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Old 18th May 2012
Mantazz Mantazz is offline
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Default 3tb USB drive on FBSD 8.1-release

I recently picked up a WD My Book 3tb USB drive that I am intending to use to backup data from my home web server. I overlooked the significance of the 2tb size limit for MBR style partitioning and blindly went ahead with setting up this drive recently.

Because this drive will be backing up data from a variety of systems on my network, I opted for the Linux ext2 file system; the thinking being that if my home web server were to become nonfunctional the drive could be attached to almost any other system and the files still read from it successfully.

My initial attempt (before realizing the error of my ways in overlooking the 2TB limit) was with the partition editor in sysinstall. I wiped out the original partition table on the USB drive (likely NTFS) as I had no need for ti. Then I tried to set up a new partition of type "linux". It seemed to work OK although the geometry didn't look quite right... I then ran mke2fs on the drive and it gave a few errors
Code:
Warning: could not read block 0: Attempt to read block from filesystem resulted in short read
Warning: could not erase sector 0: Attempt to write block from filesystem resulted in short write
But proceeded through nonetheless. It did end with a few more errors as well:
Code:
Warning: could not read block 0: Attempt to read block from filesystem resulted in short read
Warning:: Too many arguments.
Warning: could not erase sector 0: Attempt to write block from filesystem resulted in short write
Warning:: Too many arguments.

However then I couldn't mount the volume:
Code:
mount /dev/da0s1 /mnt/wd-usb
mount: /dev/da0s1 : Invalid argument
Then gdisk doesn't show a partition table, either. Am I supposed to use a different utility to format the drive after I partition with gdisk?
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Old 19th May 2012
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Simba7 Simba7 is offline
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There are two issues I see..

1. ext2's max is 2TB. No getting around that unless you use ext3 or 4.
2. MBR's max is 2TB. You'll need GPT if you want to go past that.

I would suggest re-partitioning your hard drive via gdisk (linux) or gpart (FreeBSD). This will save you a ton of headache in the future.

As for formatting, it doesn't make a difference. Although, I only use ZFS on my systems so it is not an issue.
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Old 20th May 2012
Mantazz Mantazz is offline
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I just repartitioned and reformatted the drive - or so I thought.

I started with gdisk (in FreeBSD) which made the 2.7 TiB partition without complaining. Wrote the table to the disk, and then attempted to format it. I installed 'e2fsprogs' to handle ext2/3/4 partitions and tried to format it as ext3:
Code:
# mkfs.ext3 /dev/da0s1
mke2fs 1.41.14 (22-Dec-2010)
Warning: could not erase sector 2: Attempt to write block from filesystem resulted in short write
Filesystem label=
OS type: FreeBSD
Block size=4096 (log=2)
Fragment size=4096 (log=2)
So this didn't look very promising, but I let it run with it. It completed with fewer problems than the very first time I attempted this, but that really isn't saying much. At the end it said:
Code:
Warning: could not read block 0: Attempt to read block from filesystem resulted in short read
Warning: could not erase sector 0: Attempt to write block from filesystem resulted in short write
Which wasn't promising. I tried to mount (supposedly) formatted partition:
Code:
e.
web# 
web# 
web# pwd
/home/lparsons
web# cd /mnt/
To find that I'm still not where I need to be.
I started gdisk again, and looked at the partition table on the disk to find ... nothing! I'm not sure why but for some reason the drive now shows no partitions (had the same problem earlier when I tried to do this with only ext2)

I'm thinking I might try ZFS now instead...
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large-disk, partition, storage, usb

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