partitioning – Best way to utilize a SSD external disk

I would appreciate some advice on my particular situation.

I have a machine running ubuntu, with the disk almost full.

I have also a external USB connect SSD of 500GB. I would like to use it with the ubuntu machine.

The disk is half used with some unrelated windows data, meaning I still have 250GB. It is formated in the NTSC format.

What is the best way to utilize this disk for development in Ubuntu?


for example. I am thinking of partitioning into two partitions. One with the old data and one fresh for use with ubuntu. Would that be better?

If I partition it , what file system would be better? (I heard NTSC don’t allow linux permissions)

Any other recommendations will be welcomed

disk encryption – ZFS on LUKS2 encrypted device: LuksFormat with or without dm-integrity?

Does it make sense to combine ZFS with LUKS2 for completely random-looking encryption on HDDs ? (Without luks-header on the disk of course, header placed elsewhere). The goal is to make a HDD really look like random data, since as I’ve learned ZFS built-in encryption is still telling us that it’s actually a ZFS encrypted volume you’re looking at, instead of being really just random data.

If yes, what would you use ?

  • a) Rather a simple integrity-free LUKS2 format since ZFS is taking care of integrity in upper layer already, or
  • b) LUKS with integrity ? (It might cause double write lag, once because of integrity checksum creation on the lower layers and then again in ZFS layer, but not sure. And probably bring in a little more complication in case of a physical failure or bit rot).

What happens at all when a bit flip is happening on an integrity-free conventional LUKS device ? Will that logical LUKS sector appear as 1 bad sector on the mapper device ? (Which would then be sensed by ZFS in a mirror setup and corrected/replaced elsewhere on the mapper device, I assume).

Setup would be a zfs raidz1,raidz2, raidz3, or mirror with 2+ drives so not only error detection but correction is granted too. Debian 10, ZoL.

I might install a smaller decoy OS (W10, Ubuntu..) onto the first ~50GB and run it occassionally .. (placing the encrypted part just behind it onto remaining empty space).

This method would allow a HDD to look like a harmless newbie setup, I’m not sure I want to complicate my life with Veracrypt & Co. and I’d like to stick to ZFS because I simply love it. It’s only the lack of unrecognizably-random-looking encryption in ZFS which makes me thinking about pushing a LUKS2 layer beneath it. (I believe more in distraction than in unbreakable encryption btw).

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reference request – Is realization of unit disk graphs hard?

It is known that recognizing a unit disk graph is NP-hard (1).

However, the paper does not mention how hard is the realization problem.

I have looked up several references (2)(3)(4). None of the papers answer whether the following problem is NP-hard:

Given a unit disk graph $G = (V,E)$, find a configuration of a set
$mathcal{D}$ of disks, such that the intersection graph
$G(mathcal{D})$ of $mathcal{D}$ is isomorphic to $G$.

The difference between this problem and the recognition problem is that the input of this problem is guaranteed to be a unit disk.

Is there any study that shows the complexity of the above problem? I expect it to be NP-hard, but I am yet to find a full proof.

data recovery – USB flash drive not working or is appearing as an empty disk drive, Disk Management reports “No Media” with 0 bytes size

Failing Flash Drive

“No Media” means the flash memory controller cannot communicate with the NAND flash memory on the drive. Because of this, it appears to the computer as an empty disk drive. This is usually caused by the NAND flash failing. To the computer, the drive is not much different than a floppy or optical drive with no disk inserted.

As a result, it is not possible to access any data on the drive, nor is it possible to repartition or reformat the drive. Again, from the standpoint of the computer, there is no medium in the drive to be formatted or repartitioned.

Fake Drive?

It is also possible that the drive is fake and the cheap memory chip in the drive has failed. Drives failing in this manner will often show up as a storage device with 8MB capacity.

Potential Hardware-Specific Restoration

From this answer: You can obtain more information about the drive and its controller using a tool called ChipGenius. You might be able to recover the drive hardware by using a tool such as Bootice to manipulate the MBR.

Additionally, if the drive uses a Phison controller, you may be able to use the Phison USB Mass Production Tools to reprogram the controller and restore normal operation. Note that doing this will erase all data on the drive.

Data Recovery

In cases where stored information is merely corrupted, consumer data recovery software can often recover the contents. However, that won’t work if the drive fails as described here.

There are data recovery services that can use special equipment to try to recover content from the chips. However, it is expensive. If you can’t restore the drive to normal operation, it probably isn’t worth sending it to a data recovery service unless the data stored on the drive is particularly valuable. You should simply replace the drive.

hard drive – Why hasn’t anyone invented spanning/merging 2 partitions from same disk with different file allocation sizes to utilize wasted disk space?

In the following scenario (for demonstration purposes), a disk must contain 500,000 tiny files (each exactly 2 kilobytes), and 500,000 large files (each 32 megabytes), totaling altogether 16.001 terabytes:

Let’s pretend the chosen file-system is exFAT (which supports an Allocation Unit Size between roughly 2 kilobytes – 32.768 megabytes).

If the disk is formatted with an Allocation Unit Size of 2 kilobytes (smallest exFAT option), it unfortunately reduces I/O performance of larger files.

If the disk is formatted with an AUS of 32 megabytes (largest exFAT option), this ends up wasting tons of space since each tiny file wastes 31.999 megabytes per file; all million files waste about ~32 terabytes of wasted space.

Why hasn’t any manufacturer designed a disk (or some firmware) that partitions a disk into 2 partitions, each with a different AUS (one with the smallest, one with the biggest)? Then, this disk can automatically manage (without OS intervention) file changes, keeping larger files in one partition, and smaller files in the other? Both partitions could look like a single drive, or spanned drive? Or is this basically the concept of compressing files into a .zip?

This could be simulated with a massive .iso disk image, or VHD residing on a disk formatted at the highest AUS level. The large files can reside in the disk, while small files can reside in the virtual disk image. Many OSes can mount the disk, with this disk being formatted with the smallest AUS.

What are some technical setbacks, or explanations why this wasn’t done?

Photos folder on external hard drive incessant disk usage for 5 years

My photos collection has way over 500 gigabytes, and when I got a new Mac in 2015, I moved the collection to an external hard drive, and pointed Photos (iphoto by then?) to the external hard drive.

So far, so good. Everything works most of the time, with all the known glitches of Photos which are covered in many other questions.

My question is regarding disk usage. My hard drive is being used 100% of the time (and quite loudly), since 2015. The thing NEVER stops.

I have spotlight disabled for that hard drive, and the people search doesn’t show anything anymore (like that “X images still need to be scanned).

The processes using the hard drive are

  • mds
  • filecoordinationd (4 threads, same PID)
  • com.apple.MediaLibraryService (also 4 threads, 1 pid)
  • photolibraryd (12 threads)
  • cloudphotod
  • com.apple.CloudPhotosConfiguration (4 threads)
  • revisiond (4 threads).

If I kill all those processes, I end up with fseventsd in 1 thread, 28 threads of photoanalysisd, 1 thread of mds, and 4 threads of revisiond. It quiets things for a while, and the activity comes back after a while.

Why is this happening and how to fix it?
Again, this is bothering me for FIVE YEARS. It’s not something temporary.

macos – I set my startup disk to Macintosh HD. But after opening it, the name becomes “/”

Using the System Preference -> Startup Disk I set my startup disk to Macintosh HD. When I open it the name at the top of its window is “/”. When I open the startup disk using Applescript it opens Macintosh HD, but the name of it becomes “/”. Is this normal behavior? My actual applescript code is this.

  tell application "Finder" to open startup disk    
  tell application "Finder" to get the index of Finder window "Macintosh HD"

But the 2nd line produces the error message

error “Finder got an error: Can’t get Finder window “Macintosh HD”.” number -1728 from Finder
window “Macintosh HD”

if I replace 2nd line with:

tell application "Finder" to get the index of Finder window "/"

It gives me the expected answer of 1.

The image below shows the window Macintosh HD. Notice the name at the top of the window and the name at the bottom of the window. Can someone tell me if this is normal or do i have a problem?

enter image description here