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Thread: [SOLVED] 6 GB used in empty, newly formatted hard drive

  1. #1
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    [SOLVED] 6 GB used in empty, newly formatted hard drive

    I just reformatted an external USB hard drive. It was a FAT32 partition. I just reformatted it to be on large (110 GB) ext3 filesystem using gparted. The reformatting went smoothly, but I'm wondering why when I check the properties on the drive, it reports that 5.8 GB are used.

    I understand there is undoubtedly some system related stuff written to the disk that I don't see in the filesystem, but 5.8 GB? Is this normal?

    Is this related to the fact that I made the whole thing one large partition instead of several smaller partitions?

  2. #2
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    Re: 6 GB used in empty, newly formatted hard drive

    Is the partition primary or logical?
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  3. #3
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    Re: 6 GB used in empty, newly formatted hard drive

    Hi. By default, ext2 and ext3 reserves 5% of the total disk space for some reason.
    You can turn it off by executing:
    # sudo tune2fs -m 0 /dev/<yourdevicehere>
    For instance
    # sudo tune2fs -m 0 /dev/sda3

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by hallgeirl; May 9th, 2008 at 01:14 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: 6 GB used in empty, newly formatted hard drive

    Quote Originally Posted by hallgeirl View Post
    Hi. By default, ext2 and ext3 reserves 5% of the total disk space for some reason.
    The reason is to keep the system running when the disk is getting full. Only root (the superuser) can use the last 5%.

    Suppose that the disk was really 100% full, then even root might not be able to login anymore to cleanup things.

    If this is a second disk (not the main harddisk that contains your Ubuntu OS installation) then it's no problem to change the settings so that you can use the last 5%. I wouldn't do that on your main harddisk, it might make the system unusable if the disk is full.
    Ubuntu 12.04

  5. #5
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    Re: 6 GB used in empty, newly formatted hard drive

    Cheers for the explanation.

  6. #6
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    Re: 6 GB used in empty, newly formatted hard drive

    Quote Originally Posted by hermes0710 View Post
    Is the partition primary or logical?
    I believe it is a primary partition, if I understand the difference correctly. It is not the partition I boot from, though. It's an external hard drive connected through a USB port. I formatted the entire external drive as one ext3 partition.

    It looks like I'm getting the answer I was looking for from the other posts, though, so I understand what's going on.

    Thanks jespdj and hallgeirl for the info.
    Last edited by Mike Brennan; May 9th, 2008 at 11:11 PM.

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