Formatting SD cards ,Partitions ,Labelling an SD card

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Formatting SD cards ,Partitions ,Labelling an SD card

Post  Admin on Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:50 pm

Formatting SD cards

If you have access to a desktop computer, it's a good idea to use the Panasonic SD Formatter, which can improve performance of SD cards.
ext2, ext3, ext4

To format a card with ext4, insert the card into the Pandora, open terminal, and type:

sudo fdisk /dev/mmcblk0  # (use mmcblk1 for the second slot)

# 't' then '83' to change the partition type to linux, then 'w' to save.

sudo mkfs.ext4 -m 0 -L volumename /dev/mmcblk0p1  # (use mmcblk1p1 for the second slot)

ext4 works well, and fsck is very quick.

If you'd rather use ext2 or ext3, run mkfs.ext2 or mkfs.ext3 instead, with the same options.

Another option you can use, -N sets the number of inodes (max file count). You can reclaim some space by using fewer inodes, e.g. -N 500000 or -N 1000000 for a 32GB card.


The software to format FAT32 is not included with the Pandora, but can be easily installed. Open terminal, and type:

sudo opkg update
sudo opkg install dosfstools

Once installed, you can format a card like so:

sudo mkfs.vfat /dev/mmcblk0p1         # (or mmcblk1p1 for the second slot)


SD cards perform much better when the partitions are aligned correctly, starting at 4MB. This is important!

If your partitions are messed up, you can fix them using the Panasonic SD Formatter, or using parted:

Dev=/dev/mmcblk0    # or mmcblk1 for 2nd slot      
FS=ext4            # or fat32      
sudo parted -s $Dev mklabel msdos
sudo parted -s $Dev unit cyl mkpart primary $FS -- 0 -2

Labelling an SD card

tune2fs -L volumename /dev/mmcblk0p1       # for ext2, ext3, ext4
mlabel -i /dev/mmcblk0p1 ::volumename      # for fat32

Using a windows box

use the Panasonic SD Formatter.

Using a live CD on a PC

use gparted

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