Jump to content
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble

MSFN is made available via donations, subscriptions and advertising revenue. The use of ad-blocking software hurts the site. Please disable ad-blocking software or set an exception for MSFN. Alternatively, register and become a site sponsor/subscriber and ads will be disabled automatically. 


11ryanc

Can Windows XP Pro x86 *Safely* TRIM an SSD?

Recommended Posts

So is that a problem I should worry about?
It's been like it for several years now and there doesn't seem to be any symptoms of things not being right.
:dubbio:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

When total writes to the drive exceed the size of the drive, some bad math comes in to play, something like a quadrupling of every new write, and when new writes exceed the size of the drive again (happens faster, of course), then the math gets worse, something like x16 for every new write operation, filling the SSD even faster, the SSD becoming slower and slower all the while until it finally grinds to a halt, so to speak.

Strictly speaking it's not the formatting per se that causes the problem, it's the creation of the partition.  Windows XP can format an existing aligned partition, no problem there.  (EDIT:  although from what jaclaz posted, using FAT32 there would still be a problem).

Edited by bluebolt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep :), there is not any "real" issue (or problem to worry about) but you actually stated you were not sure about using Windows 7 (actually the change in alignment happened in Vista) to partition the thingy.

The amount of increased writes will shorten the lifetime of the SSD from (say) 10 years to (still say) only 8 years, but you will be having a new PC in 3 to 5 years anyway.

The not-aligned status of the partition (or of the contents of the FAT volume, NTFS has not this issue) will slow down access and write times (not so much read ones), something that is noticeable on "slow" media (as USB 2.x sticks or external hard disks might be) but it won't be noticeable (short of benchmarking) on "fast" internal devices.  

As a matter of fact it is NOT a very good idea to partition "aligned" to MB on a system that uses Windows XP :w00t: :ph34r: unless you are SURE that you won't have logical volumes inside extended OR that you will EVER use disk manager to change the active status of a partition, there is a known bug in Windows XP (at least 32 bit, cannot say if fixed on XP 64,which is actually more "Server 2003") that can effectively mess up with the EPBR chain, to the effect that logical volumes will "disappear":

http://reboot.pro/topic/9897-vistawin7-versus-xp-partitioning-issue/

 http://reboot.pro/topic/9897-vistawin7-versus-xp-partitioning-issue/?p=124095

jaclaz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The free version of Partition Wizard, which I've used for many years, has an "align" function, which I'm pretty sure I have used in the past on my FAT32 drives, both SSDs and conventional drives.
Will that actually fix this issue where I've partitioned and formatted drives using Windows 98 Fdisk?
The reason I used that method was because the size of FAT32 partition you can create with Windows XP and later is quite limited.
:dubbio:

Edited by Dave-H
Correction

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Dave-H said:

The free version of Partition Magic, which I've used for many years, has an "align" function, which I'm pretty sure I have used in the past on my FAT32 drives, both SSDs and conventional drives.
Will that actually fix this issue where I've partitioned and formatted drives using Windows 98 Fdisk?
The reason I used that method was because the size of FAT32 partition you can create with Windows XP and later is quite limited.
:dubbio:

No. :no:

The "issue" with NTFS is ONLY with the placement of the partition (as the NTFS filesystem normally uses 8 sectors per cluster, i.e. 4096 bytes and ALL metadata of the volume belong to actual clusters, including the PBR which is the $Boot file occupying relative sectors 0-15 or clusters 0-1 )

So, *any* partitioning utility, as long as it can make a partition start at a "correct" multiple offset is fine :thumbup.

In the case of FAT (12/16/32) a number of filesystem structures, including the PBR (three non-contiguous sectors for FAT32), its backup, and the two FAT tables are all inside the volume but before any addressable cluster, since what counts is the offset to first data ( a minor debate is whether it is convenient to calculate first entry, i.e. the volume label inside or outside this offset), so BESIDES aligning the partition correctly,  you ADDITIONALLY need to manually format the volume, calculating the exact right offset or use RMPREPUSB (provided it works with internal disks, never checked) that offers this "special" kind of formatting.

jaclaz

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does this concept pertain as well to Dynamic Disks?  I'm trying out software RAID for the first time, and I'm concerned about whether volumes will be aligned, or need to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since the Data offset within a FAT32 Partition can be adjusted when formatting, it is not necessary to align it's Partition. My RFORMAT tool can set any desired alignment when formatting regardless of Partition alignment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

This is all way over my head I'm afraid!
My NTFS drives were formatted by Windows 10, so presumably there's no problem there.
My FAT32 drives were all formatted by Windows 98SE.
Is there therefore a problem I need to address with the FAT32 drives, and if there is would any solution mean I would have to reformat them?
That I'm not keen on doing of course, but if it's going to mitigate against problems in the future, I'm willing to consider it.
I do need to format quite large drives with FAT32, but I'm pretty sure that Partition Wizard can do this, presumably with correct alignment.
I said "Partition Magic" earlier, when I actually meant "Partition Wizard". Sorry if that's caused any confusion!
:)

Edited by Dave-H
Typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright, so ... I'm still having a hard time understanding from this discussion the proper course of action.

If you want an SSD prepared for use with Windows XP and XP64, the drive needs to be formatted and partitioned by Windows Vista, 7, 8, or 10. Windows XP and XP64 cannot properly format, partition, and align an SSD and doing so will result in having an SSD with a shorter life span than it would otherwise have. Am I correct in that assumption?

I found out today that there is a Windows 7 computer I will have access to for a period of time which I may be able to use to format the SSD I've bought. Would all I have to do is just plug the SSD into the computer (I have a SATA/IDE to USB adapter) and let it format with default settings, or are there specific settings/procedures?

I don't meant to be curt about this, but my situation has become a bit difficult. On top of trying to manage the rebuilding of my desktop computer my landlord has asked me to move out by the end of next month; I believe he's giving my room to a relative of his. Combined with me trying to figure out how I'm going to get my yearly medical scan there's a lot of plates spinning over here, so to speak, and I have a small window of opportunity to do this right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@TrevMUN

Assuming you're using NTFS file system, your only concern with Windows XP x86 or x64 is creating an aligned partition.  Once that is done, the subsequent formatting and OS install can be handled by XP.  Probably lots of tools can do this, here's one way to go about it, off the top of my head...

Use diskpart in Vista repair disk or Windows 7 to create the aligned partition (the offset).  Hook up your SSD to the Windows 7 computer, open command prompt and enter "diskpart.exe" without the quotes.  Enter "List disks" and identify your SSD.  If it is, for instance, disk 1, enter "Select disk 1".  Then enter "list partitions" and it will list the existing partitions on that SSD (or say that there are none, if the SSD is new or blank).  If it lists a partition, enter "delete partition" and it will acknowledge the deletion.  Then, for example, enter "create partition primary align=1024 size=90000" to create a 90GB partition.  Diskpart should acknowlege the creation of your partition, and you're done.  You're ready to install XP on that partition, including formatting.

(The reason for using diskpart with Windows 7 is that Windows 7 OS Disk Management will include an extra header partition peculiar to Windows 7, and botch an XP installation).

I use a little tool called AlignScript/SSDalign after the fact, to verify that the partition is properly aligned.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ideally, you want to align a FAT32 Partition Data Area on a 32K boundary for SSDs. None of the Windows Formatters can do this for FAT32. I do not know if any others can. My RFORMAT can set any alignment.

Realigning an existing Partition, without reformatting, is possible. I could write a tool for doing so. Since all of the data has to be moved, a backup would be advisable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, TrevMUN said:

Alright, so ... I'm still having a hard time understanding from this discussion the proper course of action.

If you want an SSD prepared for use with Windows XP and XP64, the drive needs to be formatted and partitioned by Windows Vista, 7, 8, or 10. Windows XP and XP64 cannot properly format, partition, and align an SSD and doing so will result in having an SSD with a shorter life span than it would otherwise have. Am I correct in that assumption?

I found out today that there is a Windows 7 computer I will have access to for a period of time which I may be able to use to format the SSD I've bought. Would all I have to do is just plug the SSD into the computer (I have a SATA/IDE to USB adapter) and let it format with default settings, or are there specific settings/procedures?

Look, it is not difficult, it's three things:

1) The partition needs to be aligned to a multiple of the cluster and possibly to a multiple of the device page, 2048 sectors before is fine, and it is the "normality" on Vista and later using "inbuilt" MS tools, most third party partitioning tools allow you to make this alignment while running on XP

2) if the filesystem used in the partition is NTFS (as it should be) you need NO additional provisions, the formatting can be done on XP using the normal Format command, while if it is FAT12/16/32 the alignment is NOT effective and you need to use "special" formatting tools instead to align the data area.

3) If you use NOT an extended partition on the device, it's fine, if you use one (with one or more logical volumes inside it) you must be aware of the concrete risk of losing them if you change the Active status of the partition via Disk Manager on XP.

 

So , if you can access a windows  7 install/OS its default will create primary partition(s) correctly aligned without any particular setting.
Then if you use NTFS you can format the primary partition(s) indifferently on 7 or XP (but I personally would use XP to format it/them).
Using logical volumes inside extended partition created under Vista or 7 is NOT advised on XP, if you can avoid them it's better.

 

@dave-h

Look - again - it is not difficult.

For NTFS partition needs to be aligned to a multiple of cluster size and possibly to a multiple of page size, and with that the filesystem data will be already aligned.
For FAT32 what counts is the alignment of the data inside the filesystem, that is outside the scope of Parition Wizard and of any partitioning tool.
NO existing tool AFAIK (exception made for RMPREPUSB and - good to know - RFORMAT by R.Loew) will do that alignment, but it is not particularly difficult to format FAT32 "normally" and then modify a few values on the BPB and copy/paste a couple sectors to make it aligned when the volume is empty.

Re-aligning an existing partition is on the other hand "tricky" and unless R.Loew will write a dedicated program for it, it is not possible manually.

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, bluebolt said:

Does this concept pertain as well to Dynamic Disks?  I'm trying out software RAID for the first time, and I'm concerned about whether volumes will be aligned, or need to be.

Sure, it  is not like Dynamic disks are much different in this regard.
You want to have the same MB alignment for SSD's no matter if basic or dynamic and whether in RAID 0, 1 or 5.
If you plan to use SSD in a RAID-like configuration, depending on the RAID level in theory you will have to check the parity data chunk size (though in practice it should never be a problem since it is normally either 64KB or 128KB or 256KB, ie. just fine :)).

jaclaz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, bluebolt said:

(The reason for using diskpart with Windows 7 is that Windows 7 OS Disk Management will include an extra header partition peculiar to Windows 7, and botch an XP installation).

Now this is "news".

There is NO "extra header partition peculiar to Windows 7" that I know of.

jaclaz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, jaclaz said:

@dave-h

 

Look - again - it is not difficult.

For NTFS partition needs to be aligned to a multiple of cluster size and possibly to a multiple of page size, and with that the filesystem data will be already aligned.
For FAT32 what counts is the alignment of the data inside the filesystem, that is outside the scope of Parition Wizard and of any partitioning tool.
NO existing tool AFAIK (exception made for RMPREPUSB and - good to know - RFORMAT by R.Loew) will do that alignment, but it is not particularly difficult to format FAT32 "normally" and then modify a few values on the BPB and copy/paste a couple sectors to make it aligned when the volume is empty.

Re-aligning an existing partition is on the other hand "tricky" and unless R.Loew will write a dedicated program for it, it is not possible manually.

jaclaz

Thanks @jaclaz.
It may not be difficult for you, but it is for me!
:lol:
I'll leave things be for now, but I would be very interested if @rloewcan write a program that will correct the issue without reformatting.
If he does I will certainly buy it and use it.
:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...