great IDEMA.

View Full Size

"When you copy the contents of a hard disk from a PC or laptop to an SSD you have to make sure that the placement of the partitions corresponds to the underlying hardware structure. The same is true for the latest generation of hard disks. Today we'll discuss what this so-called '4k alignment' really means and what you can do in order to prevent a decrease in performance."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:



August 13, 2013 | 06:21 AM - Posted by windwalker

Are you saying that the install routines of modern operating systems don't already do this when presented with an empty drive?
That would be a rather significant oversight.

August 13, 2013 | 08:48 AM - Posted by cyberwire

I'm pretty sure win7+ does, however keep in mind many people are lazy and do drive cloning from their old HDD when they get a new SSD and not all cloning tools do alignment properly.

August 13, 2013 | 01:13 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

Exactly what I was seeing this tool being used for.

August 13, 2013 | 11:02 AM - Posted by YTech

Great find!

I remember doing various LBA alignment based on HDD usage & specs for Win95-98, WinXP OS. When done correctly, you increase performance and stability.
The average consumers don't notice this.

I heard about the 4k LBA alignment improvements when the HDD reached 1Tb. It's good to know that you can do data alignment on SSD.

And with today's large data-set, 4k cluster alignment is the way to go. But expect larger clusters as our disk storage and data increase.

Read the article, it has really great info!

Thanks Jeremy! :)

** It was disk cluster configurations where alignment was part of the task, that I used to do.

August 13, 2013 | 04:49 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I've tried half a dozen programs and tutorials to try and fix this as I'm too lazy (until my new build) to re-align and reformat my SSD, and none of them worked. I gave up months ago, but figured since it was on PCPER I might as well give this one a shot. In only 30 minutes my 480GB SSD is humming fully aligned! I could kiss you, have your babies Jeremy, or just buy you a beer if you are ever in the great state of Washington.

Finally something that worked for me and didn't force me to go back to my 512 byte image because it screwed it all up!

August 13, 2013 | 06:33 PM - Posted by Poci

Theres a math equation to compute this, I forgot how to do it.

It seems that Win 8 already correctly aligns SSDs upon install in partion screen prior to copying files from dvd to system.

August 16, 2013 | 09:21 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This tool just corrupted my Windows Seven. Just got a blue screen with to chance of repair but reinstall.

November 25, 2013 | 11:10 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Be careful! This tool worked great except on my SSD OS drive. It actually corrupted some of my file indexes, but luckily it didn't take out anything too important and I was able to log into Windows. But I would be very cautious -- have a backup image ready to deploy in case things go south.

In my case, all I had to do was run CHKDSK /f to scan and fix the errors. If you run into problems and can't boot into Windows, you should at least have bootable media prepared that will give you a Command Prompt from which to run CHKDSK from (test it first!)

This tool corrupted my C:\Windows\Branding\Basebrd\ folder and the associated files indexed there, which are related to Windows themes, probably randomly.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote><p><br>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.