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How to format drive in 64K blocks RRS feed

  • Question

  • I haven't tried adding a drive to my installation yet. They arrive this week. :-)

    I'm going to use this to mostly store video and TV recordings on it. I want the new drives to be formatted with 64K blocks. Since the Wizard automates this addition, is there any way to do this other than manually? Or can it even be done?

     

    Gerry

    Sunday, March 4, 2007 1:28 PM

Answers

  •  Gerry Plasky wrote:

    I haven't tried adding a drive to my installation yet. They arrive this week. :-)

    I'm going to use this to mostly store video and TV recordings on it. I want the new drives to be formatted with 64K blocks. Since the Wizard automates this addition, is there any way to do this other than manually? Or can it even be done?


    If you want WHS to manage the storage, making it available through network shares to your users, using it for backup storage, using it for share duplication, etc., then no, you can't control the block size or anything else about an added drive.
    Sunday, March 4, 2007 1:47 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  •  Gerry Plasky wrote:

    I haven't tried adding a drive to my installation yet. They arrive this week. :-)

    I'm going to use this to mostly store video and TV recordings on it. I want the new drives to be formatted with 64K blocks. Since the Wizard automates this addition, is there any way to do this other than manually? Or can it even be done?


    If you want WHS to manage the storage, making it available through network shares to your users, using it for backup storage, using it for share duplication, etc., then no, you can't control the block size or anything else about an added drive.
    Sunday, March 4, 2007 1:47 PM
    Moderator
  • So what if you went in after adding the drive and letting the Wizard do its thing and formatted the drive with 64K blocks? And then asked WHS to repair it. Will it have to format it again or will it recognize it as an existing drive and just add it and manage it? If this isn't supoorted then I should probably add it as a suggestion.

     

    Gerry

    EDIT: Vote on this issue here:

     https://connect.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer/feedback/ViewFeedback.aspx?FeedbackID=261439

     

    Sunday, March 4, 2007 2:09 PM
  •  Gerry Plasky wrote:

    So what if you went in after adding the drive and letting the Wizard do its thing and formatted the drive with 64K blocks? And then asked WHS to repair it. Will it have to format it again or will it recognize it as an existing drive and just add it and manage it? If this isn't supoorted then I should probably add it as a suggestion.


    Drive Extender wants to manage your entire storage pool. Once you give it a disk, you should not do anything further to it with the normal OS tools. We are warned elsewhere in the forums that almost anything you do to a managed disk has a good chance of breaking Drive Extender.

    That said, give it a try. The worst that can happen is that you'll corrupt all the data on your WHS and have to start over from scratch. While that's not great, WHS is beta software, so you shouldn't put the only copy of any irreplaceable data on it.
    Sunday, March 4, 2007 2:35 PM
    Moderator
  • Giving it a shot as we speak.

    And don't forget to vote on this isse:

    https://connect.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer/feedback/ViewFeedback.aspx?FeedbackID=261439

     

    Gerry

    Sunday, March 4, 2007 2:37 PM
  • Success!!!!!!!

     

    Ok. So I RDP to the server and through Disk Management formatted the D: drive on the WHS server. I had NOT stored any data on there yet. (Except what WHS put in the software directory.) Once it was done formatting I rebooted WHS to make sure all changes took affect. Here's what I found:

    1. All shared folders remained. (Besides the standard ones WHS creates, so did the ones I created.)

    2. CHKDSK on the D: drive showed 65536 bytes in each allocation unit. (64K block size)

    3. Users rights still remained to the folders.

     

    One side effect: Lost the software WHS puts in the software folder. (Connect and Restore)  Anyway to get that back easily?

    This should be able to work the same way when I add new drives. I'll let you know how it does when I receive my new drives this week.

     

    Gerry

    Sunday, March 4, 2007 3:07 PM
  • Great! But do extensive testing before you assume that everything is OK. I would upload large files then download them again, run checksums on them before and after, run backups and try to restore some files, run checksums again, add a disk, put some files on it, etc.

    That you lost the software folder suggests to me that Drive Extender is already terminally confused.
    Sunday, March 4, 2007 3:26 PM
    Moderator
  • Actually, if DE works how I think it does, then all really IS well.  The loss of the data in the Software folder is due to the format.  The re-population of the shared folders and sharing parameters is due to DE storing this information elsewhere.  It sees the drive as empty and just rebuilds things as it believes it should be.

    As for the data that was in Software, it's on the Install DVD in the WHS\HOME PC RESTORE CD and WHS\HOME SERVER CONNECTOR SOFTWARE folders.  As a side note, its rather odd that there's three WHS disc images to download when both the Connector and PC Restore CDs are included on the Install DVD ...
    Monday, March 5, 2007 12:34 AM
  • Everything tested fine. I agree with Keris that it was the format that caused the loss of software. I had also created CDs of the Connector and Restore software so just copied those out there. I copied 4 DVDs worth of data back and forth and ran a checksum on all. I will test some more when the new drives arrive and verify how that will work.

    Gerry

    Monday, March 5, 2007 2:06 AM
  • My computer - right button - manage - disk managment -

    -select partition - select format - select cluster size (64K) - format.

    Disk defrag (built) does NOT work with partition 64 K.

    Monday, March 5, 2007 9:58 PM
  • Pardon me for showing my not having been tutored, what advantage would you gain by changing the sector size?  And why 65,536 B not 131072?  I vaguely remember a rationale years ago but I've forgotten it by choice.  

     

    Tuesday, November 6, 2007 5:50 AM
  • A larger block size is marginally more efficient for the storage of large files, becuase the file has less opportunity for being fragmented. It also offers a small performance benefit when streaming files. 64k is the recommendation for streaming media, I believe, over on TheGreenButton.
    Tuesday, November 6, 2007 12:11 PM
    Moderator
  • Ken,

    Since there is MUCH more to WHS than streaming media files, I think the SWEET spot for cluster size would be somewhat closer to the default 4096 bytes.  If it were a simple NAS for video files 1048576 byte clusters would be a nice round number to work with, but even then a 5 GB video file would be almost 5000 cluster and thereby could be fragments.  It puzzles me that people worry about this trivia and then hook it up wireless...

     

    Tuesday, November 6, 2007 9:53 PM
  • Hehe. You asked "Why 64k?" and I gave you the answer: "Because TheGreenButton says so." Though there are good reasons: 64k is a good tradeoff between wasted space on the drive for smaller files, minimizing reads for larger files (thus improving streaming), and optimizing HDD access. But it's not a good enough tradeoff to make it worthwhile on any PC not being used primarily for media storage and streaming.=.
    Wednesday, November 7, 2007 4:09 AM
    Moderator
  • And just so you have the full background I am the OP. I use SageTV to record TV. Both SD ans HD files. Sage has a WHS add-in that works very well. With the SageTV product, and with other products, it is recommended to have the drive storing the recordings formatted in 64K blocks. Some of the HD recordings are 12-20 GB in size. This helps eliminate stuttering on playback and reduces or removes my need for defragging the recording drive. It has been over 4 years of recording TV and I have never defragged the recording drives. And there are probably other reasons you can find at The Green Button and elsewhere but those are my primary reasons. My primary use of WHS is one huge Media server that I can also use to backup my in-house PCs.

     

     

    Gerry

     

    Thursday, November 8, 2007 9:39 PM
  • Thanks, Gerry. that pretty much accords with what I understood, and you certainly are using the server primarily for media. Smile
    Friday, November 9, 2007 1:38 AM
    Moderator
  • Gerry,

    Just found this topic as I'm considering sageTV on my WHS box. Are you still running your WHS with this configuration? Hows it working? Have you tried adding additional drives to the storage pool? If so how did that work out?

    I currently have 2.5TB of storage on my WHS box coming from 3 SATA drives with almost 1TB of MCE recordings I plan to convert and import into Sage. I personally would prefer to keep my recordings within the storage pool so I don't have to manage multiple HDs for the recordings so I'm trying to figure out if this is still a feasible option.

    Eric
    Tuesday, October 7, 2008 6:00 PM