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swordphsh 11-14-2008 03:09 PM

External Hard Drive Missing Space
I just bought a new Maxtor OneTouch 4 external usb hard drive. I deleted all the partitions on it and created a new Linux (83) partition and formatted it as ext3. It comes up as a total size of 463GB. DF says there are 199MB (1%) used, but says there are only 435GB free.

Sorry if this was posted already, I could not find it anywhere

Thanks in advance.

billymayday 11-14-2008 03:14 PM

Linux filesystems typically reserve space on the disk, to prevent true "disk full" problems and fragmentation. The 6% you have "lost" sounds about roght. You can vary this when you format though.

See man mklfs.ext3


-m reserved-blocks-percentage
              Specify the percentage of the filesystem blocks reserved  for  the  super-user.  This  avoids
              fragmentation, and allows root-owned daemons, such as syslogd(8), to continue to function cor-
              rectly after non-privileged processes are prevented  from  writing  to  the  filesystem.  The
              default percentage is 5%.

swordphsh 11-14-2008 04:14 PM

Awesome. As long as it's actually being used I'm fine with that.
Thanks for the quick reply!

syg00 11-14-2008 04:27 PM

And if it is to be a data disk (as is likely with an external), there is no point reserving (i.e. losing) that space. Set it to zero, and use the space yourself.

swordphsh 11-14-2008 06:56 PM

Do I have to reformat to unreserve the space...I started copying files to it already.

syg00 11-14-2008 07:01 PM

No, you should be able to do it dynamically with tune2fs - see the manpage.

swordphsh 11-14-2008 07:08 PM

I found it. Thanks for your help.

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