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NTFS cluster size changing possible??

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nicspits

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
I've read all the forums talking about chaning the cluster size and they all have directions on how to do so in FAT32 environments but I have yet to find one on NTFS. I have a 2x30gb RAID0 setup with a KX7(highpoint) controller and a 16K stripe.

Ive created 2 partitions, 1 for win2k pro 3.5gbs, and 1 for winxp pro 4gbs, and the remainder is so far un allocated. I would like to know how to set the cluster size on those to partitions to 16k if possible, and what I should do with the third as far as NTFS or FAT32, and I know how to set FAT32 to 16K clusters, (which will require another partition). I'm looking for gaming and application peformance. IE, what will lower the time it takes for QCD to ready my 1400 MP3s.

Thanks so much for anyone who can shed some light on this for me, I am greatful.
 

thefly

Member
Joined
May 16, 2001
Location
Montreal
Partition magic 8.0 will resize clusters under ntfs for win xp and win 2k.

Hopefully this is what you mean.

Make a backup before you give it a shot. :)



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Sonny

Senior TIFOSI
Joined
Aug 3, 2001
Location
VARIANTE ASCARI
There was some detailed talk of it HERE if you want to be able to do it without buying additional software, all you need is your Windows XP /Pro CD.

Regarding Windows 2000 /Pro you can already choose the cluster size during install just don't make the mistake of partitioning & formating with fdisk then have W2K /Pro convert it to NTFS or you will be stuck with 512byte clusters which is no fun at all;)



The switch for cluster size as detailed in the Windows XP CD Support/Tools Folder Help Documents are suppose to be OFORMAT X: /A:? were;
  • X = DRIVE LETTER
  • ? = SWITCH VALUE
    • 8 = 4K (8 X 512 = 4096)
    • 16 = 8K
    • 32 = 16K[/LIST=A]
  • So the command should look like OFORMAT C: /A:8 for 4K clusters. The question is does it work. I cant get OFORMAT to use the /A:? switch. If you use the Windows XP Preinstallation CD the OFORMAT included in it doesnt allow the command line switch either but there is a way to do it. Your good old Windows 98SE Format Utility works just great for this particular task. instead of /A:? all you have to do is use /Z:?. Same values as the /A:? switch.

    Convert Command-Line Options

    Convert is a command-line tool in Windows XP and the Windows 2002 Server family of operating systems. It converts FAT and FAT32 volumes to the NTFS file system. You cannot convert an NTFS volume back to FAT32.

    The syntax of the Convert tool is as follows:

    convert [volume] /fs:ntfs [/v] [/cvtarea:filename] [/nosecurity] [/x]

    where:
    • volume = Specifies the drive letter (followed by a colon), mount point, or volume name to convert to NTFS.
    • /fs:ntfs = Required. Converts the volume to NTFS.
    • /v = Specifies verbose mode, that is, all messages will be displayed during conversion.
    • /cvtarea:filename = For advanced users only. Specifies that the Master File Table (MFT) and other NTFS metadata files are written to an existing, contiguous placeholder file. This file must be in the root directory of the file system to be converted. Using the /CVTAREA parameter can result in a less fragmented file system after conversion. For best results, the size of this file should be 1 KB multiplied by the number of files and directories in the file system; however the convert utility will accept a file of any size.

      For more information about using the /cvtarea parameter, see "File Systems" at the Microsoft Windows Resource Kits Web site.

      Important

      You must create the placeholder file using the fsutil file createnew command prior to running convert. Convert does not create this file for you. Convert overwrites this file with NTFS metadata. After conversion, any unused space in this file is freed. For more information about the fsutil file command, see Windows Help.
    • /nosecurity = Specifies the converted files and directory security settings are accessible by everyone.
    • /x = Dismounts the volume, if necessary, before it is converted. Any open handles to the volume will no longer be valid.

    Notes
    • To recreate the behavior of the Convert command in Windows 2000, use the following command:

      convert /nosecurity
    • To recreate the default behavior in Windows 2000 and automatically starting Chkdsk after converting a system volume, use the following command:

      convert

    Remarks
    • You must specify that the drive should be converted when the computer is restarted. Otherwise, you cannot convert the current drive.
    • If convert cannot lock the drive (for example, the system volume or the current drive), it will offer to convert it the next time the computer restarts.
    • The location of the MFT is different on volumes that have been converted from previous version of NTFS, so volume performance might not be as good on volumes converted from Windows NT.
    • Volumes converted from FAT to NTFS lack some performance benefits compared to volumes initially formatted with NTFS. On converted volumes, the MFT might become fragmented. In addition, on converted boot volumes, NTFS permissions are not applied after the volume is converted.

    Example

    To convert the volume on drive E: to NTFS and display all messages, type:

    convert e: /fs:ntfs /v



    To make sure that the MFT is not fragmented you can defrag it using third party software like O&O Defrag Pro V4. The funny thigs is that this is all in the Windows XP CD:eek: :cool: :burn:
 
OP
nicspits

nicspits

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
Ok, well over the last few days these have been my experiences:

I only partitioned 2 parts because my XP disc went waco, hehe, so I went with 6.5 Gigs on my first partition and the remaing 42 or so on the second. This is so I don't have to worry about the apps having the wrong extensions, so I use the otherone for all my MP3s, downloaded progs, Games, etc etc etc. I first used a 16k and the instabilities were massive. Program errors, with explorer, and almost every other process were popping up quite a bit. Than I switched to 8k with a full reformat and reinstall, and that also caused instabilities when all was updated and installed. Oh and for some reason, over the 2 days of doing this, NSW 2002 and 2003 are a real big ***** with that uninstaller, it's just not quite compatible with my USB 2.0 storage backups for some reason.
This whole part was just on my OS partition, I set my files partition to 16k and progs off of it have loaded nicely now that i'm at a 4k(standard NTFS size for the small cluster question).

As discussed in a couple of the forums I read, 2k and XP can't do file compression over 4k, therefore I believe that that is where the problem lies. File compression must be a critical element to the functioning of 2k at least. I haven't run any benches on my 16k cluster partition besides sandra, which is useless, but its not behaving any slower than it should be, by sandra's goofy assessments.

I do like my 16k stripe size, it has allowed my 1500 MP3s to open a lot faster. Thanks to all who helped and good luck.

P.S. I was never given the option to choose cluster size in the 2k Pro install, just usual setup partiition, format, pick partition to install stuff. I used PM 8.0 Pro to do my fixing, the app works flawlessly!
 
OP
nicspits

nicspits

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
oddly enough, the 16k is slower, I must owe the speed boost to the smaller striping size on my raid, wow, thanks stripe, I'm gonna try it with a larger cluster size and see what happens.
 
OP
nicspits

nicspits

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
32k, wow, seems to cap off at 16, I'm going to run an 8k and than a 64k next
 
OP
nicspits

nicspits

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
the other 4k was on a different partition, sorry about that, this is 4K
 
OP
nicspits

nicspits

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
i'll post 64k some other day, it takes a long time to go that high
 

Sonny

Senior TIFOSI
Joined
Aug 3, 2001
Location
VARIANTE ASCARI
ronin1967 said:
cluster size has to do with the packet size of imformation being written, you define the size of a cluster when you create an array.

I think you have Cluster Size & Stripe Size confused. You will be able to do find good explanations of both by searching the Sorage Section of the Forums or just click my link on the first reply;)

nicspits - I run a 16K stripe size with a 4K cluster size. The Sorage Section has a wealth of information regarding stripe & cluster size strategies.

00000.jpg
 

OBLIVIONLORD

Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2003
So what would a full command line look like in the recovery console to format the drive giving it 16k cluster size and having the nosecurity included?