BEST WAY TO FORMAT AND SET UP NEW HDD FOR MEDIA STORAGE ??? 3TB. WHAT FORMAT TYPE AND SECTOR SIZE ???? ADVICE? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 12-26-2012, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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WHAT SAY YOU AVS?

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post #2 of 19 Old 12-26-2012, 09:06 AM
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For Media Storage I usually just go with the green drives (5400-5900 RPM). I have 15+ drives between the WD Green and Seagate LP drives. I also just picked up the new WD Red series to test out. I don't usually mess around with the format type or sectors

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post #3 of 19 Old 12-26-2012, 09:55 AM
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Format type? NTFS

Sector size? Minimum size I would use nowadays if 4096 bytes especially if you are using 4K drives and doubly so if you have a 512e drive. For video files only, a larger sector size can improve performance up to a point.
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post #4 of 19 Old 12-26-2012, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puwaha View Post

Format type? NTFS
Sector size? Minimum size I would use nowadays if 4096 bytes especially if you are using 4K drives and doubly so if you have a 512e drive. For video files only, a larger sector size can improve performance up to a point.

This is what I do smile.gif

Just curious everyone's opinion on this.

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post #5 of 19 Old 12-28-2012, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone else have opinion
?

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post #6 of 19 Old 12-28-2012, 01:32 PM
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Stick it in and use disk management to format as defaults. One big fat 2.8TB GPT partition. I can't wait to get a 5TB+ HDD next year. Come on Western Digital!
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post #7 of 19 Old 12-28-2012, 02:01 PM
 
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I do what TIddles does.
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post #8 of 19 Old 12-29-2012, 07:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiddles88 View Post

Stick it in and use disk management to format as defaults. One big fat 2.8TB GPT partition. I can't wait to get a 5TB+ HDD next year. Come on Western Digital!

I am seeing 4TB at the $179 mark. My local Costco had a WD for that last week I saw.

$150 for 4TB is a sweet spot for me.... I'll start buying 4TB at that price.

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post #9 of 19 Old 12-29-2012, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Anyone else have opinion
?

Yeah, stop yelling. Seriously man, you come off as half-deranged with these topics.
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post #10 of 19 Old 12-29-2012, 07:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

Yeah, stop yelling. Seriously man, you come off as half-deranged with these topics.

huh?

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post #11 of 19 Old 12-29-2012, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

WHAT SAY YOU AVS?

For NTFS you mean allocation unit size, not sector size.

NTFS is the only option with Windows.

An allocation size of 8192 is what you want for drives dedicated to large media files. This will reduce fragmentation and seek times, you'll get better long term performance.

Looky here!
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post #12 of 19 Old 12-29-2012, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
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What is the default size ?

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post #13 of 19 Old 12-29-2012, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

What is the default size ?

4K up to 16TB.

Looky here!
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post #14 of 19 Old 12-30-2012, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiddles88 View Post

Stick it in and use disk management to format as defaults. One big fat 2.8TB GPT partition. I can't wait to get a 5TB+ HDD next year. Come on Western Digital!

I also do what Tiddles88 does for 3TB.
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post #15 of 19 Old 12-30-2012, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robnix View Post

For NTFS you mean allocation unit size, not sector size.
NTFS is the only option with Windows.
An allocation size of 8192 is what you want for drives dedicated to large media files. This will reduce fragmentation and seek times, you'll get better long term performance.

Disagree - stick with 4K clusters. While your logic is sound, cluster sizes other than 4K aren't well-tested. While Windows itself will handle it just fine (for the most part, I think even a few things in Windows didn't like it) any sort of 3rd-party utility that deals with files (AV, recovery, backup, cloning, encryption, etc) likely did not test with anything other than 4K clusters.

Up till about 18 months ago, I worked at MS, and among other things, supported storage for enterprise customers. We would generally tell them that non-4K clusters were a bad idea unless they had very specific reasons (I think SQL DB server was one of the few reasons), and even then, with caveats.

Quality Assurance Manager, Ceton Corporation
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post #16 of 19 Old 12-31-2012, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm not sure performance advantage is worth risk to go other than default. That was my general feeling when making this thread.

But I didn't know enough to actually know if I'm right or wrong. Hence I made the thread.

I'm curious if there is or isn't advantage to using a non default.

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post #17 of 19 Old 12-31-2012, 09:43 AM
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My personal media storage array (something like 10TB - I don't remember how many drives in it) is a GPT disk, formatted with NTFS and defaults. My VM store is actually using ReFS though (I wanted storage pooling), so we will see how that goes. It is also using defaults otherwise.

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post #18 of 19 Old 12-31-2012, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erickotz View Post

Disagree - stick with 4K clusters. While your logic is sound, cluster sizes other than 4K aren't well-tested. While Windows itself will handle it just fine (for the most part, I think even a few things in Windows didn't like it) any sort of 3rd-party utility that deals with files (AV, recovery, backup, cloning, encryption, etc) likely did not test with anything other than 4K clusters.
Up till about 18 months ago, I worked at MS, and among other things, supported storage for enterprise customers. We would generally tell them that non-4K clusters were a bad idea unless they had very specific reasons (I think SQL DB server was one of the few reasons), and even then, with caveats.

I'd really like to hear some specific examples on how using larger than 4k cluster sizes have caused issues with 3rd party software. Nothing I've used over the last 15 years I've been in IT has had an issue with it.

Currently I manage the storage, ESX, and backup environment for my company. We have EMC, Nimble, and custom built storage spread across our datacenters.

Let's use backups as an example. We do disk to disk backups for all of our data, as stated, our backup volumes are for the most part too large to use 4k sizes. No issues on any of them due to the cluster size being set at 64k, even on our replication servers that hold several million files with sizes ranging from a few k to close to a TB in size. Thankfully I can use larger than 4k sizes without worry.

We use three separate backup software for our backup and replication tasks. ALL of them recommend using the largest cluster size available for the volume in order to increase performance and reduce fragmentation. Testing has borne out their recommendations. Backup Exec for example really likes a 64k cluster size.

Use the cluster size that fits the application or data, not some mythical "anything over 4k is bad".

Looky here!
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post #19 of 19 Old 01-01-2013, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robnix View Post

I'd really like to hear some specific examples on how using larger than 4k cluster sizes have caused issues with 3rd party software. Nothing I've used over the last 15 years I've been in IT has had an issue with it.
Currently I manage the storage, ESX, and backup environment for my company. We have EMC, Nimble, and custom built storage spread across our datacenters.
Let's use backups as an example. We do disk to disk backups for all of our data, as stated, our backup volumes are for the most part too large to use 4k sizes. No issues on any of them due to the cluster size being set at 64k, even on our replication servers that hold several million files with sizes ranging from a few k to close to a TB in size. Thankfully I can use larger than 4k sizes without worry.
We use three separate backup software for our backup and replication tasks. ALL of them recommend using the largest cluster size available for the volume in order to increase performance and reduce fragmentation. Testing has borne out their recommendations. Backup Exec for example really likes a 64k cluster size.
Use the cluster size that fits the application or data, not some mythical "anything over 4k is bad".

I'll try and ping one of my friends that is still there and see if I can get a better answer. Certainly some, perhaps even most, software handles it fine. But some doesn't. Even aside from that, I think we can all agree it's a far less tested path than the default size, and just by being non-default, is more likely to hit issues.

Like I said, until I left for Ceton last year, I worked as a Senior Support Escalation Engineer at Microsoft on the Core team, which (among other things) handled disk support. We were the escalation point. If you ever had a Premier contract and reached the escalation group for a disk issue, there was about a 1/12 change you spoke with me. I'll see if I can get one of my friends that is still there to give more details on the "why"

Quality Assurance Manager, Ceton Corporation
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