Partition Alignment Tool: Align Partition to Improve System Performance

Introduction

It was proved by many experiments that improper storage configuration scheme can result in a waste of money and time. That is a huge impediment to optimal system performance. When windows 7 or windows server 2008 creates a partition it is usually aligned correctly. But there are many factors to cause misalignment and people always overlook it. When you create or format a partition with some kind of software instead of windows installer then misalignment occurs. To know how to align partition properly, let’s start with what is partition alignment.

What is alignment?

Typically, when windows 7 create a partition it is aligned correctly, which means the partition start is corresponding to the first sector start. The partition consists of clusters in the logical layer and the storage device is divided into sectors in the physical layer. When the first cluster start and the first sectors match along with each other, the partition is aligned correctly. For example, if one cluster corresponds to two sectors the storage device will read from two sectors while partition read data from one cluster. Now the amount of read-write is the minimum and the performance of file system is maximized.

Why is misalignment a problem?

The traditional drives are divided in to 512b physical sectors. But modern hard disk drives normally have a physical sector size of 4096 bytes and their logic operates 4K chunks of data, which software can not recognize. Thus a third layer of abstraction is added to be compatible to the old software. Windows operating systems before Vista align partition start to 512b sectors not 4K sectors. If logical clusters are moved and the partition start doesn’t match along with the disk start it will cause misalignment. When misalignment occurs each read-write operation will cross two 4K sectors and the access time will be increased into twice. Eventually, overall system performance will be degraded and the longevity of the hard disk drive will decline.

Aomei Partition Assistant partition alignment tool serves to improve system performance

Alignment plays a significant part in SAN/RAID/SSD. Especially, SSD has some limitation in read-write times so proper alignment can results in improvement of performance and longevity. Partition alignment tool in Aomei Partition Assistant can move sector to correspond with the disk start. Besides, it is able to migrate OS to SSD. How to align partition with Aomei Partition Assistant? Now partition F in SSD is your OS partition. It is checked misaligned. So you want to align it correctly:

Step 1: Right click the partition you want to align, choose “Advanced” > “Partition Alignment”.

Choose the sector in the drop down list

Step 2: Choose the sector (default 2048) you align partition to and click “Ok”.

Select 'Partition Alignment'

Step 3: Bear in mind to click “Apply” to proceed all the operations or all the changes will be lost.

Click 'Apply'

You can also use this magic tool to move OS from HDD to SSD to achieve excellent system performance. Free download Aomei Partition Assistant Home Edition to try it out.