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  1. #1

    Cool Is there a "quick format" in RHEL 5?

    I have a large volume 1TB+ that needs to be formatted. The volume is on a thin provisioned disk, so performing a full format would negate the thin-provisioning.

    Is there a quick format in RHEL5??

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Roxoff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Nottingham, England
    Do you mean making a filesystem... 'mkfs ext3 /dev/sd[X]'? I'm pretty sure that's what you mean. The alternative is setting up the partition format, 'fdisk /dev/sd[X]', which is done before you build any partitions, but for remote storage, I assume you're going to have one big partition.

    Why would 'mkfs' negate thin-provisioning? Surely the idea is to make the disk accessable over a cheap, low-ish bandwidth network connection. Making a filesystem on the device is outside the bounds of this normal use anyway.

    And how is the volume to be provided? Is there a linux machine with the disk in it shared? You'd make the filesystem using the remote hardware if that were the case. Is the disk in some kind of network storage box? Surely the box itself would initialise the disk in that case. If it's none of these, you could plug the disk into a local machine and make the filesystem then plug the disk into its final target.

    And as a final note, try running 'mkfs' on a 1TB drive. It's surprisingly quick. It the 'fsck' you run after that (with the bad-blocks check turned on) that takes time.
    Linux user #126863 - see

  3. #3
    Sorry for the lack of detail. The 1TB LUN is being presented from a SAN that is governed by thin-provisioning. When I installed RHEL5, I used a 30GB LUN from the SAN. During the install, it formatted the file system, but it must have been a full format (or some mechanism that wrote to every block on the disk), because it fully extended the volume on the SAN (meaning it consumed the entire 30GB, negating the thin-provisioning component).

    I cannot have this happen on this 1TB LUN. I need to know how to prepare this 1TB LUN for a single use. I want to access the entire 1TB, but I only want it to write out the file table, for example (like a quick format does in Windows)

    Let me know. And thanks for your help.

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  5. #4
    Tried mkfs.ext3 -b 4096 /dev/sdb1 and it did the same thing. The section where mkfs is "Writing inode tables" seems to be where the disk is being fully extended.

    Is there anyway to get around this?

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