Hard drive formatting questions [SOLVED]

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BigAngry
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Hard drive formatting questions [SOLVED]

Post by BigAngry »

Ive got a few internal storage hard drives that I am working on setting up. Although I'm not having any issues, the process has lead me to look into file systems and such, but I'm having a hard time finding answers online.

Could someone explain a few of the following?


Mint installed with ext2 when I chose 'lvm' for my root/boot drive, why did this happen instead of ext4 (which sounds much better overall)?
Is there really any point for me to use lvm at all? I know it makes it easier to modify partition sizes and such, but other than that is there any benefit?
Should I use ext4 for the internal drives if I dont plan to use them outside this pc or would something like exfat or ntfs be better? It seems like the best choice, but I am uncertain.
Also, regarding the previous question, should I stick with lvm or is it ok to just use ext4 without lvm?
Some of the storage drives are old, I checked them with smartctl and they passed, but should I try and use some kind of sector recovery tool like spinrite prior to using them, maybe to prevent future issues?

I'm totally new to linux (3 days), so its all still rather confusing. Any help would be much appreciated.

Edit:
Another question. How should I be setting up permissions for the drive? Should I take ownership of the mount point, the drive, or both? Do I need to set any group permissions, other permission? Terribly confused.
Last edited by BigAngry on Tue May 16, 2017 11:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jimallyn
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Re: Hard drive formatting questions

Post by jimallyn »

I can only answer your last question. You shouldn't have to change permissions at all. When you do the install, your home directory should have been set with you as owner, and everything, root should be owner. Others should be able to answer your other questions. Welcome to Linux.
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gold_finger
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Re: Hard drive formatting questions

Post by gold_finger »

BigAngry wrote:Mint installed with ext2 when I chose 'lvm' for my root/boot drive, why did this happen instead of ext4 (which sounds much better overall)?
I'm not very familiar with LVM but believe it sets the /boot partition to ext2. Are you referring to that, or the LVM partition(s) too?
BigAngry wrote:Is there really any point for me to use lvm at all?
Unless you chose to encrypt whole drive, not really any point in using it in my opinion. Using regular ext4 partitions without LVM is perfectly fine.
BigAngry wrote:Some of the storage drives are old, I checked them with smartctl and they passed, but should I try and use some kind of sector recovery tool like spinrite prior to using them, maybe to prevent future issues?
Unless you've noticed any strange behavior of those older drives doing more than smartctl check is probably not necessary. Just keep backups of anything you don't want to permanently lose no matter what age of drive is -- new or old.
BigAngry wrote:Another question. How should I be setting up permissions for the drive? Should I take ownership of the mount point, the drive, or both? Do I need to set any group permissions, other permission? Terribly confused.
See if this tutorial helps shed light on how to add the new data drives/partitions: HOWTO: Create & Use a Separate DATA Partition. If you're not going to share the data on those drives with a Windows system then using EXT4 format would be best. Choose either FAT32 or NTFS if you're going to share data between both Linux and Windows.
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Cosmo.
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Re: Hard drive formatting questions

Post by Cosmo. »

ext4 has the advantage over ext2, that this is a journaling file system, which makes it more stable, especially after a system crash.

In no case you should use a non-Linux file system, as it does not support the Linux specific metadata (ownership, permissions). And especially you should never use ntfs, if there is no Windows system on the same computer, as you cannot in case, that the ntfs file system should have file system error, repair it from Linux, you would need Windows in this case.

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austin.texas
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Re: Hard drive formatting questions

Post by austin.texas »

You have received some excellent tips above.
I think that LVM is an added layer of complexity that a beginner does not need.
I have one little suggestion. When you add a second hard drive, it will be seen as /dev/sdb, normally. If you add it, and it shows as /dev/sda - simply swap the SATA port connections so that the original drive shows as /dev/sda. That is not mandatory and will not affect performance, but it is nice to have consistency.
Next, when I add a spare hard drive, as you are doing, I always create a Mint root partition (of about 15 to 20GB) and install Mint there, being sure to install the bootloader (Grub) to that drive (sdb), not to the original drive (sda). Then I create the storage partition(s). The reason I do that is because of experience with hard drive failure. If my sda hard drive decides to die suddenly, which can happen, all I have to do is unplug it and boot the other one, and I am back in business with no delay. Another advantage of doing that is that you can boot that OS to do maintenance on the original drive when necessary, and you don't have to boot the live Mint OS from a USB or DVD. It is faster, and you are operating as yourusername, not "mint". I have at least 5 spare hard drives in the computer or in the file cabinet drawer, and every one of them will boot an OS (on any computer I put them in).
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BigAngry
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Re: Hard drive formatting questions

Post by BigAngry »

austin.texas wrote:You have received some excellent tips above.
Then I create the storage partition(s). The reason I do that is because of experience with hard drive failure. If my sda hard drive decides to die suddenly, which can happen, all I have to do is unplug it and boot the other one, and I am back in business with no delay. A
Thats a really great tip, and its wonderful that its even an option. Do I need to install it on the storage drive partition via a usb stick or can I do it directly?

First off thanks to everyone else here who commented. What I've gathered so far is that I messed up by mounting to a folder I created in root and messed up my privileges on the second storage drive. That was easily remedied after reading the guide that was linked (that was a huge help, especially with setting up symbolic links)
Second, I'll eventually need to swap from ext2 to ext4 and only use lvm when I want to encrypt drives or for when I figure out some further purposes for it. I'm a little reluctant to do that since I just got things set up nicely and dont want to do a reinstall. Perhaps theres a way without reinstalling from scratch?
Third, I noticed that one of the disks I was planning to use had 500+ bad sectors so that one is probably going on the trash. Not going to bother beyond the basic smart scan for now.

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austin.texas
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Re: Hard drive formatting questions

Post by austin.texas »

BigAngry wrote:Thats a really great tip, and its wonderful that its even an option. Do I need to install it on the storage drive partition via a usb stick or can I do it directly?.
You install your OS on the spare drive to a root partition in exactly the same way you installed the OS to the first hard drive. Install as if it were the only hard drive on the system.
Mint 18.2 Cinnamon, Quad core AMD A8-3870 with Radeon HD Graphics 6550D, 8GB DDR3, Ralink RT2561/RT61 802.11g PCI
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