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Allocation Unit Size is Important

Allocation Unit Size should be taken very seriously in order to Prevent Computer Problems of all sorts, such as Speed Performance, Hard Disk Damage, Loss of files and etc... You see when you format a partition it normally formats it with a default allocation unit size that can be a good thing but it can also be a bad thing.

It's a good thing because when you format the drive with the NTFS files system the default allocation unit size is 4096 bytes which is equal to 4 kilobytes. That very simply means that when you install programs or download any type of data to the computer, the hard disk of the computer will not be very full very quickly.

But unfortunately its a bad thing as well because the files are so physically small since they are running on a Small Allocation Unit Size Partition that the drive will physically be getting fragmented allot more quickly and frequently. The computer will begin to run allot slower all the time.

Now if you format a partition with a Higher Allocation Unit Size then the data on that partition of the hard disk on the computer will be running a lot more faster for an extremely longer period of time. That drive/partition will barely be getting fragmented at all.

Even when the drive still happen to be fragmented, the data once again would still be read, written and processed on a high speed just because the Allocation Unit Size of the partition happens to be higher. The computer will always physically find the files on that partition of the hard disk allot quicker since they are larger and allot easier to spot and/or detect on a high allocation unit size partition.

Let me try to explain it to you by giving you a lot more simpler explanation!

Imagine that I give you a 100 dollars in one hand and another 100 dollars in the other hand. In one hand you have it by 1 dollar, in the other hand you have it by 10 dollars, in which hand would you count the hundred dollars faster? Obviously in the hand by 10 dollars!

The larger the Allocation Unit Size, the easier and faster it is to process that data and information from the hard disk. I seriously don't think that running out space is really an issue now a days because we are in the 21st century and we are no longer dealing with just Megabytes or Gigabytes but we are seriously beginning to deal with Terabytes!

The ideal Allocation Unit Size is based on the size of the partition on the hard disk that you would like to use it on!

4GB - 7GB = 4096 bytes (4K)
8GB - 15GB = 8192 bytes (8K)
16GB - 31GB = 16384 bytes (16K)
32GB - 63GB = 32768 bytes (32K)
64GB - 127GB = 65536 bytes (64K) and etc..................

The old FAT32 files system can do that all by itself when you format a drive into that particular file system but only up to 32GB!

The NTFS files system has to be manually formatted into a specific allocation unit size of your choice because if you choose default it will only be 4096 bytes regardless what size the partition of the hard disk might be!

The latest exFAT file system works mathematically as the FAT32 file system for Allocation Unit Size and on the performance side it works like NTFS only faster! It can even be used for disk sizes that are in Terabytes!

I wouldn't be surprised if some of you are still wondering " What is exFAT ? "! It really stands for Extended File Allocation Table and even though its a file system mainly designed for USB Flash Drives, SD Cards, Pen drives and etc.. I still really enjoy using it on my primary Hard Disk as one of my Primary Partitions for Downloading and I still haven't been disappointed even once since late 2008.


Anonymous said…
Anonymous said…
Agreed! This was really helpful and am really grateful for the time you took on this.
Oddbrother said…
Especially if you're setting up a flash drive to boot an Operating System from it.
Computers Guide said…
This YouTube Video was supposed to Introduce the Importance of the Cluster Size of a partition under various file systems!

Now I have actually recently released a new Video showing how I literally can install Windows on higher then default cluster size partition using command prompt and DISKPART prior to installation!

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