Correct cluster size for NTFS formatting for VISTA.

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by pompste, Aug 18, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. pompste

    pompste Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2004
    Posts:
    27
    Hi,i want to install VISTA on a second hard drive in my pc.I`ve partitioned the second drive and now i must format it using disc director suite 10.
    What should i set the CLUSTER SIZE to? It offers several sizes----i want to make sure i set to the correct size for vista.
    Thanks for any responses.
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Posts:
    6,483
    Location:
    California
    I've always just used the default value (4KB). I also recommend that you let Vista format the partition during the installation. This makes sure the partition is exactly how Vista wants it.
     
  3. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Posts:
    2,591
    Location:
    State College, Pennsylvania
    I just changed the cluster size on my Vista partition from 4kB to 16kB. There may be a slight advantage to choosing 16kB clusters if you defragment your disk regularly and you rely on Shadow Copy files as a backup mechanism.

    With the default 4kB cluster size, every time you defragment a whole lot of clusters will get rearranged and the shadow copy file size will grow, which necessitates that Windows delete the oldest set of shadow copies if the file gets too large.

    If you use a larger cluster size, fewer clusters get rearranged during defragmentation and the shadow copy files will not grow as fast, thus giving you "Previous Versions" of files going back further in time.

    Microsoft recommends 16kB clusters if this is a concern to you. There are two disadvantages, however. First, you can't use NTFS compression unless running 4kB clusters. Second, if you have a lot of small files the larger cluster size will be less efficient. In my case, the efficiency of 4kB clusters was 98% and for 16 kB clusters was 97%.

    I used DiskDirector to do a nondestructive change of cluster size without reformatting the disk.
     
  4. DrTeeth

    DrTeeth Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Posts:
    14
    Do you have a reference for this please? If the default is 4Kb, I'd assume that that would be the recommendation.
     
  5. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Posts:
    2,591
    Location:
    State College, Pennsylvania
    DrTeeth:

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;312067

    Although the KB article is written for Windows Server 2003, I'm told that it applies to any Microsoft operating system that uses the Shadow Copy Provider, like Vista.

    Also, keep in mind that only Vista Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions support the shadow copy feature, so if you're running one of the other editions then this is a non-issue and you should probably stay with the default 4 kB cluster size.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.