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Safely change block size on WD Raptor 74gb

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November 30, 2005 5:03:08 AM

Hello,
After setting up my new PC and checking it with sandra lite 2005 it points out that my block size is sub-optimal. Should I want to change this, can it be achieved without messing up my OS and data, and if it can, what's the best way to go about it? I already have an (acronis dds 9.0) image available on another drive if required. Currently I just have 1 sata, 1 ide availalbe. 8O
Advance thanks for your time & input,
blunoob.
December 1, 2005 6:14:18 PM

No. If you change block size you'll have to reformat. What version of Windows are you using? Also, do you know which file system it's using (FAT32 or NTFS?)

Changing block sizes will free up or tie up more space depending on the size of the hard drive and what file system you're using. Windows 2000 and XP will automatically figure out what the optimal file size should be when formating the drive. However, if you upgraded from say Win98 to WinXP, you're going to have a sub-optimal block size because you're using FAT32 instead of NTFS.

The smaller the block sizes the more efficient the hard drive is with regards to capacity. However, smaller block sizes increase seek times thereby decreasing hard drive peformance. Windows often chooses a large block size to increase performance.

After all that's said and done, you're not looking at a very large increase in space no matter what block size you have if you're using a 74GB raptor. Block sizes really start to matter when you get over say 160GB. You definitely don't want to have 512 bytes block sizes on a 160GB drive. :-)

My advice: just ignore Sandra.

-mpjesse
December 1, 2005 8:26:08 PM

Thanks mpjessie,

Your reply clarifies things a plenty. I did a clean install of winxp pro so there was no upgrading, used ntfs because I do things with video often.

If I do anything, it will be to add more drives of the same and or similar ( I want to add another raptor, and some sata2 drives down the track) to take advantage of raid. Looks like the drive is just fine the way it is so I will leave it be for now. I'm much more concerned with performance over capacity anyhoo - I can always swap the ide 40gb with a 120gb maxtor when it gets full.

Thanks again!
December 1, 2005 8:30:08 PM

You're welcome! :wink:
!