I've just bought a 4TB external HDD, and need some advice before partitioning it. Usually I just delete everything and partition (and create filesystems) from scratch, but this time I really needed to store some stuff, so I'll have to re-size (with
The HDD uses GPT boot-label. Apart from one 3.7TB NTFS-partition, it also got a small "Microsoft Reserved"-partition (which I don't know quite what to do with... mostly because I don't know what it's for).
Disk: /dev/sdd Size: 3,7 TiB, 4000787025920 bytes, 7814037160 sectors Label: gpt, identifier: 9669F8EF-29AA-4A5C-8AE3-FD452B079B46 Device Start End Sectors Size Type /dev/sdd1 34 262177 262144 128M Microsoft reserved /dev/sdd2 264192 7814035455 7813771264 3,7T Microsoft basic data
I will mostly be using the drive with Linux, but I may occasionally use it with Windows too.
I plan to shrink the current large NTFS-partition to free-up most of the drive. I'll also plan to add a small FAT-partition. The rest will be used for several EXT4-partition.
I'd also like to make the drive bootable - and install GRUB - so I can (optionally) install some distros on some of the EXT4-partition (I'd like the option).
Problem is that I'm not very familiar with GPT. I've usually used the old-style DOS/MBR label, but can't this time since I've already started to use the drive.
I saw some tips in the Gentto handbook:
Partition Filesystem Size Description /dev/sda1 (bootloader) 2M BIOS boot partition /dev/sda2 ext2 (or vfat) 128M Boot partition /dev/sda3 (swap) 512M+ Swap partition /dev/sda4 ext4 Rest Root partition
(parted)print Model: Virtio Block Device (virtblk) Disk /dev/sda: 20480MiB Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B Partition Table: gpt Number Start End Size File system Name Flags 1 1.00MiB 3.00MiB 2.00MiB grub bios_grub 2 3.00MiB 131MiB 128MiB boot boot 3 131MiB 643MiB 512MiB swap 4 643MiB 20479MiB 19836MiB rootfs
I guess I can drop #2 (/dev/sda2), since that is the boot-partition and I'll rather take my chances with just a root-partition instead.
I'll obviously need to create a grub-partition so I can install the bootloader.
But what about my external HDD's current 1st partition (/dev/sdd1) - the "Microsoft reserved" partition? Do I need it (remember, I may want to use the drive for Windows too)? May there be something interesting on it already (from the drive manufacture) I should keep/save? Or can I just delete it?
If I must keep the "Microsoft reserved" partition, must it be the first partition on the drive - or can it be the 2nd? What about the grub-partition - must it be the 1st partition on the drive, or can it be anywhere (ie. after "MS reserved") as long as the correct flags are set?
So what I'd like to end-up with, are something like the following:
/dev/sdd1 GRUB (bootloader) /dev/sdd2 Microsoft Reserved (unless I can just delete it) /dev/sdd3 NTFS (shrunk down by a lot - 200-500GB) /dev/sdd4 FAT (small - just 50-200GB) /dev/sdd5 EXT4 (200-500GB) /dev/sdd.. Several more EXT4 partitions... ... ...
So to repeat my questions:
1) Does the "Microsoft Reserved" partition serve a purpose, what is it, and do I need it (or can I just remove it)?
2) If I do need it (or even if I don't), must it be first on the HDD - or can it be 2nd (after the boot-loader)?
3) Must the GRUB-partition (boot-loader) be the first partition on the drive, or can it be anywhere if I set the correct flags? (At worst, it'll be 2nd, after "MS reserved".)
4) Are there any other exceptionally unwise things I've proposed doing?