SSD Alignment – How you can change it – With video

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In this instruction we will show you, how to change the SSD alignment. In some case, if you clone your System with a clone tool to your new SSD it happens that the HDD or SSD alignment is not working perfectly anymore. This can have significant disadvantages for the SSD.

What is the SSD Alignment?

In a properly aligned SSD, the first sector of the partition corresponds exactly to a memory cell of the SSD. For an optimum operation of the SSD the alignment is very important. If it is misaligned, the saving of the system on the SSD can take two cells and not, as it have to be, one. The same by deleting. Instead deleting one cell, two will be deleted. This has decisive disadvantages for the performance of the SSD and for its lifetime. The performance can be 50% lower than the performance of a SSD which is right aligned!

How to know, if the SSD Alignment is working correct

To see if the alignment is correctly working you can use the AS SSD Benchmark Tool. It don’t have to be installed and it shows you directly after the start the actual status of the SSD Alignment.
Tipps for the download and the usage of AS SSD can be found here: Test your SSD with AS SSD Benchmark

SSD Alignment

Screenshot 1: “OK” the SSD alignment is working correct
Screenshot 2: “BAD” the SSD alignment is not working well

In this picture you can see the difference between a SSD without alignment and with alignment. The transfer rates are much higher with a working alignment. Therefore, a working alignment is very important!

To change the alignment we will nee dthe free partitioning-tool GParted. If you need more information in downloading and installing GParted follow to our tip here: Start GParted

Before starting, you should remove unneeded hard drives or memory sticks.

Step 1:
Start GParted after booting the PC new.

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Step 2:
Click with the right mouse button on the first partition (1) and select „About“ (2).

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Step 3:
Under „First sector“ must be a number that is divisible by 8. In this case it is „2048“ which makes the alignment correct. Their alignment is not divisible by 8, you have to move some partitions. GParted will set by default, the partition automatically to the limits of megabytes.

SSD Alignment

Step 4:

Depending on the number you should now move all partitions a little to the right.
Select the lowest partition (1), click the right mouse button and select „Resize / Move“ (2).

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Because the physical structure of the SSD is fundamentally different to a HDD, you do not need to push the SSD back to the top. The access time will be equal for each cell. And depending on the size of the SSD the moving can take a long time.

Step 5:
Click on the arrow under „Previous free space (MiB)“ and press „Change / Move size“ (2), in order to move the partition to 1MB. The default „Align to: MiB“ is important.

SSD Alignment

In the case that you want to use the full hard drive, you proceed as follows.
Reduce for first the size of the disk to 1 MB „Down Arrow“ (1), then push the SSD to the reduced size „up arrow“ (2) and press „Resize / Move“ (3).

You should leave a small area of the SSD unpartitioned, so that you increase the area available to the disk controller for write operations.

SSD Alignment

Bestätigen Sie mit “OK”.

SSD Alignment

Step 6:
Now select the first partition (1) and click „Resize / Move“ (2).

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Step 7:
Click again on the arrow to move the partition to 1MB (1). Then press „Resize / Move“ (2).

07-Alignment-nachtraeglich-aendern-Partition-verschieben-um-1MB

Confirm your settings with “OK”.

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Step 8:
Finally start the process with „Apply“.

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Click „Apply“ again to confirm.

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Depending on the size of the partition and the number of data of the process this can stay very long.

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Step 9:
Click on “Close”

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Step 10:
Click on „Exit“ on the menu-ribbon(1), select „Shutdown“ (2) and click on „Ok“ (3).

SSD Alignment

The computer will now shutdown. At the first start of the system you will get a failure massage. Windows will tell you, that it can’t find the Boot-data anymore. So you have to boot now from the Windows Setup-DVD or your emergency-disk.

Step 11:
Click on “Continue”.

SSD Alignment

Step 12:
Now you can start the “Computer repair”.

SSD Alignment

Step 13:
Windows will tell you that it found problems by the start of the system so you have to choose “Repair and restart”.

SSD Alignment

Now the computer will repaired and restarted. If you will take now the Windowsdisk out of the Computer and start the system new, Windows will start from your SSD. For the last step open  AS SSD Benchmark again and check the SSD alignment.

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One Comment

  1. Pingback: Alignment comparison of a cloned SSD - The Benchmark

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