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I have found how to align the partition of my SSD using fdisk (SSD article on Gentoo Wiki) but haven't been able to find any resources about aligning the partitions of a HDD. Is this practice necessary, or should I just let something like GPartEd align them as default? If it's something I should do to the HDD as well, where can I find a resource for the size to use for the sector and head portion of the command?

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For future Googlers, I've found this article on the Arch Linux wiki that answers this question: "Advanced Format". As it turns out, there are a couple tools you can use to determine the sector size on your disk (smartmontools and hdparm). See the article for more information.

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