Use large cluster sizes for your recording HDD

Discussion in 'Tips and Tricks' started by Smirnuff, September 6, 2005.

  1. Smirnuff

    Smirnuff Portal Pro

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    If you have one or more hard drives dedicated to the storage of recordings and movie files (i.e. large files) and you're going to format it, use the largest cluster size available to reduce fragmentation and to help minimize the number of seeks needed while reading and/or writing.


     
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  3. Nightmare77

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    sorry to be dumb but how do you set the cluster size? is this an option when you format the drive or when you go through Disk manager you can set it in Adminstration tools or something?
     
  4. Morten

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    It's like Smirnoff says, an option when you forat a drive/partition....
     
  5. Smirnuff

    Smirnuff Portal Pro

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    If your drive is already formatted the only options that I'm aware of are through 3rd party applications like Paragon's Partition Manager and PowerQuest's PartitionMagic.

    You can specify the desired cluster size when presented with the formatting options at the start of a format within XP, there's also a M$ doco stating how to format a drive prior to installing XP - IIRC you have to jump through a few hoops to achieve this.

    Warning... I've had good success in resizing the clusters on non-boot drives but have consistently failed when performing the operation on boot drives. Either way, there's always a chance that you're going to lose your data so follow the steps necessary to utilize this tip at your own risk!
     
  6. mzemina
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    mzemina Retired Team Member

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    Yet another good reason to have an OS (boot) drive, an Apps drive, then your data drive(s).

    Mike Zemina
     
  7. tklon

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    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/Windows/XP/all/reskit/en-us/prkc_fil_punq.asp
    At the Windows XP Resource Kits they give the advice to choose 16 or 32 kB a cluster size, if the files you store tend to be large or increase in size.

    :?: :?: :?:
     
  8. Bosso

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    Using rarger cluster size shall also make the allocation table smaller, because there will be less entries.
    Large clusters = few clusters.
    This space is shown as "system files" marked green when using win XP defrag. Can be quite a lot space allocated on large disks.
    I had in mind to do this when I installed my harddrive, but ended up with standard cluster size.
    Might change that.

    /Bosso
     
  9. chili

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    Is there a down side to using large clusters... like more disk space usage for the same amount of data?
     
  10. Anonymous

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    Yes, since the average amount of slack space per file is 1/2 the cluster size. But media drives usually have fewer, larger files so it's not so bad. You'd have a lot of space wasted if you fill a large-cluster drive with many small files (like system drives normally are).
     
  11. Smirnuff

    Smirnuff Portal Pro

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    The disadvantage of using say a 32KB cluster is that a 1 byte file will actually take up 32KB on disc, so if you have many small files you end up wasting large amounts of storage space.

    In Windows Explorer right-click on a small file (try and kind one under 4KB) and choose Properties, there you'll see two sizes reported, the actual size of the data and you'll also see 'Size on disk' which represents the space needed to store the file of 'Size' bytes with your chosen cluster size.
     
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