How do I format a drive for data only

November 8, 2012 at 19:02:27
Specs: Linux i686
Hi All,

I use USB drives to save data but when I save files then defrag there is always a block "Unused" on the left(beginning?) which I gather is reserved(for OS's?).

Is there a format option that makes all the capacity available for data?

I use both Win XP(which is where I format and defrag) and Linux(as a beginner)

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November 8, 2012 at 19:40:55
I never heard of a format option for data only.

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.

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November 9, 2012 at 01:57:05
Hi Jeb,

frequent de-fragging is asking for trouble and probably unnecessary, especially with usb thumb drives or similar.

What you are doing is wearing the drive out that much quicker.

Good Luck - Keep us posted.

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November 9, 2012 at 05:18:55
You may be looking at a part of the drive that is used by the drive and Windows to locate the files that are on it. If the drive lets you format this, then the drive would be useless. Do not get caught up with trying to get the most Kb's out of the drive or as Mike mentions, you will ruin it pretty fast. Use it the way it came and stop the defrags. (at least do not do it often).

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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November 9, 2012 at 13:48:07
Thank you all for your responses. Regarding defrag, I can see your point. Post defrag, one of my drives still has several gigs of video file fragments but there is no problem in playback.

Re the reserved block, I have three USB drives, two I bought new which have it and a 100G drive from a Hewlett-Packard laptop which doesn't.

Looking at the defrag analysis the first two have a small block of complete files at the left then a block of unused space after which files start. The 100 gigger has all of the files in one block starting at the far left with unused space from there to the right end. I ASSuME 8~) all three have the Master File Tables as the very first files.

The 100 gigger came with HP's proprietary version of XP plus applications and a 10G Restore partition which could be used to reinstall the original setup. I deleted the partition then formatted to NTFS as one drive.

Looking at the above my thought is, maybe I should remove/restore the partitions on the first two and see what happens. However that requires still more drives to save the data on these.

I think I'll take a break on this and come back to it later.

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