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Old 08-02-2006, 12:43 PM   #1
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hard drive installation / space question

I have an older scsi fileserver running woody with an original 18 gig drive (os & home directories here) and a second 36 gig drive added later (only data). I am running out of room.

I just bought another disk, a 73 gig drive. I installed it, and it is recognized at the hardware level.

I have partioned it using cfdisk several times into a single partition, and
created an ext3fs on it each time. The problem is that when I move data from the 36 gig to the new 73 gig, the actual space the data takes up on the drive a tree of data that is 4.2Mb on the old drive becomes 8.4Mb on the new drive.

I have created the fs with 1024 blocks, and with 2048 blocks, and with 4096 difference.

I have also partitioned the new drive into 2 equal partitions, effectively making hem the same size as the 36 gig (slightly different...). Then I create an ext3fs on both, with 4096 block sizes.

When I copy to them, the space the files takes up is virtually identical to the 36 gig (very slight difference).

Every article I read tells me the block size will determine the space a file takes up...but this experiment does not hold up to that. It seems that partition size drives the amount of space files are taking up...

How do I get a single large 73 gig partition, with an ext3fs, that will not double the "used" room the data takes up?
Old 08-02-2006, 01:44 PM   #2
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The journal and superblock also takes up space. When formatting specify the sparse super block option and put the journal on another drive. You can make the inode size smaller but only if you do not use extra attributes.

Consider using either LVM2 or EVMS for future expansion.
Old 08-02-2006, 04:15 PM   #3
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Thank you for the tips. Can you give me an idea of which commands to research? I have no problem doing the footwork, but as a relative newbie, I'm not even sure where to look.
Old 08-03-2006, 11:42 PM   #4
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Problem solved...and I feel like an idiot. I have spent MANY hours over the last few days trying to resolve this issue. As it turns out it is actually not an issue after all.

While I am getting the drive ready to move my data over, I am also adding it to my samba configuration for sharing with windoze machines...and it turns out that it is windoze giving bad info.

I finally had a friend get back in town; he logged in, and did not see the issue - but he was looking at it through a remote debian box; I was looking via my windoze workstation. He saw no changes in file sizes...I did.

Assuming there was an issue at my windoze end, I copied all 34.5 gig of data from the older 36 gig drive to the new 73 gig drive - and it all fit just fine. In fact, looking at it from a linux box, it took up almost half the new drive - which is right. When I look at it from my windoze box, it showed the files taking up 127 gig...more than the drive!

When I check another way in windoze, btw, it lists it correctly!

On the up side, I now know more about the ext3 filesystem, how it structures data on the drive, and the options in creating one than I ever expected to know!


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