USB install questions (HD type, partitioning, filesystem...)


I am planning to install OSMC in a USB external HD. I currently have a 1TB Western Digital Red (NAS family) from a previous project and I thought it will be a perfect match as I am planning to have it 24/7 (media & Torrent mostly). Does this family offer a significant advantage?
I would like to have two partitions, one for the system and another with my media (ideally in NTFS for windows compatibility). Is this possible? Does the USB installation search for the first partition to install the system, does it erase the whole disk or is there an option for advance configuration?


What do you hope to achieve by installing the system to USB? Because you won’t realize any performance gains on a mechanical drive.

Even mechanical drives have better random write speeds than SDs, which impacts performance. Also this drive is meant for 24h operation and has a higher life than SD.
Last, but not least, I want to experiment with the rasp and see by myself the different options I have on hand.

Well, I think that might be subjective but… If you want separate partitions on the USB, you’ll have to sort that yourself after you’ve installed OSMC. The installer is going to wipe and create a single partition for the entire drive upon installation.

The random read speeds are not really subjective, but thanks for telling about the partition. I will see what I can do.

Actually, the random read speeds are what you need to pay attention to if you want to speed things up.

So what random 4KB write speeds do you get with your mechanical drive ? Lets add some figures to the discussion to make it objective instead of subjective. :wink:

I’ve benchmarked a number of SD cards and the random 4KB and 512KB write speeds of SD cards vary by a factor of nearly 20 to 1 between poor and good cards - so yes the poor SD cards are very slow for random writes, however the better ones are surprisingly fast and you may find they are actually faster than a mechanical drive for sustained random writes.