Installing Fedora on a new SSD

I got a Sabrent SSD recently and just installed it on a Lenovo Yoga 370 (I’m citing the names to ensure clarity, please). I have Fedora 37 on a Ventoy USB stick and it loads without any issue, quite easier than I experienced on my previous Dell Latitudes.

Moving on with the installation, I get to choose the Installation Destination as shown in the pic attached. There are two options under Local Standard Disks and I have to assume that the “VendorCo ProductCode” disk might have been reserved by the manufacturer for probably recovery purposes and other things. I am not exactly sure.

I realise that I can select both drives actually. I would like to know how to proceed here to avoid any kind of mishaps like the 1 TB becoming less than 900 GB, as I have had this experience before formatting a Seagate HDD with Fedora, where over 300 GB suddenly became inaccessible for whatever reason. Maybe it was just a bad HDD (brand new, by the way), but I had no solution for that and to deal with it like that.

For those with the experience, is it safe to select both disks and go ahead with the installation? Will it merge the partitions and then install on the 1 TB? Personally, I don’t care what the manufacturer may have installed on that space because it will most likely be configured for Windows OS.

I don’t know what sda is. But it appears to be a distinct device. Personally, I wouldn’t try to have one file system span two very different devices with potentially different performance profiles. You could end up with a situation where the slower of the devices is actually hindering the performance of the faster device (e.g. if sda is a rotational device with a high seek time but the nvme is a solid-state device with essentially zero seek time). I think Btrfs would allow you to add the other device after-the-fact if you decide that you really need that space.

Edit: Excerpt from Using Btrfs with Multiple Devices:

A Btrfs filesystem can be created on top of many devices, and more devices can be added after the FS has been created.


sda is likely a built-in flash memory, Lenovo does that some of their deviced my T450s has it too.

another risk of spanning a volume over two devices is that you loose everything if one device fails.

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The yellow box icon is the same as I see for an external USB drive. You probably want to install on the nvme drive. You may want to use the live distro to run Disks and delete any unwanted partitions.

note: “VendorCo ProductCo” is associated with USB devices that report much greater capacity than they actually provide.

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How big is that USB stick? Is it around 60GB?
When doing what you are doing, I have always seen my Ventoy USB stick as one of the drives I can choose as the installation destination. So I think that is the extra drive you’re seeing.

That would make my question about its size useless, and would further support the guess that it is your Ventoy stick.

Not a good idea. Just choose big one.

I’m not sure the extra one is your Ventoy stick, nor do I know what Anaconda would do if you chose both. Maybe the result of choosing both would be the same as choosing just the big one (too little free space on the smaller for Anaconda to decide to use). But why gamble. Whatever that second drive is, you don’t want it used for your fedora install.

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Thank you for your contribution.

If you notice, that second device (the sda) has less than 1 MB of free space, so it is not my Ventoy USB (which is actually 60 GB in size). It is actually the reserved section by the manufacturer.

it doesn’t really matter what sda is because you don’t want to use it to install Fedora.

That “free” may be confusing you. It actually means unpartitioned, the free space within the partition is not reported there. Your Ventoy USB has a giant partition (most of the stick) with the free space inside it.

So, I’m now very sure that is your Ventoy stick.

But that is also correct.


To clarify, both were segments on the Sabrent 1 TB NVME. Hard disks, SSDs, flash drives, usually come with such partitions, as far as I know; with the resultant free space being smaller than advertised. It is propagated that the unavailable space is reserved for a manufacturer software among other things.

So, I decided to experiment and selected both parts. In truth, I was afraid and unaware of what would happen on the next page. Apparently, Anaconda just goes into OS installation mode straight up; this is what I was unprepared for and there was no way to revert the action.

However, having selected the two parts, Anaconda went ahead to merge them into a single 1 TB partition and, after the installation was complete, I observed a full 1 TB of free space.

I am happy that I didn’t get to lose so much or, in this case, any GB.

Why not though? It is, after all, space regardless of what it may be occupied by. One could choose to replace its contents with Fedora OS, and in the process wipe it down completely. Thereby, creating a section that contains only OS and storage space.

You probably are also getting confused by various tools reporting sizes differently:

Depending on the tool, “G” might represent ten to the 9’th power or it might represent two to the 30th power (which is a slightly larger number than ten to the 9’th).

I don’t understand how that applies to my situation but I do understand various expressions of space size. In my case, there was a chance that I could have messed up the installation and ended up with a much reduced available space for storage. It is for this reason, mainly from a previous experience, that I didn’t try to format the SSD first.

I never know what to expect from the disk partitioning in Anaconda. I think it is a really terrible UI.

I’m very sure that what you wanted was to use only the drive shown on the left in your original picture, which is your entire 1T drive (despite the difference in size reporting making it seem smaller).

I’m very sure that the drive shown on the right was your Ventoy USB.

I do not know what the “Free up space” checkbox actually did in Anaconda. In a sane UI, that would have some confirmation dialog followed by destroying the contents of your USB and making the new fedora install live partially on that USB, all very bad things (unless what you meant was that you actually got that confirmation dialog and wisely said no to it).

I hope you ended up in the same state you would have gotten if you had chosen only the drive shown on the left (because the alternative is a mess).

I personally think that would be a very bad choice.
Devices designated by sda and those designated by nvme are very different. One is attached through a sata interface and the other through a pci-e interface and usually have much different performance even though they may be both SSD devices.

Additionally, as noted, the occupied space may be a recovery or manufacturers designed tool designated for maintenance or recovery that is proprietary to the mfgr and using it for something else may potentially void warranty or the ability to have mfgr assistance in repairs.

The less than one MB of free space seems pointless to add to the 1TB on the nvme device.

Not necessarily sata. In this case it is usb.

I’ll assume you are correct about that. I don’t have enough experience with nvme to know. IIUC, it is typically physically M.2, electrically pci-e.

There are 2 very different M.2 interfaces. The early ones, and even some today, are M.2 SATA interfaces and the faster ones used by nvme devices are M.2 pci-e. I have not followed the full details, but know that early motherboards with M.2 interfaces only used the sata interface. I have a mobo on a system that was built about 3 years ago and it has 2 different M.2 slots. One is purely pci-e and the other is on the bus in such a way that it disables 2 sata slots if it has an SSD in that slot.
The slots originally were slightly different if used for an SSD vs an NVME device so the devices do not fit interchangeably.

In fact says this

While the M.2 standard uses the same 22 millimeter-wide slot for all cards, it’s not necessarily the exact same slot. Since M.2 is designed to be used with so many different kinds of devices, it has some frustratingly similar-looking ports.

B Key: uses a gap in the right side of the card (left side of the host controller), with six pins to the right of the gap. This configuration supports PCIe x2 bus connections.
M Key: uses a gap in the left side of the card (right side of the host controller), with five pins to the left of the gap. This configuration supports PCIe x4 bus connections for twice the data throughput.
B+M Key: uses both of the above gaps, with five pins on the left side of the card and six on the right. Because of the physical design, B+M Key cards are limited to PCIe x2 speeds.

On most systems today the M.2 slots are M Key (PCIe x4) but that has not always been the case.

You are correct in that usb connected devices are mostly seen as sdX by the system as well as the internal SATA devices. The sata vs nvme on interal devices depends upon the device itself and the controller it is attached to.

It seems to me that nvme devices are always using a PCIe x4 interface while other SSD devices use a slower interface or are limited by the internal design of the device. USB and sata devices are certainly no faster than PCIe x2.

To your last sentence: yes, I did. The section to the right was actually still a part of the SSD. Notice the bottom right showing the combined size of both selections made.

I don’t know why you keep believing that. It is not true.

Notice where it says GiB for each of those sizes. GiB means two to the 30th bytes, that is 1073741824 bytes per GiB. Try googling gib vs gb
So your drive (which is just the nvme device on the left and does not include the USB device on the right) 953.87 GiB is 1.024 TB (which is .932 TiB)

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While you keep saying that it is not true, I had made both selections and installed Fedora and the two were actually merged. Anaconda will not show the live USB as an option. It might be a bug, I don’t know.

Notice the combined size is exactly the expected size of the SSD. If it was the Ventoy USB, it would have shown as 64 GB total, which is what it does currently.

By the way, the installation (into both selections that eventually merged) was successful. This should ordinarily answer any questions on what both parts were.

I went ahead and took the risk of losing whatever proprietary thing could be on the drive because warranty is a luxury that I have never enjoyed in my country (a third world) despite paying even more than some customers pay abroad. I was only hoping to get some more understanding at the time of performing the Fedora installation.

The USB is not the live Fedora image. The USB is a pair of partitions, one of which contains the live image. That is a big difference. It is not a bug in Anaconda. You can’t expect Anaconda to have a detector for Ventoy, just to avoid offering the Ventoy media as an option for the install destination.

I have run Anaconda from Ventoy several times and it always offers the USB stick as an install destination.

As I said earlier, I don’t know what the Free up space check mark in that GUI actually causes to happen. The one time I tried that checkbox myself, I couldn’t get it to work. Without that, there was under 1MB of unpartitioned space on the Ventoy stick. Anaconda would have no use for that 1MB. Unless it really acted on the Free up space selection, telling it to use both would mean telling it to use only the one on the left.

What exact size is that? Do you have a URL for the technical specs for that SSD? Is it really supposed to be that much more than 1TB? (Or are you still ignoring the meaning of GiB).

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