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Windows 7: SSD Alignment Question

28 Dec 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
SSD Alignment Question

This is kind of a complicated question. Please bear with me.

I've got a PC coming and I'm planning to try something somewhat radical. I am planning to run it as a dual boot, Mac OS X Lion/Windows 7 Machine. Over at there are a number of tutorials on accomplishing just this.

In my case, I would like the two OS's on a single SSD (a 120gb). My goal would be to move my Users and ProgramData folders from the Windows 7 OS to a partition on a separate HDD (as I've done in the past for my Vista machines).

Following Kari's excellent tutorial from this forum, I realized that there are problems moving those folders with an SSD (because, as I understand it, Windows 7 will place the MBR on the HDD during the install instead of on the SSD). One solution would seem to be to do the Windows 7 installation (including moving the Users and ProgramData folders) using only an HDD. Then, when everything is up and running, create an image of the Windows 7 OS partition from the HDD and move that to the SSD.

Now I need to set it up for dual boot. According to the dual-boot tutorials over at, you use the Mac OS installer to create two partitions on the drive - a Mac partition for the Mac OS and a temporary Fat32 partition for Windows 7. You then start the Windows 7 installation and allow it to reformat the Fat32 partition into an NTFS partition and then complete the Windows installation. In my case, I would presumably use DiskPart or some other tool to reformat the Fat32 partition and rather than complete the installation, I would use the image I had created from my installation on the HDD.

So here is my alignment question. Assume I've got a Mac partition and a Fat32 partion on my brand new SSD. Can I use DiskPart (or another tool) to reformat and align just the Fat32 partition without messing up the Mac partition? If so, any recommendations how best to do that? Alternatively, could I use a program after the fact (e.g. the Paragon Alignment Tool) to align that partition without screwing up the Mac partition?

My System SpecsSystem Spec


 SSD Alignment Question

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