NSLU2: NTFS vs. ext3

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Network Storage Devices' started by Watchmavin, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. Watchmavin

    Watchmavin LI Guru Member

    Can anyone make any observation compring the performance of the Slug with drives formatted for NTFS vs. ext3? Is there a downside to using NTFS with the Slug? Which firmware revision are you using at the time? Thank you.
  2. Melvin Ganik

    Melvin Ganik LI Guru Member

    I have two Slugs, one with two ext3 drives, and one with a FAT flash drive and multiple NTFS drives (through a hub). Both have V2.3R73 and run at 133MHz.

    The ext3 drives are configured as a primary drive with a backup. Additionally, they have password protected private areas, along with a public area. There's a lot of capabilities and features that are only available with the ext3 drives with the Linksys software.

    The NTFS drives are only public (on my network). Password protection for the admin of these drives ... well, as far as I know, is only a default password that I haven't figured out how to change. So, it's not so secure if you have anything that needs protection (only as secure as your private network). On the positive side, having a 7-port hub with multiple drives connected gives me a lot of flexibility, but I don't think that capability is limited or unique to NTFS drives!

    Now for performance in terms of speed. Using a wireless connection, I've just tested downloading of the same file from both Slugs. The results:

    Download of a 97MB file via Slugs
    ext3: 1.78MB/s (~51 seconds total time including drag and drop)
    NTFS: 1.26MB/s (~70 seconds total time including drag and drop)

    To do this testing correctly, I should have used a direct connection (not wireless) since noise in the environment (microwave ovens) could interfere. But, I ran these tests three times, and the results were all about the same.
  3. Watchmavin

    Watchmavin LI Guru Member

    Great explanation. Thank you. Is a Slug configured with an NTFS drive more prone to "system" type errors? That has been my experience.
  4. Melvin Ganik

    Melvin Ganik LI Guru Member

    NTFS Prone to System Errors?

    Yes, now that you mention it ... I've had two problems that I've noticed only on the NTFS drives.

    (1) Unable to write really large files (say 500MB or larger).
    (2) Damaged files (large files, say 200MB or greater).

    I've only seen these problems a few times, and I just thought they were probably due to RF noise during my wireless transfer. Neighbors running microwave ovens, nearby military base running radars, and a nearby mountain with multiple RF antennas (AM, FM, UHF, VHF, etc.) all contribute to a very RF noisy area. Sometimes during the day my garage door opener won't even work due to all of the RF noise. Do you see these same problems with only your NTFS drives?

    By the way, I plugged in a laptop with a CAT5 cable and tested the transmission rates to and from the ext3 drives. I was able to get about 3.0MB/s sustained download from the slugs, and about 3.5-4.0MB/s sustained upload. For the download test, I used the same 97MB file (Open Office 2.2.1 install file). But the uploaded files were a mix of mp3s and jpgs. What speeds do you typically see, and have you done the 266MHz mod?

    Since I'm 98% wireless, and it looks like my wireless (802.11G) is the limiting factor, I can't see much incentive to do the 266MHz mod. There are some anecdotal comments that suggest the 266MHz mod may lead to heating problems. What do you think?
  5. u3gyxap

    u3gyxap Network Guru Member

    The 266MHz mod increased the CPU temperature by 1.3*C. Which is close to nothing. So: Long live the 266MHz mod. And, now all the NSLU2s are being shipped from Linksys working @ 266MHz.
  6. mstombs

    mstombs Network Guru Member

    I must get round to doing that to mine then - I might also find out why it doesn't seem to have a real time clock - no battery?
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