Ntfs Cluster Size on Vista

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by GeorgR., Apr 21, 2008.

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  1. GeorgR.

    GeorgR. Registered Member

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    Hello,

    Vista X64 here. Setup:

    Main C: partition 45GB on physical drive for Vista, separate physical 500GB drive for applications/games.

    Right now all is at default 4KB cluster size.

    For the sake of preserving more VSS copies and system restore points i want to convert to 16k cluster size. For my "data" drive this doesnt seem to be a problem.

    Now i read its kind of tricky to get Vista to boot from a 16k cluster NTFS OS drive (tho i found an excellent posting here covering this subject). IE: Its impossible, you have to add another small 4kb "boot partition" for the BCD first.

    But my question is whether its actually feasable to have a 16KB cluster size Vista/OS drive. I heard people saying that the 4KB is actually recommended since the Vista memory manager uses 4kb pages....so 16kb would be a disadvantage? (At least for the drive with the pagefile). Or should i just not bother conveting the OS drive to 16kb?

    My setup is that on the 45GB drive is the OS, paging file (4GB)..the works. My data drive doesnt have a pagefile.

    G.
     
  2. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    GeorgeR:

    I have Vista Business 32-bit running from 16k cluster size and love it. I think that disk access is faster although this is subjective -- I have no measured data to back up that claim, but the machine feels a lot "snappier". The audible disk noise is decreased and there is a lot less disk "thrashing" evident. Also, the disk does not fragment as quickly. Best of all, I used to get shadow copy files going back in time about 10 days with 4k clusters. Now with 16k clusters the shadow copy files go back in time about 40 days in the same disk space.

    The only disadvantage that I'm aware of is that NTFS compression requires 4k clusters, so you will be unable to use it if you convert to 16k clusters.

    I am about to covert my home PC to Vista and will definitely install to 16k clusters (except for the boot partition) right off the bat.
     
  3. GeorgR.

    GeorgR. Registered Member

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    Hello kolo,

    i see you write some very interesting posts here, also related to other subjects, just as a sidenote.

    Well for now i converted my "data" drive to 16kb clusters, all works fine. Still thinking about the OS drive. For the data drive it for sure makes sense since the avg file sizes are way bigger...so the 16kb (maybe even larger) makes a lot of sense.

    as for defragmenting....i ran into serious issues recently using latest diskeeper, this in conjunction with VSS and MFT...had a brandnew harddrive which i tested our ok with a slow format /F /R. But a week ago i got a trashed MFT, so i reformatted, and yesterday i reformatted again, then using 16k cluster since i was already at it and played back backup from VistaPE with Acronis TI. (File-Copy/Restore using Acronis TI still incredible slow, even on bootable VistaPE). So i mounted the archive as a volume and used explorer.
    I deinstalled diskeeper, so far so good. Problem also that defragging constantly purged my system-restore points.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2008
  4. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    GeorgeR:

    You might consider looking into PerfectDisk. It is VSS aware and will not delete your shadow copy files. Additionally, you will find that using 16k clusters will minimize the growth of shadow copy files when defragmenting compared to 4k clusters.

    I did what you have done - converted my data partition to 16k clusters first. Then it took me several months to finally decide to convert the OS partition, but I believe it has been worth the effort.
     
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