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Thread: What will be an easy way to format 4TB hard drive

  1. #1
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    What will be an easy way to format 4TB hard drive

    Hi all.

    What will be an easy way to format a 4TB WD hard drive. Ubuntu 18.04 has been installed on it. I'll use it for storage only without partition.

    $ sudo fdisk -l
    Code:
    Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Disk /dev/loop1: 3.7 MiB, 3825664 bytes, 7472 sectors
    Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk /dev/loop4: 1008 KiB, 1032192 bytes, 2016 sectors
    Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    
    Disk /dev/loop5: 42.8 MiB, 44879872 bytes, 87656 sectors
    Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    
    Disk /dev/loop6: 88.5 MiB, 92778496 bytes, 181208 sectors
    Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    
    Disk /dev/loop7: 149.9 MiB, 157184000 bytes, 307000 sectors
    Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    
    Disk /dev/sda: 3.7 TiB, 4000787030016 bytes, 7814037168 sectors
    Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
    
    Disk /dev/sdb: 465.8 GiB, 500107862016 bytes, 976773168 sectors
    Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disklabel type: gpt
    Disk identifier: F3A8D40E-D988-4EF7-8FB7-B1F978474D92
    
    Device       Start       End   Sectors   Size Type
    /dev/sdb1     2048   1050623   1048576   512M EFI System
    /dev/sdb2  1050624 976771071 975720448 465.3G Linux LVM
    
    Disk /dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-root: 464.3 GiB, 498539167744 bytes, 973709312 sectors
    Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    The device is on /dev/sda

    I learned a bitter lesson before running Activities-->Disks to format it. It took more than 10 hrs to complete.

    Code:
    $ sudo mkfs.ext3 /dev/sda
    also takes sometime to finish

    Thanks in advice.

    Regards
    satimis
    Last edited by satimis; December 14th, 2019 at 05:53 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: What will be an easy way to format 4TB hard drive

    By far the fastest way is to use mkfs, like you did. Why did you use ext3? ext4 is the current up to date format.

    Also create a partition first.

    AN alternative to using the command line for partitioning and formatting is to use the utility "Disks", which is by default installed on Ubuntu.

  3. #3
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    Re: What will be an easy way to format 4TB hard drive

    What will be an easy way to format a 4TB WD hard drive? Ubuntu 18.04 has been installed on it. I'll use it for storage only without partition.
    I assume you intend to erase the existing Ubuntu? And Windows is not to be used?
    Code:
    sudo mkfs.ext3 /dev/sda
    Without any partition? - this ↑ is not the correct way. You should always use partitions with Linux. To reuse a disk for Linux use, 1) create a new partition table on the disk - use GPT for type of partition table 2) create at least one partition and format the partition(s) ext4, not ext3. I suggest you use gparted from your existing install for these tasks, and avoid the terminal.
    Last edited by Dennis N; December 14th, 2019 at 07:25 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: What will be an easy way to format 4TB hard drive

    Always, always, partition a disk. ALWAYS!

    Backup any data you want to keep.

    Setup a GPT partition table. With 4TB, GPT is mandatory.

    Setup any partitions. The size of those partitions should depend on how you will backup, restore, and use the partitions.
    https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread....7#post13883277 is my setup with reasons WHY.

    If you use LVM and ext4, formatting should take about 3-5 minutes, worst case, on a fast connection. You are already using LVM, so I'd keep using it. Formatting a logical volume, LV, is seconds of clock time usually.

    ext3 isn't bad for small disks, but ext4 is so much better, more reliable, faster. You don't have a small disk.

    /dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-root: 464.3 GiB is way, way, way too big. The root VG, which is where the OS gets stored should be 25G. Create other LVs as needed for other uses, like /home/, perhaps /var/lib/libvirt/ and perhaps /D1/ for generic data.

    BTW, we NEVER, EVER, need to see loop devices in output. Those just cruft up the important stuff, making it a hassle to help.
    Last edited by TheFu; December 17th, 2019 at 12:25 AM. Reason: update: time estimate paragraph.

  5. #5
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    Re: What will be an easy way to format 4TB hard drive

    Quote Originally Posted by vanadium View Post
    By far the fastest way is to use mkfs, like you did. Why did you use ext3? ext4 is the current up to date format.

    Also create a partition first.

    AN alternative to using the command line for partitioning and formatting is to use the utility "Disks", which is by default installed on Ubuntu.
    Hi,

    Sorry it was a typing mistake. It should be ext4..

    I saw that it progressed slowly therefore I exited stopping it.

    Only one partition. I'll use the entire 4TB drive for storage only. I ran fdisk creating the partition. Ubuntu 18.04 is running on a 500G SSD drive. Do I need creating 2 partitions?

    satimis
    Last edited by satimis; December 15th, 2019 at 01:36 AM.

  6. #6
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    Re: What will be an easy way to format 4TB hard drive

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis N View Post
    I assume you intend to erase the existing Ubuntu? And Windows is not to be used?
    Code:
    sudo mkfs.ext3 /dev/sda
    Without any partition? - this ↑ is not the correct way. You should always use partitions with Linux. To reuse a disk for Linux use, 1) create a new partition table on the disk - use GPT for type of partition table 2) create at least one partition and format the partition(s) ext4, not ext3.
    Hi,

    ext3 was typing mistake. It should be ext4

    I ran fdisk creating ONE partition. Do I need creating 2 partitions? I'll use the entire 4TB WD drive for storage only.

    I suggest you use gparted from your existing install for these tasks, and avoid the terminal.
    Whether you suggest using
    --> Activities --> Disks (on top) ?

    It took more than 10 hours to complete formatting the entire 4TB WD drive. I learned a bitter lesson before.

    Before posting I have tried again, the indication saying 13 hrs to complete. Then I exited

    satimis

  7. #7
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    Re: What will be an easy way to format 4TB hard drive

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post
    Always, always, partition a disk. ALWAYS!

    Backup any data you want to keep.

    Setup a GPT partition table. With 4TB, GPT is mandatory.

    Setup any partitions. The size of those partitions should depend on how you will backup, restore, and use the partitions.
    https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread....7#post13883277 is my setup with reasons WHY.

    If you use LVM and ext4, formatting should take about 3-5 minutes on a fast connection. You are already using LVM, so I'd keep using it.

    ext3 isn't bad for small disks, but ext4 is so much better, more reliable, faster. You don't have a small disk.

    /dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-root: 464.3 GiB is way, way, way too big. The root VG, which is where the OS gets stored should be 25G. Create other LVs as needed for other uses, like /home/, perhaps /var/lib/libvirt/ and perhaps /D1/ for generic data.

    BTW, we NEVER, EVER, need to see loop devices in output. Those just cruft up the important stuff, making it a hassle to help.
    Hi,

    There are no data on this 4TB WD drive.

    I ran fdisk creating ONE partition because I'll use the entire drive for storage only. Ubuntu is running a 500G SSD, Do I need to create 2 partitions?

    # gdisk -l /dev/sda
    Code:
    GPT fdisk (gdisk) version 1.0.3
    
    Partition table scan:
      MBR: not present
      BSD: not present
      APM: not present
      GPT: not present
    
    Creating new GPT entries.
    Disk /dev/sda: 7814037168 sectors, 3.6 TiB
    Model: HGST HUS726T4TAL
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512/4096 bytes
    Disk identifier (GUID): 350C0B35-627B-44C2-AE9E-FF649B7FA72F
    Partition table holds up to 128 entries
    Main partition table begins at sector 2 and ends at sector 33
    First usable sector is 34, last usable sector is 7814037134
    Partitions will be aligned on 2048-sector boundaries
    Total free space is 7814037101 sectors (3.6 TiB)
    
    Number  Start (sector)    End (sector)  Size       Code  Name
    Other advice noted and thanks

    Edit-1
    =====
    Will following article be relevant for running GPT ?
    How to list, create, delete partitions on MBR and GPT disks - RHCSA Objective Preparation
    https://linuxconfig.org/how-to-list-...ve-preparation

    Edit-2
    ====
    Edit-2
    How to Format a Hard Drive Using Ubuntu
    https://www.wikihow.com/Format-a-Har...e-Using-Ubuntu

    It'll take 13 hrs to complete formatting a 4TB WD drive

    satimis
    Last edited by satimis; December 15th, 2019 at 02:24 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: What will be an easy way to format 4TB hard drive

    You need one partition only, but I would start out smaller - you can easily enlarge it later using the unallocated space after it. And you might later change your mind about just having one partition. The biggest disks I own are 1 TB and I've not made a partition bigger than my 250 GB data partition. I don't think it took more than a minute or so to format for LVM use. I use gparted for all such partitioning. I've never used gnome Disks for anything.

  9. #9
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    Re: What will be an easy way to format 4TB hard drive

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis N View Post
    You need one partition only, but I would start out smaller - you can easily enlarge it later using the unallocated space after it. And you might later change your mind about just having one partition. The biggest disks I own are 1 TB and I've not made a partition bigger than my 250 GB data partition. I don't think it took more than a minute or so to format for LVM use. I use gparted for all such partitioning. I've never used gnome Disks for anything.
    The total size of all data is exceeding 1TB. Whether split them and store them on several partitions?

    I have an external 2TB WD disk for storage. It is nearly full.

    satimis
    Last edited by satimis; December 15th, 2019 at 02:37 AM.

  10. #10
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    Re: What will be an easy way to format 4TB hard drive

    TThe total size of all data is exceeding 1TB. Whether split them and store them on several partitions?
    If I had lots of existing folders with my files already organized, I would probably just make one partition big enough to hold all of them. But that's your decision to make.

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