Partition alignment to boost performance of data storage and recovery
When one’s hard drive becomes corrupted, you may hear him/her complain that they have issues with the recovery of their data. This is because the partition was not properly aligned which also affects its performance. Having only one partition can be more damaging than one thinks, also, in the same way, having a multi-partition system may be way more beneficial turning the computer into a secure environment. It’s easier to recover data from an aligned and well-partitioned drive than a misaligned drive.
Partitions are block sequences ie. One block is mostly 512 bytes. The underlying hardware now uses a larger size for the same 512 bytes sector size reflected on the OS. For compatibility, there’s a firmware between the OS and the hardware that still uses sectors, so that if you want to use the first sector, the larger size in the hardware is retrieved.
Partition alignment refers to matching the partition to the true underlying block structure. This means what is to be saved is perfectly relayed to the partition without over-spilling to other partitions or wasting storage resources. A misaligned partition will kill the performance of your computer. If you want to write 128 KB and you want to write it in full block. If the partition is not aligned it may write 512 to the first block and 4K to the second block which will force the disk/SSD to do two read-modify-write cycles instead of one write cycle. This will slow down data storage.
Having multiple partitions on one physical disk increases performance as it becomes possible to save data by category which is faster to access, manage and organise. It also raises computer overall performance where smaller files are used as it takes time to read small files when retrieving.
Partition also helps to defragment the disk’s files and folders so that each occupies a single space on the volume as a result, the system can access files and folders more easily and save new ones faster thus boosting performance. You can also extend the boot partition. The OS will spend more time to locate need files and programs and at the same time reducing space to swap and store temporary files.
If the drive/ disk is partially damaged not all partitions will be destroyed therefore you will be able to retrieve some if not all of your data. Partitioning alignment facilitates the quick recovery of data if the storage is compromised as it’s saved in volumes.
Partition alignment is much related to SSD and HDD using 4k sectors rather than the usual 512-byte sector hard disks. Proper partitioning alignment will increase your computers overall performance as well as boost recovery processes.