Due to this advantage on real world performance of larger cluster size, many have tried to install windows on partitions with cluster sizes larger than 4kb but to no avail. Windows will not allow installing itself on a partition with a cluster size larger than the default allocation size of the NTFS file system... but there is a way around this. Though you cannot use anymore system restore and windows backup, and the installation disk for repairs but who uses them anyway. And who cares when your drive works like RAID.
Five years ago, I have tried for weeks to install Windows XP on a drive formatted with 64KB cluster size with no success. I have searched the net for related articles on how to install Windows on a 64KB cluster size drives or partitions and I found nothing. Okay, let’s cut to the chase, I know you’re itching to do this. Here’s how it works:
- Partition your drive so that it has two volumes. The first partition you set as the physical volume must be 10 MB or larger and format it with FAT32 or NTFS file system with default allocation size. You should create this partition first because this will become your boot drive and you would want it to be on outer most part of the disk for performance reasons and label it as BootDrive or SystemDisk (any label would do).
- Create another partition and format it with the NTFS file system with a cluster size of 64KB or 32KB or 16KB, whatever you prefer, but for better performance larger means better as it means less fragmentation and lesser head movement. Label the partition as OSDrive, Windows or anything.
- Run your windows installation disk. When the installation prompts you to choose which drive or partition you may want to install Windows, choose the second partition you made and it works like magic. It's that easy.
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Windows Vista or XP Installation on Large Cluster Sizes
The Ultimate Tweak: Windows XP or Vista installation on larger than default allocation sizes