Some Digital Storage Tips and Tricks!

26 09 2008

Digital Storage…Hard Disk Drives, Flash Drives, CD/DVD+/- RWs, Media Cards (SD, xD, CF, ProDuo…), Flash Memory… and so on. These can go from 64MB to 1TB…in fact the smallest drive you can find right now is 256MB-512MB. Anyways, these devices are our friends when it comes to storing music, pictures, movies, and so on…

But “How can I get the most of my “friends” in Ubuntu?” you might ask. Well, I’ll show some neat stuff you can do to get the most out of these devices.

– Remember back in Windows, when you had to defragment your drives every week or so…well now that you’ve seen the light you DON’T need to do that again ever! In fact, there’s not even one defragmenting app in Linux, so bye-bye defrags! And why is this so good? Because you won’t waste valuable time that can be used to surf the web and visiting this blog *wink-wink* in stupid defragmentation. So that’s one tip for ‘ya! Don’t bother with defrags anymore, drives in Linux work smarter and a lot faster too! It’s great!

– But what if you want to make, delete, resize or change a partition? “Break in the ton of useless and dangerous programs!…WRONG! There’s a neat little app in Ubuntu called GParted (which can be easily found and installed in Synaptic and then accessed by going to System>Administration>Partition Editor) that’ll cover ALL of you partition needs. **WARNING** This is a very powerful program, and can potentially harm your data if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you want to work with partitions you MUST backup everything that’s important for you. If you resize or move a partition and there’s an error in the drive the data can be damaged or lost, so make a backup first! Deleting and changing partition types means you’ll delete everything on the partition or the drive, so be careful with this!
This program can also be found in LiveCD mode which is used exactly as the Ubuntu LiveCD, except it’ll just have GParted running. You can download it here! The LiveCD is used when you want to delete your Home/Boot partition, or basically the partition Ubuntu is in. This is fairly useless sometimes because the Partitioner you use to install Ubuntu in the Ubuntu LiveCD is GParted…So it’s basically a matter of choice.

What if you want to COMPLETELY DELETE files? Well, you don’t need to use any special apps or programs. basically there are lots and lots of programs that’ll recover your data, and there’s basically no way to totally destroy old data, but since you don’t need to delete any files to oblivion you might want to stick to the easy stuff. So to avoid having your Trash folder full, you can simply press “Delete” when holding “Shift” and voila! The files will be deleted and will not go into the trash folder. This is usefull to get rid of files you know you’ll never need again, and when this is done, the only way to retrieve the data is to use one of those flashy and expensive DataRecovery Programs. And this is also very useful to save up space.

Always Unmount your drives! Go to Computer and select the drive, right-click it and press “Unmount Volume”, or go to the desktop and look for the device shortcut. Avoid data loss this way!

– If you want to have complete compatibility with Ubuntu, you should format your drives to ext2, ext3, FAT16 or FAT32. EXT partitions are Linux-native and won’t work with Windows, so if you have a dual-boot scenario or your drive is shared between Windows and Linux you might want to format it to FAT16/32. Avoid NTFS at all costs! It’ll be buggy and very hard to handle with Linux apps. In my personal scenario, I use ext3 on my Hard Drives, and FAT32 on my Flash Drives. I want my Flash Drives to be as multi-platform as possible, while keeping my HDDs to my Ubuntu laptop. I had an external HDD formatted to NTFS and the speed rate of data transfers between my laptop and the HDD was never over 11 mb/s…now with the same drive formatted to Ext3 the speed rate tops the 19mb/s in most cases and most of the times is around 21mb/s…cool, huh?

Well, this were my HDD tricks! I hope you guys liked them! I’ll post some more as they come to me! Happy weekend!



One response

29 09 2008

Oooh, bummer, I formatted using NTFS…I’ll probably do a nice re-install though after I pick up a nice new hard drive. Great tip, I’m glad I found it!

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