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[SOLVED] Choosing the right file types for external HDD partitions
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.
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.
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.
Yes. GParted is one of the best partition manager. btw, Its very easy to install ntfs-3g package.
sudo apt-get install ntfs-3g
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.
06-13-2008 #6Any idea why the ntfs option would be grayed out in gparted?
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.
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.
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.
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?