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As you know, 512B sectors is still used in file systems of most current Linux distributions while the hardware, i.e. physical disks are typically made with 4K sectors. The misalignment of logical file system sectors and physical sectors leads to redundant read/write operations, and thus reduces IO performance, especially with a large portion of IO operations smaller than 4K bytes.

Making it worse, I have a lot valuable user data on the 512B-sector partition. Creating a new 4K partition and moving data in can work, however, we prefer aligning the partition IN PLACE for efficiency.

To do this in Windows, we have PAT (Paragon Alignment Tool). I am looking for its Linux counterpart.

So, my question is:

  1. Is there a tool like PAT for Linux?
  2. If there isn't, can I have a tip?
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The first thing you do is backup the data. – Ramhound Apr 2 '13 at 11:18
I don't think it's possible but I'm not an expert. By the way: You didn't mention what file system you are using. – FSMaxB Apr 2 '13 at 11:28
@FSMaxB A portable way is preferable. I'd rather this 'tool' can leave the file system alone and work either above it or underneath it. If not possible, we can just focus on ext2/ext3. – user2235212 Apr 2 '13 at 11:55
If the partitions have been created with a somewhat recent tool (~mid 2010 and forwards), this should have been taken into account automatically on Linux, even if you did not address this yourself during that time. Note that fdisk does not support GPT, which is often used for modern disks, so use e.g. GParted to check the current status. – Daniel Andersson Apr 2 '13 at 11:55
@Ramhound Yes, but I want to lower the cost, because by saying 'a lot user data', I mean, thousands of servers, multiplied with 1TB data. – user2235212 Apr 2 '13 at 11:59

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