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Old 12-09-2007, 06:17 PM   #1
KDHofAvalon
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Best filesystem & partition scheme for a 1 TB USB 2.0 HDD for use with Videos?


I recently got a 1 TB Western Digital MyBook Essential Edition 2.0 external HDD to record TV shows, but when I try to play them back with Kaffeine/Mplayer/xine/etc. they freeze every few minutes. This only happens with the 1 TB drive, the same videos play fine if moved to either an internal drive or my 250 GB external one.

I hope its just because I formatted such a large drive with a single ext3 partition using the default settings, and I didn't pick a bad drive.

EDIT - Would recreating the filesystem with "mke2fs -j -T largefile(4?) <device>" help any?

Last edited by KDHofAvalon; 12-09-2007 at 08:16 PM.
 
Old 12-10-2007, 01:20 AM   #2
roy_lt_69
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It may be something that WD did with their drive see:
http://www.informationweek.com/news/...leID=204702710

But it may also be a problem with the computer that the external drive is hooked up to.
I have seen a USB port that croaked on large files.
At the time I burned a DVD using the USB port but it kept failing on the verify!
But swtching to Firewire on the same DVD burner and computer worked!!
And no, it wasn't the cable or the OS (both XP and Linux had the same problem).
I couldn't find a fix, so I gave up.
But all this happened on an older computer, so it maybe unique.
 
Old 12-10-2007, 11:46 AM   #3
KDHofAvalon
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I don't think its got anything to do with the article you posted, that seems to just be a restriction they built into their software for the World Edition, and it blocks all access to audio and video over the internet and network. I can access the media no mater what PC I hook the drive to, share the files over nfs and smb, and access them with sftp and KDE's fish:/ protocol. I'm not saying its not possible that they did something to block the playback of files directly off the drive, but even in the unlikely event that they did it's even more unlikely that they would be far-sighted enough to make it compatible with ext2/3.

No, I think its more likely that its taking too much CPU time to seek through nearly 250 million 4kB blocks to find the next part of the video, even if it is the next one over.
 
Old 12-10-2007, 09:28 PM   #4
roy_lt_69
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If you are going to make the whole 1TB one large partition for viewing videos (assuming large >1GB file sizes) I would go with XFS (first), then JFS (second), and forget ext2, ext3, or reiserfs.
XFS & JFS are better at handling huge files in server type environment with lower CPU needs!
If you are gonna have a lot of small files the other fs's are better.
Of course yo could split the 1TB into four 250GB partitions, to make everything more manageable.
I would hate to backup or wait for some fs maintenance program to finish running on such a beast!
Your choice.
 
Old 12-10-2007, 10:14 PM   #5
roy_lt_69
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By the way I doubt that Linux would look through 250 millions blocks to find the next part of the video.
Most "modern" fs use some sort of tree / linked-list structure internally for organizing things.
All of this makes me wonder if it could be something else causing the pauses! (how long?)
Try monitoring the CPU usage on your system (use top) to see what could be causing the pauses.
If nothing shows up it could be the drive or the USB connection itself!
Was the other external drive also USB 2? eSata? 1394a/b?
 
Old 12-11-2007, 12:16 PM   #6
KDHofAvalon
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The other drive was USB 2 as well. The Odd thing about this problem is that writing to the 1 TB drive is the same speed as the 250 GB one, its only reading files that's slow, even when copying files off of it. I'll try XFS and JFS like you suggested, and if there's no improvement I guess I'll try a different cable on a different port and see if that helps.

In any case thanks for the help.

EDIT - Well... I feel a bit stupid right now. It turns out that the only real problem was that I had too many USB Mass Storage Devices connected. Though I still can't figure out why it only affected the read speed on the 1 TB hard drive... Anyway, thanks for the suggestions guys.

Last edited by KDHofAvalon; 12-11-2007 at 02:14 PM. Reason: Problem Solved
 
Old 01-13-2008, 06:45 AM   #7
dougnc
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How much space did you end up with? I only ended up with 871 gigs

/dev/sdd1 917G 205M 871G
 
Old 01-19-2008, 09:19 AM   #8
KDHofAvalon
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I got 931.3 GB of actual space. I had a bit less useable space before I turned off the reserved space of the partition.
 
  


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