Hard Drive Cluster Size and Windows VSS

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by TheKid7, Jan 3, 2011.

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  1. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    Has anyone changed their System Partition hard drive cluster size from 4 KB to 16 KB after the hard drive has been formatted with a cluster size of 4 KB?

    What method/software did you use for changing the cluster size?

    Did you see any performance increase or decrease with the larger cluster size?

    I am looking for a simple way to get around the VSS Shadow Copy/System Restore disk defragmentation issue with hard drive cluster sizes <16 KB.

    Thanks in Advance.
     
  2. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    It seems to me that if you do "boot time" defrags "only", there should not be an issue with VSS.

    However, I have read that even "boot time" defrags can cause the loss of VSS backup files and/or Windows Restore Points. The case that I have heard about was with Windows Vista.

    I am still using Windows XP Pro (4 KB cluster size). The two times that I did a "boot time" defrag, I have not seen a loss of Windows Restore Points.

    Why would a "boot time" defrag cause problems with VSS file backups and/or Windows System Restore Points?

    Thanks in Advance.
     
  3. TraumaDoc

    TraumaDoc Registered Member

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    I've been fighting this issue here, with MS, others for quite some time.

    You can convert cluster size with many tools, with Acronis, Paragon, and more. If you get an interruption during the conversion, you'll lose data, so be careful about power, shutdown, accidental clicks, etc.

    My system is 16 KB and that apparently only allows you the safety of VSS/Restore WITHIN Windows --- AND OFFERS NO PROTECTION during boot time defrags. This is clearly the case and the stupid defrag makers DO NOT TELL YOU THIS LITTLE FACT EVEN THOUGH KNOW IT'S THE CASE - their excuse is "true" though -- it's not the defragger that deletes the data or vss or restore points - it's WINDOWS at next startup that has deleted the points.

    The defraggers - all of 'em are too damn lazy and unprofessional to let us know this fact prior to buying their product !!

    Be careful - I'm still working on this issue to find some kind of workaround for myself too
     
  4. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    Thank you.

    Which tool do you prefer for the cluster size conversion? As a result of my searches for a conversion tool, it appears that most all of them are "payware". Do you know of any good freeware conversion tools?

    When I used Puran Defrag Free on my old Windows XP Pro 32 bit PC, I did not see any indication of data loss after the "boot time" defrag. All of the Windows Restore Points are still showing. I even had the default settings plus Puran's Optimization enabled for the defrag. I don't notice any negative impact at all.
     
  5. TraumaDoc

    TraumaDoc Registered Member

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    I've simply used Paragon and Acronis in a WinPE3 environment to convert the cluster sizes. Be sure to not lose power though or you're screwed
     
  6. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    Ive tested many cluster sizes specifically with raid 0 array stripe sizes. My opinion is that if you match cluster sizes to your average file size and usage patterns it can make a difference, but usually not one that is very noticable.

    I used Partition Magic on XP, have not messed with it yet on win7.

    Sul.
     
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