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Joined: Oct 06, 2008
Posts: 2
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Posted Oct 06, 2008 at 7:22:13 PM
Subject: Using external hard drive with Linux and Windows XP
Dear linux experts, I have an iomega external hard drive (~500GB) that I would like to use with my linux machine (RedHat Enterprise 3.0) and also my laptop with Windows XP. The drive still has its original FAT32 file system. I read online ( http://www.basicallytech.com/blog/index.php?/archives/73-Using-a-USB-external-hard-disk-for-backups-with-Linux.html ) that FAT32 has significant shortcomings compared to ext2. So, I tried use GNU Parted to shrink the existing partition and make a new ext2 partition for backing up my linux machine. That did not work, and now, the original file system may be messed up. This what I see when I mount it on linux and run "df -h": *********************** Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on /dev/sda2 6.8G 331M 6.1G 6% / /dev/sda1 99M 46M 48M 49% /boot /dev/sda7 208G 100G 99G 51% /home none 500M 0 500M 0% /dev/shm /dev/sda3 6.8G 4.0G 2.4G 63% /usr /dev/sda5 5.8G 1.1G 4.4G 20% /var /dev/sdb1 98G -512Z 460G 101% /mnt/HD *********************** See the last line in the output above. But the data in this partition seems fine. Here are my questions: (1) Is it worth the trouble to put in an ext2 partition for use with linux when FAT32 is already available? I plan to use this drive for backing up important work related stuff and want to keep it for a long time. (2) Have I messed up the existing FAT32 partition - is it safe to use or do I risk losing data? I'd greatly appreciate informed advice . . .
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Glock24
Joined Aug 31, 2008
Posts: 42

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Posted: Oct 06, 2008 8:17:40 PM
Subject: Using external hard drive with Linux and Windows XP
If you suspect the partition or partition table is messed up, it's a good idea to get your data off the external disk, wipe the partition table, and create the partitions from scratch. Aso, use ext3 instead of ext2, as ext2 is deprecated; ext3 has better performance and has journaling (reduces the risk of data loss in case of system crash, power failure, etc.) Are you using RedHat Enterprise 3.0? Any special reason you use that? I ask because it is pretty old, from 2003. If you have no special applications running there, I strongly recommend you install a newer, up to date distribution, like Mandriva 2008.1 or (K)Ubuntu 8.04.1. As for partitioning, this will do the trick: http://gparted.sourceforge.net/ Have fun. [Modified by: Glock24 on October 06, 2008 01:31 PM]
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mdgy
Joined Oct 06, 2008
Posts: 2

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Posted: Oct 06, 2008 8:54:04 PM
Subject: Using external hard drive with Linux and Windows XP
Thanks for the advice. The OS came pre-installed on a Dell machine and I haven't upgraded it since then due to lack of time and expertise. I don't like it much - many libraries are obsolete and I can't upgrade many applications (texmaker , Acrobat Reader etc.), but I'll probably stick with it a bit longer. Now to see if gparted will run on this old OS . . .
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Glock24
Joined Aug 31, 2008
Posts: 42

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Posted: Oct 07, 2008 5:02:33 AM
Subject: Using external hard drive with Linux and Windows XP
There's a bootable cd iso image you can use to partition the drive, so you don't need to install anything and don't have to worry about old libraries. It would be a good idea to wait a little longer, as some major distros are about to release new versions.
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