[conspire] request verification of plans to partition and format external hard drive

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Jul 20 16:21:48 PDT 2007

Quoting Darlene Wallach (freepalestin at dslextreme.com):

> When I select the +sizeM for swap of 2G, is this
> the correct size: 1024M * 2 = +2048M
> +2048M for swap

Looks fine.  You've figured out the secret to being lazy with
/sbin/fdisk:  You use that "+" directive and the "M" or "G" (for meg or
gig) macros, to avoid having to sit and calculate exact numbers of bytes
or (worse) cylinder numbers.

> Then I should select the "t" option for the swap
> partition.

Yep.  Helpfully, when you do that, the default type number that pops up
is the one for "Linux swap".

> Then I do I still need to?
> mkswap -c /dev/sda1 2097152
> swapon /dev/sda1

Looks right.  When you run a distro installer, it runs (exactly) those
commands on your behalf.  

Be aware that that "check for bad blocks" routine ("c" option) is going
to run for a really, really long time -- hours, I'm sure.  Doing it on
the data partition will take even longer.  On the bright side, doing it
on the relatively small swap partition will allow you to guesstimate how
long it _would_ take for the huge-ass data partition -- and decide
whether you want to, or not.

If by chance this is a genuine SCSI drive, checking for bad blocks is
probably superfluous, since the SCSI circuitry on the drive does active,
continual checking for errors and swaps any that are found out, in
favour of spare sectors in the "hot fix area" that are kept around for
that purpose.  

Most of the time, most people do without bad-blocks checking even on
commodity IDE drives, and don't regret it.  Mostly.  ;->  If you can
spare the time, though, it's the properly paranoid thing to do on drives
you're not really confident in.

> When I select the +sizeM for data, is this the
> correct size for data? 169G - 2G = 167G
> 1024M * 167 = +171008M
> +171008M for the data
> Then I should use mkfs.ext3
> I read in man fdisk that using "-c" twice a slower,
> read-write test is used instead of a fast read-only test.
> mkfs.ext3 -c -c /dev/sda2 2097152

Again, looks fine, with the same qualifier.

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