New 5 TB External HD for backup image storage - should I partition it, change file system and...


New 5 TB External HD for backup image storage - should I partition it,...
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Belinea2010
Belinea2010
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Windows 10.

Hi everyone

I have just taken deliver of a new 5 TB western Digital My Passport Ultra which is going to be used to store back up images from Macruim.

I need a storage device that large because I have my laptop and 3 other external 1 TB HD's that are used on a daily basis which I back up.

My questions are:
Due to its size: should I partitition in some way?
What is the best windows file system and cluster size for Macruim?

Many thanks and I hope no one has over done the Chocolate Eggs.
Edited 5 April 2021 3:22 PM by Belinea2010
jphughan
jphughan
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You don't have to partition it due to its size.  NTFS can handle volumes up to 8 PB (yes, PB) these days.  And I personally would format it as NTFS if you only need to use it with Windows systems.  As for cluster size, if you'll only be storing large Reflect backup files, there may be a performance improvement case for using 64 KB clusters rather than the default 4 KB that Windows would use, but I'm not sure how significant it would be, and since some disk tools don't always work with larger cluster sizes, it might not be worth dealing with.  Large cluster sizes are sometimes used for volumes that will store large databases, but those typically involve real-time performance considerations, whereas backups are typically background operations.  If it were my 5 TB drive, I'd set it up as a single NTFS partition using the default allocation unit size.

Edited 5 April 2021 3:47 PM by jphughan
Belinea2010
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jphughan - 5 April 2021 3:27 PM
You don't have to partition it due to its size.  NTFS can handle volumes up to 8 PB (yes, PB) these days.  And I personally would format it as NTFS if you only need to use it with Windows systems.  As for cluster size, if you'll only be storing large Reflect backup files, there may be a case for using 64 KB clusters rather than the default 4 KB that Windows would use, but I'm not sure how significant it would be, and since some disk tools don't always work with larger cluster sizes, it might not be worth dealing with.  Large cluster sizes are sometimes used for volumes that will store large databases, but those typically involve real-time performance considerations, whereas backups are typically background operations.  If it were my 5 TB drive, I'd set it up as a single NTFS partition using the default allocation unit size.

Thank you for such a super fast and informative answer which I really appreciate
and will do as you suggest.

I have marked this question as answered (with my gratitude).

Thanks again.
jphughan
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Happy to help.  Enjoy your new setup! Smile

dbminter
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I would agree with jphugan's suggestions.  I've got a similar 5 TB WD My Passport USB HDD and I left it in its factory default state.  Formatted as NTFS (I'm pretty sure it is.) and the default cluster size.  This drive, thus far, only has copies of my system reinstall images (Reflect partition backups taken at pre-determined points in my INSTALL.TXT list of installation steps for a new PC.) before I got a large enough USB SSD to store them on.


The only time I ever bothered with larger cluster sizes was back in the days when I used to have a partition devoted entirely to the Windows page file.  That partition stored only that file.  I made it large and static so it would access faster.  I set the cluster size to 64 for faster access since I wanted the fastest read speeds for the Windows swap file.  I stopped doing that about a decade ago when I just let Windows dynamically handle its page file size.  Plus, now that the page file on my systems are on SSD's, speed isn't a concern.  Smile

Edited 5 April 2021 7:50 PM by dbminter
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