Find the answer to your Linux question:
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14
I just ordered an external 750 GB hdd and I'm trying to figure out the best setup for it. The purpose of this drive: 1, be a backup for my ...
Enjoy an ad free experience by logging in. Not a member yet? Register.
  1. #1
    Just Joined! Artesia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    85

    [SOLVED] Choosing the right file types for external HDD partitions


    I just ordered an external 750 GB hdd and I'm trying to figure out the best setup for it.

    The purpose of this drive: 1, be a backup for my machines and 2, be a place to unite and manage my music collection.

    From what I've read on this topic, I'm looking at making 3 partitions and using ext2 (or ext3) for backing up the Linux box, NTFS for backing up the Win box, and FAT32 for the music collection. The music partition will be accessed and modified frequently, and will also be used to upload to my iPod.

    One thing that I'm really confused about is that I've come across quite a few posts about Linux not getting along with NTFS, people asking how to read NTFS with Linux, can it be done, etc. When I was dual booting Vista and Ubuntu Gutsy, I had absolutely no trouble browsing all the Vista files from Gutsy. The Vista partition mounted on startup and I actually used it for storage when my Linux partition (which was ext3) ran out of space. I've copied many gigs back and forth between my Linux and XP machines with no issues. Was I just lucky, and is there something I don't know about the dangers of intermixing these file types?

    On that same note, I don't really need to back up the XP box so that I can restore it to its current state. All I want is to copy data from it to the external drive once in a while. With this is mind, can I safely copy that data to ext2 (and avoid having to create an NTFS partition in the first place)?

    I appreciate any hints/tips/insights.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Chandigarh, India
    Posts
    24,729
    Hi !

    NTFS partitions are pretty well supported by Linux now and one can enable NTFS write access by installing ntfs-3g package. ntfs-3g package is available in default sources of most of distros. Its pre-installed in Fedora and a few other distros.
    If you want to access partition from Windows OS too then I would suggest you to format partition in NTFS only.
    Otherwise go for ext3 instead of ext2.
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
    New Users: Read This First

  3. #3
    Just Joined! Artesia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    85
    Thanks, dc! I ended up using ext3 and fat32. I'll take care of the NTFS later. I'll probably have to install that package because the NTFS option in gparted was disabled. This was my first time using gparted and it was remarkably simple. It's *so* nice when something I expect to be difficult turns out to be easy.

  4. $spacer_open
    $spacer_close
  5. #4
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Chandigarh, India
    Posts
    24,729
    Yes. GParted is one of the best partition manager. btw, Its very easy to install ntfs-3g package.
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install ntfs-3g
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
    New Users: Read This First

  6. #5
    Just Joined! Artesia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    85
    Apparently, I already have that package installed. Any idea why the ntfs option would be grayed out in gparted? The documentation on this thing isn't exactly extensive and I couldn't find anything in the parted forums. I'm using version 0.3.5 in Ubuntu Hardy.

  7. #6
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Chandigarh, India
    Posts
    24,729
    Any idea why the ntfs option would be grayed out in gparted?
    It looks like partition was mounted and its not possible to resize/shrink any mounted partition whether its ext3, NTFS or in any other Filesystem.
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
    New Users: Read This First

  8. #7
    Just Joined! Artesia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    85
    No, the whole hdd is not mounted when I'm doing this. It's about 50 GB of unallocated space at the end of the volume, although I tried making it in the middle of the volume, too, with the same result. I previously formatted this space in ext3 just to make sure that it was formattable, and it is.

    I found a thread where someone suggested using the parted live CD, instead, but there was no word about whether it worked. If I have to, I guess I can format it with my Windows box, but I'd still like to learn how to do it with gparted.

  9. #8
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Chandigarh, India
    Posts
    24,729
    Okk ! Its not possible to create more than 4 Primary Partitions or merge space of Primary Partition in Logical Partition directly. Post the output of fdisk -l command here. Let us check partition structure of your HD. Post ScreenShot of GParted, if Possible.

    GParted and PartedMagic are Graphical Interfaces of same package, Parted. Interface of PartedMagic is a bit more user friendly than GParted but functions of both are exactly same.
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
    New Users: Read This First

  10. #9
    Just Joined! Artesia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    85
    Thanks muchly for helping.

    fdisk -l doesn't show anything. Which is odd because I seem to remember that command spitting out some data in the past. I tried it both on my hdd and the external hdd with the same result. Also tried it without the external unmounted.

    Here's the screenie of GParted. I right-clicked the unallocated space and selected "New," which gave me the Create New Partition window. I couldn't take a screenie with the Filesystem menu open, but the options that are available there are ext2, ext3, fat16, fat32, linux-swap, resiserfs, and unallocated. Grayed out options are hfs, hfs+, jfs, ntfs, reiser4, ufs, and xfs.

    I recently took a bunch of updates from Ubuntu, so I rebooted and tried again, just in case. But same result.

  11. #10
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    3,043
    You need to use sudo fdisk -l ... it does look as though you only have two partitions on the drive.

    Ed: can you create the partition if you boot from the Ubuntu live CD?

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •