How should I format additional hard drives?

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From "blog gelusi: Linux Tuning Guide" (

 1. Filesystem
 Block sizes
 For filesystems dedicated to serving fairly large files, adopting a larger than default 1024 byte block size may yield significant
 performance gains.
 Recent transactions on the linux kernel list suggest that setting the block sizein an ext2 file system to 4096 instead of the 
 default 1024 will result in less file fragmentation, faster fsck's, faster deletes and faster raw read speed, due to the reduced 
 number of seeks.
 Unfortunately this cannot be changed on the fly. Only a reformat will make this so. The command to format a file system with 4096 
 byte blocks is:
 mke2fs -b 4096 /dev/whatever
 Additionally, on any filesystems except those used for logfiles, the default of 5% reserved for root use is excessive for large 
 file systems, so the command to make the filesystem can be augmented to
 mke2fs -b 4096 -m 1 /dev/whatever
 to set the reserved fraction to 1 percent.

Then if you want a journaling (ext3) filesystem:

 mke2fs -b 4096 -m 1 -j /dev/whatever

Note, no further configuration should be necessary as new drives will be auto-discovered.