[mythtv-users] Single partition or whole disk

Ramon Hofer ramonhofer at bluewin.ch
Tue Jul 3 09:36:47 UTC 2012

On Die, 2012-07-03 at 10:09 +0100, Andre wrote:
> On 3 Jul 2012, at 08:53, Tapani Tarvainen wrote:
> > On Jul 03 09:41, Ramon Hofer (ramonhofer at bluewin.ch) wrote:
> > 
> >> I have accidentally written the filesystem to the whole disk:
> > [...]
> >> I didn't know that this is even possible. But since I want to use the
> >> whole drive I wonder if this is ok or (and why) it's better to create
> >> one big partition over the drive.
> > 
> > Using the disk without partitioning will work for non-boot disk,
> > the only real problem there is a number of tools assume partitions
> > and are likely to consider a non-partitioned disk to be unused.
> > In particular, you must be careful when adding new disks &c.
> I always use whole partitions for myth storage drives but I don't dual boot or allow anything other than Linux near those drives.

Thanks for your answer!

I also asked this on the debian users and xfs mailing lists. Stan over
there told me that the WD green is an Advanced Format drive and none of
the Debian Squeeze partitioning tools understand that which will lead to
misaligned sectors and thus to performance issues.

Because of that and the reason that I don't want to boot from the drive
nor create another partition on it there's no reason to use any
partitions. So it's better to create the filesystem directly onto the

> > Another issue is that file system alignment may be non-optimal,
> I actually use whole disks as a simple way to avoid the whole alignment issue, if you use the whole disk the filesystem cannot be anything other than aligned providing the filesystem knows about block sizes. It's only when partition tables move everything along a little that the alignment can be out.
> I quite like dispensing with unnecessary cruft such as DOS MBR partitions and yes I do understand the risks, I've worked with BSD slices enough to be familiar with whole disk usage.

You exactly confirm what Stan told me :-)
Thanks for that!

I have set a label when I formatted the disk to avoid mistakes. Hope
this helps me :-)


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