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I got a new 1.5TB hard drive (Seagate ST31500341AS) for a Windows box. Of course, Windows spends all day trying to format it to NTFS and then after many hours ...
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  1. #1
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    Partition block size


    I got a new 1.5TB hard drive (Seagate ST31500341AS) for a Windows box. Of course, Windows spends all day trying to format it to NTFS and then after many hours of trying, falls over at the end.

    I want to have an NTFS partition on there with as large a block size as possible, as it will only be used to store very large files (in the order of hundreds of megabytes each). The highest block size the Windows disk manager will let me choose is 64k.

    GParted can create and format the partition successfully within seconds and it is usable from windows but it gives me no option for block size. Is there any way to customise this, either from the command line (fdisk, etc) or from gparted itself? I am comfortable with command line Linux, just not so comfortable with cylinders, sectors, etc.


    In case it is useful, here's the fdisk -l:

    Code:
    Disk /dev/sdb: 1500.3 GB, 1500301910016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 182401 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x120aa019
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sdb1               1      182401  1465136001    7  HPFS/NTFS
    I assume that 1500301910016 / 1465136001 = 1024 means that it is currently using 1k blocks.

  2. #2
    Linux Guru coopstah13's Avatar
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    the block size is set when you create the filesystem on the partition, not when you create the partition, you should be able to set the block size in it when you format it, I'm not in front of a windows machine, but you should be able to right click the disk and click format, should be an option specify block size, don't bother with a full format either, quick format is just fine

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by coopstah13 View Post
    the block size is set when you create the filesystem on the partition, not when you create the partition, you should be able to set the block size in it when you format it, I'm not in front of a windows machine, but you should be able to right click the disk and click format, should be an option specify block size, don't bother with a full format either, quick format is just fine
    Thanks but this formatting on windows is exactly what I was talking about when I said windows spent hours doing it and then when it got to the end, it failed (I tried twice too, once on 64k then once on default block size).

    I want to know how to do it on Linux, which is why I posted in this forum

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  5. #4
    Linux Guru coopstah13's Avatar
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    i'm not sure you can create ntfs fs on linux, the only options I have on my system are vfat and msdos

  6. #5
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    Code:
    mkfs.ntfs --help
    
    Usage: mkntfs [options] device [number-of-sectors]
    
    Basic options:
        -f, --fast                      Perform a quick format
        -Q, --quick                     Perform a quick format
        -L, --label STRING              Set the volume label
        -C, --enable-compression        Enable compression on the volume
        -c, --cluster-size BYTES        Specify the cluster size for the volume
        -I, --no-indexing               Disable indexing on the volume
        -n, --no-action                 Do not write to disk
    
    Advanced options:
        -s, --sector-size BYTES         Specify the sector size for the device
        -p, --partition-start SECTOR    Specify the partition start sector
        -H, --heads NUM                 Specify the number of heads
        -S, --sectors-per-track NUM     Specify the number of sectors per track
        -z, --mft-zone-multiplier NUM   Set the MFT zone multiplier
        -T, --zero-time                 Fake the time to be 00:00 UTC, Jan 1, 1970
        -N, --ntfs-version VERSION      NTFS version: 3.1 (default) or 1.2 (old)
        -F, --force                     Force execution despite errors
    
    Output options:
        -q, --quiet                     Quiet execution
        -v, --verbose                   Verbose execution
            --debug                     Very verbose execution
    
    Help options:
        -V, --version                   Display version
        -l, --license                   Display licensing information
        -h, --help                      Display this help
    
    Developers' email address: linux-ntfs-dev@lists.sf.net
    Linux NTFS homepage: http://www.linux-ntfs.org
    Cluster size is the block size. You can look at the man page for mkfs.ntfs and see notes about the cluster size - note the default is 4K = Windows default.

    ** Also, are you letting Windows do a full format? This is what takes so long - make sure to select "Perform a quick format" when creating the partition in Windows.

    Man mkfs.ntfs

    -c, --cluster-size BYTES
    Specify the size of clusters in bytes. Valid cluster size values are powers of two, with at least 256, and at most 65536 bytes per cluster. If omitted, mkntfs uses 4096 bytes as the default cluster size.

    Note that the default cluster size is set to be at least equal to the sector size as a cluster cannot be smaller than a sector. Also, note that values greater than 4096 have the side effect that compression is disabled on the volume (due to limitations in the NTFS compression algorithm currently in use by Windows).

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