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Partition alignment tool for SSD in old ThinkPads?

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Edward Mendelson
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Partition alignment tool for SSD in old ThinkPads?

#1 Post by Edward Mendelson » Mon May 03, 2021 12:07 pm

I'm gradually working my way up toward installing Windows XP on an SSD in an old T23, and want to make sure that the partition is aligned on 4K boundaries for best performance.

What I can't find is a software tool that will align partitions on that old machine.

I've got AOMEI Partition Assistant, but it seems to create only WinPE-based CD-ROMs, and the T23 doesn't seem to boot WinPE disks. I tried the current gParted, but it didn't see the SSD. I downloaded the WD version of the Acronis Alignment Tool, and it booted, but it seems to ignore non-WD disks.

Does anyone know of something that can do this job? Any usable suggestions gratefully received.

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Re: Partition alignment tool for SSD in old ThinkPads?

#2 Post by cadillacmike68 » Mon May 03, 2021 3:24 pm

Try Acronis True Image or disk director. You should be able to find an older one on fleabay. If not I have a couple older versions (incl at least one that I never used) that you could buy cheap.
600, 600X
760LD FUBARd
T21 2647 T22 2647 1@ 1GHz SXGA+ 4 more; T23 2647 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+ 3 more
T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T41 T42 T43
T61 8897 2.4GHz SXGA+; 8898 2.4Ghz; 6463 2@ WSXGA+; 7658 2.5GHz; T61p; 6 more T61s
T500 2
T530 W530

Edward Mendelson
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Re: Partition alignment tool for SSD in old ThinkPads?

#3 Post by Edward Mendelson » Mon May 03, 2021 4:54 pm

I found an Acronis Disk Director CD from 2005, but it doesn't seem to have the partition-alignment feature - probably they added it later on. I'll keep looking - probably what I need is a version from around 2010 or thereabouts. Any alternative would be of interest too...

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Re: Partition alignment tool for SSD in old ThinkPads?

#4 Post by cadillacmike68 » Mon May 03, 2021 9:40 pm

I have True Image 2009 and 2011 and Disk Director 10 (2010). I used to use DD for cloning but often got a drive that would not boot so I changed to backup / restore via TI. It had the added advantage of having the backup available for later restore.

You can try "add disk" option in the tools utilities. That should clear out any old partition information and replace it with a new MBR and partition table.
600, 600X
760LD FUBARd
T21 2647 T22 2647 1@ 1GHz SXGA+ 4 more; T23 2647 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+ 3 more
T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T41 T42 T43
T61 8897 2.4GHz SXGA+; 8898 2.4Ghz; 6463 2@ WSXGA+; 7658 2.5GHz; T61p; 6 more T61s
T500 2
T530 W530

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Re: Partition alignment tool for SSD in old ThinkPads?

#5 Post by dr_st » Tue May 04, 2021 1:31 am

I seem to recall that Acronis 2014 and later will automatically align the partition correctly, while Acronis 2011 and earlier will not.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), T490 (20N3), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
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Re: Partition alignment tool for SSD in old ThinkPads?

#6 Post by SMA » Tue May 04, 2021 11:38 pm

Have you considered temporarily moving the drive to a pc that can run aomei?

Edward Mendelson
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Re: Partition alignment tool for SSD in old ThinkPads?

#7 Post by Edward Mendelson » Wed May 05, 2021 6:47 am

SMA wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 11:38 pm
Have you considered temporarily moving the drive to a pc that can run aomei?
That's a terrific idea. I've got an IDE to USB adapter and I can probably plug the drive into it, run AOMEI from the host machine.

Another thought is that something called MiniTool Partition Something runs under XP. I could wait until I've got XP installed, then install the MiniTool app and run it from there.

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Re: Partition alignment tool for SSD in old ThinkPads?

#8 Post by Edward Mendelson » Sun May 09, 2021 9:10 pm

It turns out that there's a bootable ISO of an old version of the freeware MiniTool Partition Wizard here:

http://www.oldversion.com/windows/parti ... e-edition/

It includes the alignment feature.

I was wrong when I said earlier that the TP23 can't boot a Windows PE disk. It can boot a Windows PE disk that uses the Windows 7 PE (as the MiniTool disk does). But the T23 doesn't seem to be able to boot a Windows PE disk created with the Windows 10 version.

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Re: Partition alignment tool for SSD in old ThinkPads?

#9 Post by cadillacmike68 » Sun May 09, 2021 10:26 pm

What is a Windows PE disk??
600, 600X
760LD FUBARd
T21 2647 T22 2647 1@ 1GHz SXGA+ 4 more; T23 2647 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+ 3 more
T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T41 T42 T43
T61 8897 2.4GHz SXGA+; 8898 2.4Ghz; 6463 2@ WSXGA+; 7658 2.5GHz; T61p; 6 more T61s
T500 2
T530 W530

Edward Mendelson
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Re: Partition alignment tool for SSD in old ThinkPads?

#10 Post by Edward Mendelson » Mon May 10, 2021 6:52 am

cadillacmike68 wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 10:26 pm
What is a Windows PE disk??
Windows Preboot Environment - it's the OS that runs when you boot a CD or USB stick image created by partitioning and backup software so that you can boot to their software. (Some bootable backup/partitioning CDs use Linux, but the ones I've used recently use Windows PE.)

And a Google search for "Windows PE" will give you a much more detailed answer...

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Re: Partition alignment tool for SSD in old ThinkPads?

#11 Post by JBUK » Mon May 10, 2021 5:12 pm

I used gparted-live-0.13.1-2 to realign partitions on T23s running XP if they showed they needed it when I checked the partition starting offset in msinfo32. But it was a pain because it was so slow.
So I usually created the partitions using aomei partition assistant to check and realign or just created the partitions on another machine for both usually using W10. Occasionally, still on another machine, I would boot up Paragon Disk manager to create the partitions and leaving 1mb free before the first partition to force correct alignment.
Where to begin......
390e FOR SALE
1 x T20
1 X T23 + 3 breaking for parts
1 X T23 with Samsung 840 SSD and XP Great combination !: SOLD
2 X T60
5 X T61
1 X T601 15"
1 X T520
2 X T530

Edward Mendelson
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Re: Partition alignment tool for SSD in old ThinkPads?

#12 Post by Edward Mendelson » Tue May 11, 2021 9:58 am

Also, this one works, AOMEI version 6.5 creates a bootable Windows PE disk that boots on the TP23 and includes an alignment feature. Download link here:

https://aomei-partition-assistant.en.up ... s/versions

This one seems preferable to the MiniTool one, which changed the bootable status of partitions that System Commander had marked as bootable.

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