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

Darlene Wallach freepalestin at dslextreme.com
Fri Jul 20 18:24:27 PDT 2007

Rick Moen wrote:
> 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
> 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.


Thank you very much for your explicit feedback!

Here are the results of /sbin/fdisk:
# fdisk -l /dev/sda

Disk /dev/sda: 163.9 GB, 163928604672 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 19929 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

    Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1               1         244     1959898+  82  Linux swap
/dev/sda2             245       19819   157236187+  83  Linux

I just ran mkswap:
# mkswap -c /dev/sda1 1959898
Setting up swapspace version 1, size = 2006929 kB

# swapon /dev/sda1

now I'm running:
# mkfs.ext3 -c -c /dev/sda2 157236187

Thank you,

Darlene Wallach

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