You can speed up mke2fs by reducing the inode count (-i or -N) if your average file size is over 8kB, reduce the journal size (-J size=4) and/or use the lazy_journal_init patch I posted recently, and/or use the lazy_itable_init option. I assume since format performance is important that you do it often and the risk of an uninitialized inode table is low.
Or, you could use ext4, which is also faster at runtime, not just format time.
On certain USB MSC dongle, the mkfs.ext3 can take around 3 min for 4GB. It seems that the process is locked in sync function. Do you know how I could increase the speed of this process?
With mkfs.ext4 it’s about 1 min to format it …
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