First off, thanks this was quite helpfull and just what I was chasing.

I used an old Lubuntu 10.10 install CD and attempted to partition my USB to 8GB ext4 “\”, 4GB ext4 “\home” and 4GB swap. But every partition had ~4 bytes added or taken from it so they none of them were nice round numbers.

After installing the OS I restarted the PC and ran the performance test, then restarted a few more times. Seems best to consistently keep the USB in the same slot otherwise it resets the boot order and occasionally boots Windows. Also I can only use the GRUB to start XP on the computer I used to install Lubuntu, all the others say serial number not found.

I've sucessfully updated this to Lubuntu 12.10, but I havent been able to reformat my /home drive so that it is visable to windows. Any ideas on how I should try this?

removingthe lable and reformatting to fat32 hasn't helped, maybe it needs to be the first partition?

Other than that; Is there a way to stop windows from asking to format my USB all the time?