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1.5Tb Seagate Drives, Drobo, formating and temper Tantrums

Fiends and Followers of this pack of feeble ranting’s will know my love of the drobo external nas drive, as i had filled mine up with 1tb drives, i was much pleased with the news that the first of the new uber big Seagate drives came out (1.5tb), i purchased 4 of said drives, and popped them in, a week later one seems to fail for 30 seconds then be ok, but the drobo did its rebuild thing for 24 hours (which means it goes slow), i shrugged, but then a couple of days later another one failed on the other drobo, so they were both rebuilding,i started to get nervery if one more failed i would lose the raid, Eeeeeeeek!. How ever it seems i was not alone, the drobo forums were alive with the horror of these drives, turned out that something to do with their slightly larger power requirements, if the drive did not get EXACTLY what they wanted on startup, they would go in to “autistic mode” for 30 seconds (ie sulk), which breaks the drobo raid, it turns out that is problem is common to all the modern operating systems (Linux, Mac osx, vista), Seagate flatly refused to accept responsibility telling people were miss using their drives (it mainly happened when people were using them for raid), however as they had put “best usage: Desktop raid” on their website, that did not cut much mustard (the little devils removed it once people pointed that out but thanks to the joy of the internet, plenty of screen shots had already been taken….ha..power to the geeks!!), they have now released a firm ware fix (which you need a PC to apply to the drives), but it too late for me, I’ve already swapped back to the 1TB drives and used the 1.5Tb for other backups, the following is how to format said drives in Linux as they throw a little tantrum.

Most people who are Linux users who have come from a windows background, like gui apps, and the best for disk formatting is called Gparted, however the current “sanctioned” version of Gparted (0.3.5), throws a hissy fit when you try and format a partition greater than 1TB, Sooooo, with these monster drives, open a terminal window:

sudo su

means you don’t need to keep putting “sudo” at the beginning of all your commands for this terminal session

parted /dev/sdd

or what ever drive is if you have gparted you can see the drive name there, now your in parted, but your drive is completely blank so you need to enter

(parted) mklabel msdos

an msdos label will do these drives fine, Next enter “print” to see the drives details

(parted) print

Disk /dev/sdd: 1500GB Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B Partition Table: msdos

Number Start End Size Type File system Flags

as you can see we have no partitions on this drive, in this exersise i want one partition that takes up the whole drive and to use the ext3 format, the 2 numbers at the end are the start and end points of the partitions so “0” to “1500GB” to do the whole drive.

(parted) mkpart primary ext3 0 1500gb

now lets do “print” to see if that took effect

(parted) print

Disk /dev/sdd: 1500GB Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B Partition Table: msdos

Number Start End Size Type File system Flags 1 32.3kB 1500GB 1500GB primary

rayyy, worked, now we need to pop out of parted

(parted) quit

the drive is still not formatted so fill in the following (you can check on gparted again if you don’t know what to put as the drive, ie. /dev/ssd1)

/sbin/mkfs -t ext3 /dev/sdd1

mke2fs 1.40.8 (13-Mar-2008) Filesystem label= OS type: Linux Block size=4096 (log=2) Fragment size=4096 (log=2) 91578368 inodes, 366284000 blocks 18314200 blocks (5.00%) reserved for the super user First data block=0 Maximum filesystem blocks=0 11179 block groups 32768 blocks per group, 32768 fragments per group 8192 inodes per group Superblock backups stored on blocks: 32768, 98304, 163840, 229376, 294912, 819200, 884736, 1605632, 2654208, 4096000, 7962624, 11239424, 20480000, 23887872, 71663616, 78675968, 102400000, 214990848

Writing inode tables: done
Creating journal (32768 blocks): done Writing superblocks and filesystem accounting information: done

This filesystem will be automatically checked every 28 mounts or 180 days, whichever comes first. Use tune2fs -c or -i to override.

here you go that’s the format done, while your here you might as well sort out the other bits, soo

e2label /dev/sdd1 mp3picsbackup

This give the drive a label, so that, say this is a usb drive, it will auto mount to the label, now i like really open security (lazy sod), and as such,

chmod 777 -R /media/mp3picsbackup

oh, i had to mount the drive for this command to work.

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