[ubuntu-users] Changing 232.9 NTFS hd to EXT3

Ray Parrish crp at cmc.net
Sat Mar 21 05:56:13 UTC 2009

Ted Hilts wrote:
> This is a resend as the original email has not shown up on the list.
> I want to know the optimal solution.
> The hard drive (HD) is 232.9 GB.
> The application using the HD is the storage of web pages.
> The HD is currently mounted as NTFS and there is no data on it that I 
> want..
> Ubuntu is installed in a dual boot grub configuration.with XP HOME.
> While Ubuntu is booted I want to format this drive.
> Eventually all but one of the 6 current NTFS formatted hard drives will 
> be changed to EXT3.
> The following is what I think is the correct use of options to be 
> applied after the 232.9 GB HD has been dismounted by Ubuntu with the 
> command umount "/media/sdc1"
> sudo /sbin/mkfs.ext3 -c -i 1024 -b 1024 -L HDA1 -v /dev/hda1
> and then mount the HD.  Also, is there anything I have missed?
> I think the smallest size for blocks is now 1024 but at one time used to 
> be 512.
> BELOW is the man page synopsis:
>       mke2fs  [  -c  |  -l  filename ] [ -b block-size ] [ -f 
> fragment-size ] [ -g blocks-per-group ] [ -i
>       bytes-per-inode ] [ -I inode-size ] [ -j ] [ -J journal-options ] 
> [ -N number-of-inodes ] [ -n  ]  [
>       -m  reserved-blocks-percentage  ]  [  -o creator-os ] [ -O 
> feature[,...]  ] [ -q ] [ -r fs-revision-
>       level ] [ -E extended-options ] [ -v ] [ -F ] [ -L volume-label ] 
> [ -M last-mounted-directory ] [ -S
>       ] [ -T filesystem-type ] [ -V ] device [ blocks-count ]
>       mke2fs  -O journal_dev [ -b block-size ] [ -L volume-label ] [ -n 
> ] [ -q ] [ -v ] external-journal [
>       blocks-count ]
>       mke2fs is used to create an ext2/ext3 filesystem (usually in a 
> disk partition).  device is the  spe?
>       cial  file corresponding to the device (e.g /dev/hdXX).  
> blocks-count is the number of blocks on the
>       device.  If omitted, mke2fs automagically figures the file system 
> size.  If called  as  mkfs.ext3  a
>       journal is created as if the -j option was specified.
> Thanks for any input -- Ted

The only thing I'm seeing so far, is that you are using hda1 when the 
disk was mounted at /media/sdc1, and those don't point at the same kind 
of disk. The use of hda1 is for IDE disks, and would have pointed at the 
first partition on disk one of the IDE interface, while your sdc1 points 
to an scsi drive at position 3, partition 1, I believe. Use "df -h" to 
be certain of the drive designations you should use.

Your -i 1024 is too large of a number for inode size as is explained in 
the following copy from -


[begin quote] "fdisk will tell you how many blocks there are on the 
disk. If you make a file system on the disk, say with mke2fs, then this 
filesystem needs some space for bookkeeping - typically something like 
4% of the file system size, more if you ask for a lot of inodes during 
mke2fs. For example:


    # sfdisk -s /dev/hda9
    # mke2fs -i 1024 /dev/hda9
    mke2fs 1.12, 9-Jul-98 for EXT2 FS 0.5b, 95/08/09
    204798 blocks (5.00%) reserved for the super user
    # mount /dev/hda9 /somewhere
    # df /somewhere
    Filesystem         1024-blocks  Used Available Capacity Mounted on
    /dev/hda9            3574475      13  3369664      0%   /mnt
    # df -i /somewhere
    Filesystem           Inodes   IUsed   IFree  %IUsed Mounted on
    /dev/hda9            4096000      11 4095989     0%  /mnt

We have a partition with 4095976 blocks, make an ext2 filesystem on it, 
mount it somewhere and find that it only has 3574475 blocks - 521501 
blocks (12%) was lost to inodes and other bookkeeping. Note that the 
difference between the total 3574475 and the 3369664 available to the 
user are the 13 blocks in use plus the 204798 blocks reserved for root. 
This latter number can be changed by tune2fs. This `-i 1024' is only 
reasonable for news spools and the like, with lots and lots of small 
files. The default would be:


    # mke2fs /dev/hda9
    # mount /dev/hda9 /somewhere
    # df /somewhere
    Filesystem         1024-blocks  Used Available Capacity Mounted on
    /dev/hda9            3958475      13  3753664      0%   /mnt
    # df -i /somewhere
    Filesystem           Inodes   IUsed   IFree  %IUsed Mounted on
    /dev/hda9            1024000      11 1023989     0%  /mnt

Now only 137501 blocks (3.3%) are used for inodes, so that we have 384 
MB more than before. (Apparently, each inode takes 128 bytes.) On the 
other hand, this filesystem can have at most 1024000 files (more than 
enough), against 4096000 (too much) earlier." [end quote]

NOTE: The man page for make.ext2 states that the default inode size is 
256 so the 128 quoted in the above article excerpt seems to be currently 
incorrect. here's a quote from the man page for mkfs.ext2

[begin quote]
 -I inode-size
              Specify the  size  of  each  inode  in  bytes. mke2fs 
creates 256-byte inodes  by default. In kernels after 2.6.10 and some 
earlier vendor kernels it is possible to utilize  inodes  larger than 
128-bytes to store extended attributes for improved performance. The 
inode-size value must be a power of  two  larger or equal to 128. The  
larger the inode-size the more space the inode table will consume, and 
this reduces the usable space in the filesystem and can also negatively 
impact performance. Extended attributes stored in large inodes are not 
visible  with older kernels, and such filesystems will not be mountable 
with 2.4 kernels at all. [end quote]

So, it appears to be a trade off between usable file space, number of 
possible files, and performance when specifying the inode sizes, with 
the inability to use the file system with earlier kernels at all, when 
specifying larger inode sizes. This may not be a problem for you, as I 
see that the kernels for Hardy right now are in the 2.6 range, so are 
not affected by this consideration. If you want to use the smaller 128 
size, you will need to specify it with -i, otherwise it seems 
appropriate to use the default 256 size.

I also have not seen any reference to a need to unmount the drive before 
formatting it anywhere.

That's what I could find out.

Later, Ray Parrish

Human reviewed index of links about the computer
Poetry from the mind of a Schizophrenic

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