The Definition of SSD 4K Alignment
Over time, the capacity of the hard disk is continuously becoming bigger. In the past, 1 sector of traditional HDD was fixed with 512 bytes. Nowadays, in SSD that is using NAND flash memory, the 512 bytes have been changed to 4K. We call it “4K Sector” now.
4K alignment is the process by which the partition on a hard drive is aligned to the physical storage space on a disk to process data more efficiently. If the partition is not aligned properly, the SSD has to access twice as many the SSD’s physical sections for any file operations. In this case, the reading and writing time can be longer and the SSD won’t perform in the best state. So, it’s very necessary to commit 4K alignment for your hard drive.
How Do I Know if My SSD Is 4K Aligned
For all practical purposes, there are 2 simple ways to check if your partition is correctly aligned.
Way 1 Check via System Information
1. Press “Windows + R”.
2. In the popup box, type “msinfo32” and click on “OK”.
3. Locate “System Summary” on the upper left and double-click on “Components” below it.
4. In the dropdown menu, select “Storage” and select “Disks”.
5. Spot the item “Partition Starting Offset” and check whether the value is divisible by 4096. If so, the hard drive is perfectly 4K aligned. Otherwise, it’s not aligned correctly.
Way 2 Check by Using Diskpart
1. Still press “Windows + R” to launch the Run box.
2. Type “diskpart” and hit “ENTER”.
3. Then, type the commands below to check it: list disk > select disk n (n is the SSD) > list partition.
4. Pay attention to the “Offset” column, if the value is the multiple of 1024, the partition is well aligned. Otherwise, you need to align it manually.
The Best Software to Help with SSD 4K Alignment
After trying the 2 ways above, you now must know whether your SSD is 4K aligned. If not, it’s time to align your disk manually. On market, I found plenty of software which are able to align 4K SSD. However, after searching through the internet, I noticed there were users complaining their computers wouldn’t boot after using third-party software for 4K alignment SSD.
So, for safety’s sake, I tried these software 1 by 1 with my second-hand computer and tried to find the best one by comparison. Finally, my effort paid off – I found this amazing disk management tool - AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. It helps me with SSD 4K alignment Windows 7, 8, 10 within clicks and the result turns out to be literally satisfying. I tried it 4 times and there were no glitches or bugs at all, unlike its counterparts. Moreover, this software can help me do many other things including partition splitting, free space allocation, MBR and GPT system disk conversion without data loss. Of course, the total features are far more than these and you must try on your own！
For SSD 4K alignment, try the best disk management software to make every step easy!
Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional and all your disk and partitions will appear.
Step 2. Select the partition that you want to align and right-click on it.
Step 3. Move the cursor to “Advanced” and select “Partition Alignment” which appears on the right.
Step 4. In the popup window, set partition alignment to “4096 Sector” or you can also set it to the default one. Click on “OK” to proceed.
Note: If the partition has already been aligned, you’ll be prompted that “The current partition is already optimized thus there’s no need to align it again.
Step 5. Click on “Apply” on the upper left of the screen to start the alignment.
Note: A reboot will be required if you carry out alignment on a system drive.
How to commit SSD 4K alignment? There’re so many products on the market claiming to do this but I choose AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional because of its good reliability and convenience. It helps me align a partition within only 5 steps and the result is satisfying. If you want to try more features like dynamic disk and basic disk conversion, SSD secure erase, and transfer OS to SSD, it’s time to download this powerful tool!