Best partition scheme for a large USB device. - Setup

This is a discussion on Best partition scheme for a large USB device. - Setup ; Hello all, Is there a best practice or way to partition a large (500GB) USB storage device? Should I split the thing in 1/2, 1/4s? Is it ok to create a raw ext3 filesystem on the whole drive without creating ...

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  1. Best partition scheme for a large USB device.

    Hello all,

    Is there a best practice or way to partition a large (500GB) USB
    storage device?
    Should I split the thing in 1/2, 1/4s?
    Is it ok to create a raw ext3 filesystem on the whole drive without
    creating a partition?
    Are there any absolute no-nos?

    Thanks in advance.


  2. Re: Best partition scheme for a large USB device.

    On Apr 21, 5:39 pm, Noatec wrote:
    > Hello all,
    >
    > Is there a best practice or way to partition a large (500GB) USB
    > storage device?
    > Should I split the thing in 1/2, 1/4s?
    > Is it ok to create a raw ext3 filesystem on the whole drive without
    > creating a partition?
    > Are there any absolute no-nos?
    >
    > Thanks in advance.


    If this harddrive is a new one, you can create the filesystem without
    checking for bad blocks (mkfs.ext3 ... /dev/sda without the option "-
    c") This saves time.
    And I prefer partitioning, beacause of the blocksize in the filesystem.


  3. Re: Best partition scheme for a large USB device.

    On Sat, 21 Apr 2007 09:56:13 -0700, steffen.frehse@googlemail.com wrote:

    >
    > If this harddrive is a new one, you can create the filesystem without
    > checking for bad blocks (mkfs.ext3 ... /dev/sda without the option "-
    > c") This saves time.
    > And I prefer partitioning, beacause of the blocksize in the filesystem.
    >

    I'd argue for the opposite for new drives, especially USB drives; that
    is, I'd run badblocks (with write testing) to confirm the drive has a
    chance of working as intended. This is important because S.M.A.R.T. does
    not work with USB, IME.

    To the OP: There are no hard and fast rules when using a modern GNU/Linux
    distribution to access the drive. You could use it all in one partition,
    if you want, but I've included some factors for consideration below. When
    partitioning and using large external USB disks, consider the following:

    a) Consider reserving 8G for use as a bootable partition. The drives are
    so big, you won't miss it and adds to recovery options.

    b) Consider using encryption for backups, etc. Device mapper encryption
    allows all partitions to be encrypted. It can give some peace of mind
    should the drive ever be lost or stolen.

    c) Consider using a journalling filesystem, (on top of encryption as
    applicable.) I like xfs.

    d) Consider adding redundancy. what would happen if the drive failed and
    took 500G of data with it? I have recommended using these drives in pairs
    for data redundancy.

    --
    Douglas Mayne

  4. Re: Best partition scheme for a large USB device.

    Noatec wrote:
    > Hello all,
    > Is there a best practice or way to partition a large (500GB) USB
    > storage device?
    > Should I split the thing in 1/2, 1/4s?
    > Is it ok to create a raw ext3 filesystem on the whole drive without
    > creating a partition?
    > Are there any absolute no-nos?
    > Thanks in advance.


    I can't speak for 500M sizes but these are the results I got putting ext3 on
    three usb externals. (I discovered bittorrent.)

    120G == 113 free = 7
    250G == 230 free = 20
    320G == 294 free = 26

    Looks reasonable to me. If I had a 500 (two 320s are the same or cheaper at the
    moment) I would first try formatting without partitioning and see what happens.
    Obviously I crossed some kind of threshold between 120 and 250 but 250 to 320 is
    reasonable.

    The only second thought I have had is that if the external is only for storage
    then ext2 should be fine and none of that lost journal space. Only drives with
    frequent reads and writes would I use ext3. Without regular accesses there
    should be no reason for fsck-ing save in the rare case of a crash during an
    access. I was very happy with ext3 at the 40GB disk size as the fsck took on the
    order of 20 minutes with ext2. That is just something I have thought of doing if
    I get another but I probably won't try to do "better" as I have "good enough."

    Rather I am getting around to looking up taking better control of the journal
    file size as storage cannot possibly need one as big as a potentially multi-user
    system with many operations going at one time. I will be looking to get the
    journal to the bare minimum which is presumably no larger than twice the largest
    file that may be accessed at the time of a power outage or some such. But that
    would be something like 4.6GBx2 which isn't that much different from the
    default. So it is not very high on my study priority.

    Also my experience says that if you do something other than the simplest
    defaults take good notes on paper and put that where you will not lose it. Being
    too clever by half is a pain sometimes.

    --
    If Americans knew about Israel's treatment of non-Jews they would turn
    against Israel as fast as they did against apartheid South Africa.
    -- The Iron Webmaster, 3737
    nizkor http://www.giwersworld.org/nizkook/nizkook.phtml
    Larry Shiff http://www.giwersworld.org/computers/newsagent.phtml a8

  5. Re: Best partition scheme for a large USB device.

    On Apr 21, 11:11 pm, Matt Giwer
    wrote:
    > Noatec wrote:
    > > Hello all,
    > > Is there a best practice or way to partition a large (500GB) USB
    > > storage device?
    > > Should I split the thing in 1/2, 1/4s?
    > > Is it ok to create a raw ext3 filesystem on the whole drive without
    > > creating a partition?
    > > Are there any absolute no-nos?
    > > Thanks in advance.

    >
    > I can't speak for 500M sizes but these are the results I got putting ext3 on
    > three usb externals. (I discovered bittorrent.)
    >
    > 120G == 113 free = 7
    > 250G == 230 free = 20
    > 320G == 294 free = 26
    >
    > Looks reasonable to me. If I had a 500 (two 320s are the same or cheaper at the
    > moment) I would first try formatting without partitioning and see what happens.
    > Obviously I crossed some kind of threshold between 120 and 250 but 250 to 320 is
    > reasonable.
    >
    > The only second thought I have had is that if the external is only for storage
    > then ext2 should be fine and none of that lost journal space. Only drives with
    > frequent reads and writes would I use ext3. Without regular accesses there
    > should be no reason for fsck-ing save in the rare case of a crash during an
    > access. I was very happy with ext3 at the 40GB disk size as the fsck took on the
    > order of 20 minutes with ext2. That is just something I have thought of doing if
    > I get another but I probably won't try to do "better" as I have "good enough."
    >
    > Rather I am getting around to looking up taking better control of the journal
    > file size as storage cannot possibly need one as big as a potentially multi-user
    > system with many operations going at one time. I will be looking to get the
    > journal to the bare minimum which is presumably no larger than twice the largest
    > file that may be accessed at the time of a power outage or some such. But that
    > would be something like 4.6GBx2 which isn't that much different from the
    > default. So it is not very high on my study priority.
    >
    > Also my experience says that if you do something other than the simplest
    > defaults take good notes on paper and put that where you will not lose it. Being
    > too clever by half is a pain sometimes.
    >
    > --
    > If Americans knew about Israel's treatment of non-Jews they would turn
    > against Israel as fast as they did against apartheid South Africa.
    > -- The Iron Webmaster, 3737
    > nizkorhttp://www.giwersworld.org/nizkook/nizkook.phtml
    > Larry Shiffhttp://www.giwersworld.org/computers/newsagent.phtmla8


    This is all great info, thanks for all the insight.
    I, ( meaning the company I work for ) bought 4 x 500 GB Fantom drives
    ( Century Corp.) to use for acquisition data.
    The one we had for our team is a Lacie. This is the one that had major
    issues.
    I've since retired it to NTFS only, but I had created an ext3
    filesystem using the whole drive.
    I don't recall ever running fdisk to create a partition. Just
    wondering whether it was me or the drive.

    Thanks again.


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