Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: Best Format for External Drive?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    /home/Nairobi
    Beans
    19
    Distro
    Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

    Question Best Format for External Drive?

    I had a iOmega 160GB External via USB Hard Drive which I formatted ext3 and used as a backup of my Internal 160GB Hard Drive, but which completely disappeared after only two weeks. Wouldn't show in Gutsy, Feisty or XP on Desktop or Laptop. Today, fortunately, the dealer replaced it with a new one (they couldn't access it or figure it out). It was always plugged in but rarely mounted. Interestingly, I've have a similar problem with a 4GB USB Flash Drive which I also formatted ext3 and which is no longer mounting either. I'm wondering if using ext3 contributed to my problem or if it's the best (safe, stable) format for back-up. So my question is, what format should I use for the new External Hard Drive (keeping a full back-up copy of my Internal Hard Drive) and the Flash Drive (keeping a often changing sync copy of active files) and keeping in mind that the original files are on an ext3 partition?

    Meanwhile, the new 160 is staying in the box until I hear some of that great wisdom that has in the past been so helpful.

    Thanks...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Oregon, US
    Beans
    1,541
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Best Format for External Drive?

    Personally, I'd go with a FAT32 filesystem, as that will show up on any OS...Linux, Windows, Mac, etc.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mumbai, India
    Beans
    652

    Re: Best Format for External Drive?

    Fat32 should do as jimv says. Readable in most OSes
    [Arch + KDE]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Brampton, Ontario
    Beans
    883

    Re: Best Format for External Drive?

    If you use ext3 or any other linux filesystem, you just need to install the FS driver on a Windows machine (fs-driver.org) and you can read it just fine.

    FAT32 is a safe bet, but of course remember the 4gb file size limitation.
    "For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not, none will suffice." - Joseph Dunninger

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Conn., United States
    Beans
    1,644

    Re: Best Format for External Drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by jimv View Post
    Personally, I'd go with a FAT32 filesystem, as that will show up on any OS...Linux, Windows, Mac, etc.
    On a drive of that size, FAT32 is probably not a very good idea... additionally, FAT cannot properly recover from an improper removal of the device. If you will only be using the drive in linux, use ext3. Otherwise, I suggest NTFS for this drive. Most modern Linux systems have robust support for NTFS and, like ext3, it is a journaled file system which will give you protection against improper removal/shutdown.
    "When you dual-boot Windows, Windows exists along side of Linux. When you use VirtualBox, Windows exists at the pleasure of Linux." -- ThomasAaron @ System76

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Kingston, On
    Beans
    Hidden!

    Re: Best Format for External Drive?

    It depends on your needs.

    If you need interoperability, vfat is everywhere but has limitations as mentioned. You can get any OS to recognize ntfs or ext3, but it may require a little work in some cases.

    Regardless of what you pick, your choice of filesystem should not affect the reliablilty of your hardware. In other words, I think your hardware would have given your problems even if you kept the fat filesystem on it.
    I lost a "z". Anyone seen it around here?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Beans
    21
    Distro
    Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

    Re: Best Format for External Drive?

    and why isn ntfs safe ? i prefer ntfs..for copying large files.btw thanks for the tip concercing ext3 driver for windows

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Beans
    6,543
    Distro
    Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

    Re: Best Format for External Drive?

    FAT32 is a terrible filesystem. Tons of fragmentation, no support for large file sizes, etc.

    It used to be the recommended format for shared data, but that was before we had NTFS write support for Linux. It's true Macs still only mount NTFS as read-only by default, but the are NTFS tools for OS X available.

    FAT32 is obsolete, and rapidly moving towards the dustbin of history.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Conn., United States
    Beans
    1,644

    Re: Best Format for External Drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by bouta View Post
    and why isn ntfs safe
    Who said NTFS isn't safe? It is proprietary and patented, which is enough for many people to steer clear of it. But on modern Linux systems, it is perfectly safe.
    "When you dual-boot Windows, Windows exists along side of Linux. When you use VirtualBox, Windows exists at the pleasure of Linux." -- ThomasAaron @ System76

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    /home/Nairobi
    Beans
    19
    Distro
    Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

    Re: Best Format for External Drive?

    Hey, thanks for your thoughts guys...

    Just to make it clear... I would only be using these for back-up of my desktop and not for moving between machines. Both desktop (gutsy, fiesty, xp) and laptop (fiesty, xp) have the ext2 read/write program installed on the xp side (and works great) but I rarely use that side. My first thought was to use ext3 as I did, but it just seems weird that a two week old drive and a not so old flash have both become unmountable with ext3.

    My primary need is safe, secure and stable protection of data in an Ubuntu environment.

    Thanks again.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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