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Mark Lanctot
2006-02-20, 11:02
I've just installed a new 250 GB drive for music storage, 60% FLAC and 40% MP3.

Since I can now start from scratch, should I choose a sector size larger or smaller than default?

I think I remember reading if you're using all large files that selecting a non-default sector size offers some advantages. BTW Windows calls this "Allocation unit size". Choices are 512 (default IIRC), 1024, 2048, 4092, 8192, 16K, 32K, 64K.

EnochLight
2006-02-20, 11:16
You may improve read/write performance slightly but if you choose say... 1024k and then save a file that is 32k then it will take up 1024k of space. Not a big deal with that big drive...

tyler_durden
2006-02-20, 13:35
BTW Windows calls this "Allocation unit size". Choices are 512 (default IIRC), 1024, 2048, 4092, 8192, 16K, 32K, 64K.

Try formatting in HPFS. The default allocation size is 512 bytes, I believe. You'll get less fragmentation in HPFS also.

TD

Mark Lanctot
2006-02-20, 13:43
Try formatting in HPFS. The default allocation size is 512 bytes, I believe. You'll get less fragmentation in HPFS also.

TD

Thanks for the suggestion but whoa, looks complicated - you seem to need drivers and special support for it?

http://www.lesbell.com.au/hpfsfaq.html

Ouch.

This is the first time I've heard of it.

Robin Bowes
2006-02-20, 14:33
Mark Lanctot said the following on 02/20/2006 08:43 PM:
> tyler_durden Wrote:
>
>>Try formatting in HPFS. The default allocation size is 512 bytes, I
>>believe. You'll get less fragmentation in HPFS also.
>>
>>TD
>
>
> Thanks for the suggestion but whoa, looks complicated - you seem to
> need drivers and special support for it?
>
> http://www.lesbell.com.au/hpfsfaq.html
>
> Ouch.
>
> This is the first time I've heard of it.

Heh, I suspect Tyler meant ntfs.

HPFS is an OS/S filesystem (remember OS/2 ??)

R.

Mark Lanctot
2006-02-20, 15:11
Heh, I suspect Tyler meant ntfs.

HPFS is an OS/S filesystem (remember OS/2 ??)

R.

Whew, thought I was going crazy there for a sec. ;-) Yeah, if you saw the link, it looked like it was for OS/2 with driver support in Windows...95! And DOS! :-O

I ended up formatting it in NTFS. I was getting conflicting information so I stuck with a default sector size. It doesn't have to be super-fast anyway, just fast enough to deliver FLAC, which is an order of magnitude slower than the slowest drive you can get.

FAT32 is recommended for large file sizes but you're limited to 32 GB volumes. What would be the point of a 250 GB drive in that case?

BTW for those looking for silent drives for their silent NAS servers, take a look at the Samsung SpinPoint P. It's amazingly quiet. I haven't heard it at all.

ceejay
2006-02-20, 15:47
FAT32 is recommended for large file sizes but you're limited to 32 GB volumes. What would be the point of a 250 GB drive in that case?


Only by Windows... in that WinXP won't let you format a FAT32 partition > 32GB, because Microsoft want us to stick to NTFS - which, to be fair, is more resilient.

However there is nothing to stop you using another piece of software to create a partition of any size you like. Windows will quite happily work with it, it just won't create one for you.

Ceejay.

nicketynick
2006-02-20, 19:57
Hey Ceejay, can you expand on that a bit? I've got Partition Magic here - can I use that to format my 250GB drive with FAT32? (maybe 2 partitions - 1 for back-up, 1 for FLAC files) Which will enable me to properly use the DLink DNS120 Network Storage Adapter I bought on a whim, as it only supports NTFS read-only (how useless is that?!?)
Wish I had more time on my hands - I could find these answers by playing instead of asking!
TIA!

ceejay
2006-02-21, 01:04
Hey Ceejay, can you expand on that a bit? I've got Partition Magic here - can I use that to format my 250GB drive with FAT32? (maybe 2 partitions - 1 for back-up, 1 for FLAC files) Which will enable me to properly use the DLink DNS120 Network Storage Adapter I bought on a whim, as it only supports NTFS read-only (how useless is that?!?)
Wish I had more time on my hands - I could find these answers by playing instead of asking!
TIA!

Well, I only meant to say that you *could*, not that you *should* use FAT32.

FAT32 has a disk limit of 4TB, though there are suggestions of some limitations appearing at around 124GB for a single partition. There is a file size limit of 4GB and you'll be having cluster sizes of 32k.

My understanding (not an expert, though) is that for large file systems you are better off using NTFS, unless you want to use it with old Windows versions or old Linux.

I seem to remember that support for NTFS has only relatively recently appeared in Linux, which may explain why your Dlink only supports read-only.

And I don't have Partition Magic, you'll have to try it yourself!

HTH

Ceejay

PS - try ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_Allocation_Table
http://kadaitcha.cx/ntfs.html

nicketynick
2006-02-21, 09:32
Thanks Ceejay. Guess I better go see if Dlink has upgraded the firmware yet to provide NTFS read/write support!

chiphart
2006-02-21, 10:43
nicketynick wrote:
> Hey Ceejay, can you expand on that a bit? I've got Partition Magic here
> - can I use that to format my 250GB drive with FAT32? (maybe 2
> partitions - 1 for back-up, 1 for FLAC files)

To answer your question directly, I believe that PM will format
for you, but if it doesn't, the easiest thing to do is grab any
one of the CD-based Linux distro boot disks (for this purpose,
Knoppix might be best, but you can use Fedora, Ubuntu, you
name it). Burn the boot CD, boot from it, and then use it to
format your drive.

I wish the NTFS drivers in Linux were a little more reliable, as
anyone who wants to share a drive these days really has to
compromise significantly.


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800-722-7708 * http://www.pcc.com/~chip
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tyler_durden
2006-02-21, 20:07
Try formatting in HPFS. The default allocation size is 512 bytes, I believe. You'll get less fragmentation in HPFS also.

TD

I meant ntfs... HPFS was an old OS/2 format that didn't fragment at all. Of course it died because it worked!

TD

JJZolx
2006-02-21, 20:58
There's not much to be gained by going with anything different than the default allocation unit size. The two issues most affected are performance and the amount of space wasted on the disk due to slack space.

For music playback, performance is a non-issue, so tuning the A.U. size for performance reasons is a waste of time.

Slack space is the amount of space that is unused in the last allocation unit used for each file. For example, if your A.U. were 4kB and you had a 9kB file, then 3kB of the last 4kB allocated is wasted. The average amount of slack space per file, for all files on a drive, is approximately 1/2 A.U. So the total amount of wasted disk space would be 1/2 x A.U. x num_of_files_on_disk. Note that this number will be highest when you have a large number of files on the disk, that is, when you have a large number of small files. But music files tend to be fairly large, so you have relatively few of them on a hard drive.

So don't worry about it.