When do you need SSD alignment in Windows 10?
SSD alignment mostly refers to SSD partition 4K alignment because SSD adopt the smallest 4K sector in file system to save data. If the smallest 4K allocation units are not always aligned with the 4K pages in SSD, the performance of SSD could be affected. 4K alignment also is widely used in advanced formatted mechanical hard disk. 4K aligned partition better serves operating systems and offers higher performance. One may need to align Windows 10 after clone.
There are some signs that show your SSD alignment not OK. For instance, known small file occupies large disk storage in data partition, or system programs and applications run slowly even if you just upgrade hard drive to SSD. If things continue this way, the number of unnecessary writing operations will increase dramatically, which shortens SSD lifespan eventually.
SSD partition alignment check in two methods
To check the alignment of your SSD’s partition, you have two methods. One is to check it with System Information: press Windows + R key combo to start Run. Type “msinfo32” and hit Enter. Then go Components > Storage > Disks and look for your SSD and check the Partition Starting Offset. It needs to be divisible by 4096; otherwise the SSD block is not alignment correct.
The other is to check alignment using Diskpart: in the same Run box, type “diskpart” and hit Enter. Then type below commands to check: list disk > select disk n (n is the SSD) > list partition. Check the “Offset” column. If it is the multiple of 1024KB, the partition has been aligned well. It is easy to know Disk 0 has been well aligned.
SSD alignment tools for Windows 10
There are many partition align tools on the market, and some SSD manufacturers bring this tool for their SSDs as well. Samsung Magician, Intel Solid-state Drive Toolbox and Windows built-in Diskpart allow users to do SSD alignment. Third-party SSD alignment software like AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional provides partition alignment feature that can help user do 4K partition alignment in clicks. Keep reading to get to know them one by one.
SSD alignment using Diskpart
Windows built-in Diskpart allows you to create a new partition that has been aligned to 1024KB. That is to say, if you want to align the misaligned partition that has data stored, you have to delete the data and create again. It is suggested to backup files before reformatting.
Start Diskpart like you did before. Follow the command to do the alignment:
select disk n (where n is the SSD)
select partition x (where x is the partition you want to align)
create partition primary
format quick fs=ntfs
Obviously, all data on the disk will be deleted if you want to do the entire SSD alignment with Diskpart. Fortunately, the second method can help you do alignment without data loss.
Windows 10 SSD alignment via AOMEI Partition Assistant
Step 1: install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant. Right click the partition you want to align and select Advanced > Partition Alignment.
Step 2: in the pop-up window, select 4096 sector from the given list and click OK.
Step 3: click Apply > Proceed to execute the operation.
Tips: A reboot is required if do partition alignment on system drive.
This software applies to other Windows OS, so you can align SSD partition in Windows 7 as well. It can be used on different SSDs like Samsung SSD, Intel SSD, Kingston SSD, etc. One more topic that as matter as partition alignment is benchmark. One can learn more about SSD benchmark and gain the peak performance of the SSD.
SSD partition alignment in Windows 10 via Samsung Magician
If you are running Samsung SSD on your Windows 10, it is suggested to use this tool because it is designed for Samsung SSD particularly. Surely, it cannot be installed on other brands of SSDs. Install and launch Samsung Magician. At the main interface, click on Performance Optimization under DISK MANAGEMENT tab and do the alignment. If you want to do this only on system partition, click on OS Optimization under SYSTEM MANAGEMENT tab.
Please note that it is said that the OS Optimization option has been removed in newly released Samsung Magician 5 because Windows 10 does not need it any more. If you still want to do this, you can complete it with Maximum Performance in the new version. Either to align partition or to optimize SSD, you may get more helpful information in 10 tips for SSD optimization.
So many tools that can help you do the SSD alignment in Windows 10 as well as in Windows 7 and 8. Choose the most suitable one for yourself. To align multiple partitions on SSD (Is it good to partition SSD?), just repeat each method. AOMEI Partition Assistant also supports align HDD partition, not only in 4096KB sectors. Most SSDs are initialized to GPT style yet a few are in MBR style. To do SSD alignment on Extended Partition, you can try aforementioned software as well.
SSD as a new technology product requires more attention and learning before you fully make use of it. For example, it is good to know more information about SSD TRIM, SSD RAID, SSD and defragment, SSD lifespan, and what size of SSD you should buy and so on.