12-20-2011 08:32 PM - edited 12-20-2011 09:45 PM
I have a Toshiba Satellite A660 (model PSAW3C-047017) running Windows 7 Professional 64-bit. It currently has a 640GB Toshiba MK6465GSX HDD (http://storage.toshiba.eu/cms/en/hdd/multimedia/pr
I would like to use the Momentus XT to create a bootable clone of my Toshiba HDD. The Momentus XT will be in a enclosure that interfaces to the laptop via eSATA. After cloning to the Momentus XT, I would like to replace my Toshiba HDD with the Momentus XT because of the higher performance. The Toshiba HDD will become my auxiliary (in the external enclosure) for weekly cloning. If anything ever happens to the Momentus XT, I can then take the Toshiba HDD out of the enclosure and drop it into the laptop.
I've read plenty about alignment issues that need to be tended to, but not having imaged, cloned, or formatted a hard disk before (aside from blindly obeying tech support), I'm foggy on the understanding. Since I'm running Windows 7 Pro (64-bit), I assume that many issues are avoided (Windows 7 has been designated as AF-aware).
1. Does it pose any issues to clone from a 512 byte/sector HDD to the AF Momentus XT? I mean issues that could prevent bootup from the Momentus XT or affect the speed of cloning and subsequent booting and operational use.
2. Once the Momentus XT becomes my internal operational drive, are there any complications cloning to the 512 byte/sector Toshiba HDD?
3. Does the Momentus XT have SmartAlign? How does that affect the above questions? The following thread indicates that the presence of SmartAlign was unknown as of mere months ago: http://forums.seagate.com/t5/Momentus-XT-Momentus-
I have not opened the package because doing so incurs a restocking fee if the product is not suitable and needs to be returned to the retailer.
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12-21-2011 12:09 AM
From a friend, I know that Ghost will properly handle the HDD and sector size differences gracefully, avoiding the above consequences. I was wondering if Paragon freeware will handle this scenario as well. Paragon is free, but aside from functional suitability, I would also consider the ease-of-use in order to make a decision on the two.
Thansk for any feedback on the ability of Paragon freeware to handle this scenario, the comparative ease-of-use of Paragon & Ghost for this scenario, and any other considerations that you think are relevant in choosing between them for my scenario.
12-21-2011 06:11 AM
In my conservative, cautious view, cloning is strictly not recommended.
Too many variables, too many hidden problems (e.g. someone else's 3rd or 4th or whatever party drivers).
Your best bet is to forego cloning and just go ahead and do a fresh install with the most up to date drivers.
If you must clone, consider using Seagate's own licensed version of Acornis called DiscWizard
However, be forewarned that in my view, there is no assurance that it will be a "clean" clone.
12-21-2011 06:27 AM - edited 12-21-2011 06:40 AM
I've recently done almost exactly what you are up to at this point, so I can probably make your life easier
If your original partition (on the Toshiba drive) is not corrupted, it is relatively easy and safe to clone it to a new MXT drive (if it is a good drive, without SD24 or SD25 firmwares, be careful at this). If the firmware is SD24 or SD25, please first update to SD28 and run a full erase to clear up the SSD component.
First of all, the Momentus XT 500 GB (model ST95005620AS) is NOT a 4K sector drive. It has the old 512 Byte sectors:
Only the new MXT 750 GB has physical 4K sectors:
Now, it is however, important to still align to 4K, since you have an SSD component (which always works with 4K sectors).
At any time you can easily check where does a partition start by typing msinfo32 in Start->Run.
There you will see, for each partition on each of your installed drives, the "Partition Starting Offset". The operating system always works with 512-byte LBAs (logical block address). Older drives also have 512-byte physical sectors. However, newer drives have 4096 byte physical sectors (8 LBAs in length).
For old, non-aligned partitions (such as those created with Windows XP, for example) you will see the first partition having an offset of 32256 bytes=(63 physical sectors x 512 bytes) (63 LBAs x 512 bytes). This offset is a multiple of 512 bytes, but it is NOT a multiple of 4096 bytes, hence a non-aligned partition (to the 4K = 4096-byte physical sectors). To make things clear, the partition starts at LBA=63 (leaving the previous LBAs from 0 to 62 as an offset).
New, 4K aligned partitions should usually have an offset being a multiple of 4096 bytes (4K sectors). Usually the offset is 1048576 bytes=(256 physical sectors x 4096 bytes) (2048 LBAs x 512 bytes). The partition starts at LBA=2048, leaving the previous LBAs from 0 to 2047 as an offset.
You can use Acronis True Image (I don't know about Paragon) to first create an image file of your partition(s) (it's called backup in Acronis). Then, you can recover the partition(s) from that image to the new drive, starting with a manually specified offset. Be careful to first recover the C partition, and all subsequent partitions one at a time, and only at the end to recover the MBR+Track 0 (This is the basic trick, actually). The partition C from your 512-byte sector drive Toshiba, most probably aligned with an offset of 32256 bytes, will have to be copied to the MXT drive, starting at t new position , with offset equal to 1 MB = 1048576 bytes. All subsequent partition will be 4K aligned.
To reply to your other question, from a performance point of view, it doesn't matter for an old drive with 512-byte physical sectors wether a partition residing on it is 4K aligned or not. For a 4K-sector drive, OTOH, the performance is heavily impacted if the partition does not have a starting offset, multiple of 4096 bytes.
Hope this helps.
12-21-2011 06:53 AM
Partition alignment is irrelevant in your application because the slowest part of the subsystem will be the eSATA.
You did not specify what implementation of eSATA enclosure you have --- the key is the quality of the chip / implementation.
Many advertised as eSATA are implemented with the cheapest available chip --- don't expect a 3gbs transfer rate claim ---let alone actual performance.
This is especially likely in external enclosures that have USB and / or Firewire together.
You would be lucky if it is SATA 1.5gbs that delivered 1.0 in actual use.
The only exception to the above is if you got a commercial grade housing with SATA 3gbs certified performance.
12-21-2011 07:06 AM - edited 12-21-2011 07:10 AM
WiseDrive, It think you didn't read the original message (it's not the first time). After cloning, he wants to use the MXT as a primary drive, and I think that taking into account partition alignement is valuable.
Contrary to what you are saying, partition alignment IS relevant in eSATA. In 4K transfers, for example. That will never saturate a SATA connection (even 1.5 gbps)....and there are plenty of 3.0 gbps-aware eSATA enclosures out there (I have 2 or 3 of them)... so let the guy do the cloning with appropriate 4K alignement. It's not that big of a deal. WiseDrive, please (again), don't confuse people. Try to help them.
12-21-2011 08:13 AM
This is a mid-line computer that sold for maybe $600-$700.
Depending on the application and the frequency of disk access --- interface and disk performance of an attached eSATA (used only for backup and not for regular disk access by the OP) is probably irrelevant.
For the trouble of doing high jumps and contortutions, a much safer and cleaner solution is to:
A) do a fresh install to eliminate the performance and other hits from incompatibilites.
B) Buy a new computer for $1,000 with provisions for 2 drives on board
Specifications on the Toshiba:
|Hard Disk Drive|
12-21-2011 09:00 AM - edited 12-21-2011 01:36 PM
2 drives on board ? An SSD + a normal mechanical drive. This is exactly what I did, but with 250 euros, not $1000. So, bad idea.
At the same time... I really don't get it. People asking for solutions with a hard drive, and you propose to change their entire computer. Nice help, man, what can I say. You just leave a bad aftertaste....
12-21-2011 01:05 PM
First, great post from Kryptex, but with way to many number
While i don't recall exactly where i've seen this, partition alignement is important in almost all situation. It allow you to squeeze the last performance drop from a Hard drive, being SSD or HDD. To perform a SSD alignement there must be some knowledge about the flash chip, page size come to mind and maybe erase block size. For hdd, it is regarding the size of sector that the disk hold. The alignment should consider the block size that your file system is using. You just match everything correctly and Voila, performance. It is not over complicated.
The question is, do we have enough information about the flash used in the MXT, and do we have enough information about the write performed to the flash?
I would treat it like a normale HDD.
In my case, I just align hard drive to a 4K boundary, it is not a big loss of data.
12-21-2011 01:33 PM - edited 12-21-2011 01:43 PM
It is useful from a performance point of view to align with an offset which is a multiple of 4096 bytes if:
1. SSD is used, since the written pages are sometimes 4 KB in size (not always...). The blocks (when erasing) are usually much larger (128-512 KB)
2. the HDD has 4 KB physical sectors
3. the NTFS uses 4 KB logical addressing.
So, overall, it's probably the best thing to align to 4K, regardless of the system.