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Author Topic: Internal exFAT HDD Format gone Wrong  (Read 762 times)
Description: 6Gb disk with 2Mb clusters [!]
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stardust4ever
Fractal Bachius
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Posts: 513



« on: April 04, 2016, 09:57:46 PM »

So I bought a new hard drive from Best Buy the other day as I am running out of room on my 1.5Gb internal drive. I got a Seagate 6Tb drive, and installed it internally into my computer. Since Windows drive management would not alllow me to use the standard formatter to format internal drives using exFAT (I have my reasons for not wanting NTFS), I had to use the command line. I typed in "format I: /FS:exFAT" and hit "y" to confirm. It took a whopping ten hours to format the disk. However, when it showed the format results, I noticed the allocation units were a whopping 2,097,152 bytes per sector. My reconing is that there are 2,861,508 sectors, meaning the command line formatter limited the bit count to 32 bits at the expense of grossly large sectors.

For reference, the default cluster size for NTFS, FAT, and exFAT in Windows 7 is listed here:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/140365

There is IMO a huge difference between 32 or 128 kb and 2 Mb [!] That means every file, no matter how small, takes up a minimum of 2 megabytes! The amount of wasted space on the drive will be huge, and performance is abysmal for copying small files. Since I will be using this drive for general storage backup as well as saving Fractal frame data (these are large data files and iteration data for a single deep zoom movie can take up to 100 Gb or more. I also play classic video games and copied my ROM collections (all uncompressed ROMs arranged into folders by system and alphabet, ready to transfer to a flash carts) and the results were horrendous.

Size: 57.9Gb
Size on disk: 104 Gb
Contents: 32,839 files, 234 folders

Atari was by far the worst offender, with many small files, 2600 games often being no larger larger than 2 to 4 kilobytes:

Size: 36.9Mb
Size on disk: 7.68Gb
4,026 files, 89 folders

Sorry but that's unacceptable. I've got all sorts of data that will be copied over, some extremely large files like ISOs, etc, and some directories full of extremely tiny files. Like I said earlier, I have my reasons for not wanting to use NTFS. Anybody got a solution to force format the internal drive to exFAT with a "normal" cluster size? Or should I just stick with NTFS? 2Mb per cluster is ludicrous.


* huge sector.png (36.62 KB, 677x438 - viewed 139 times.)
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zebastian
Conqueror
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Posts: 121



« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2016, 10:14:22 PM »

Try with"format I: /FS:exFAT /A 4096
Handle with care, suggestion only based in this reference:
http://www.computerhope.com/formathl.htm

If there is no gold reason not to i would still recommend to choose ntfs
Cheers!

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stardust4ever
Fractal Bachius
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Posts: 513



« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2016, 11:11:54 PM »

Try with"format I: /FS:exFAT /A 4096
Handle with care, suggestion only based in this reference:
http://www.computerhope.com/formathl.htm

If there is no gold reason not to i would still recommend to choose ntfs
Cheers!
Thanks for the helpful link. 4k still seems a bit small so I may decide to use 32k sectors. Seems like a good compromise between smallish files and excess fragmentation. Or I could use the 128k default. Definitely using the "quick" option this time...

So if I type in
Code:
FORMAT I: /FS:exFAT /Q /A:32k
it will do a quick format with 32k sectors? sounds like a plan...

As for why I don't want to use NTFS? The drive could be made accessible to other OS. For instance, if I ever decide to to a dual boot scenario with Mint or run off a Linux live CD or something, I could gain write access to my internal backup storage. :cheesy:

And yes, I do plan on getting an external drive at a later date, as an offline backup to foolproof my PC against ransomware. Those hacking thieves can kiss my ass
« Last Edit: April 05, 2016, 12:57:32 AM by stardust4ever » Logged
claude
Fractal Bachius
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Posts: 563



WWW
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2016, 11:25:01 PM »

AFAIK read/write access to NTFS is mostly not a problem any longer with recent Linux, see http://www.tuxera.com/community/ntfs-3g-manual/ http://www.tuxera.com/community/ntfs-3g-faq/
But used it myself, though, no Windows here...
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quaz0r
Fractal Molossus
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Posts: 652



« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2016, 11:43:27 PM »

ntfs3g has worked fine in my experience also
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PieMan597
Conqueror
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Posts: 122



WWW
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2016, 12:21:09 AM »

I just used Linux Mint to format my drive, and it has worked quite well.
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stardust4ever
Fractal Bachius
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Posts: 513



« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2016, 12:59:50 AM »

I just used Linux Mint to format my drive, and it has worked quite well.
What sector size did you use? My reformat went nicely with 32kb sectors. Or should I use 128k?

EDIT: That's wierd. Volume serial number changed... Does that happen every time I reformat? nerd


* exfat reformat.png (48.77 KB, 677x858 - viewed 184 times.)
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