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WCH 03-18-2006 08:10 PM

NTFS or FAT32 for 500GB external drive?
 
I know variations of this topic is covered here and elsewhere all the
time. Even so, I can't find the exact answer to address my situation.
I have many computers, lots of hard drives, tons of data that I want to
back up. I just bought a 500GB LaCie external USB hard drive. I used
Windows 2000 Pro to set up one large partition, which is what I want
because I'll be sorting files into specific folders on the LaCie from
various computers in my system.

The size of the partition was about 476GB. I tried to format it as
FAT32, which everything I have is, I believe, and at the END of the 90
minute format process it said the size was too big. OK, I created two
partitions of about 240GB each and tried to FAT32 format one of them.
Same dead end result. It never did tell me what is the largest
partition that it WILL format with FAT32.

As far as I can tell, NTFS would work fine on one big partition, but I
can't tell for certain what limitations on putting data on, and taking
data off, my Windows 2000 machines would have if I hooked them up to a
giant NTFS hard drive. If the drive was formatted with NTFS would
Windows 2000 machines with FAT32 drives still be able to share
information (on AND off) with it?

If I hook the LaCie up to an XP machine will I gain any formatting
advantage over a 2000 Pro machine? Given the use I want to make of the
500GB external drive, what's the best way to get this set up?
WC

Georges Khairallah 03-18-2006 08:46 PM

Re: NTFS or FAT32 for 500GB external drive?
 
WCH,

First of all, I don't feel right not sharing my experience with you about
the LaCie drives. at my previous job, we purchased 5 LaCie 500Gb just like
the one that you have. and in a matter of one month, all 5 of them had one
corrupt drive, and stopped working. (we would get a Windows Delay Write
failed error anytime you try to write a semi big files, and later one, even
smaller files). If we're talking about the same product, this drive is
really 2 250Gb drive that are some how striped together. so I had to open
the box and throw away the bad drive and use the 250Gb drive .... LaCie was
claiming that they couldn't reproduce the problem.
..
Anyway, that's that.... I really hope that you won't experience the same
problem I did, but seeing the same problem with 5 different drives should
tell you something about the product.

Anyway, back to your question. IMHO , i don't that there is a reason to use
FAT32 almost for anything anymore. NTFS is so much more robust, has bigger
limits and supports security.

As for sharing with different OSs. that shouldn't be a problem either, as
long as you have the correct security settings on the filesystem, and have
everything shared correctly, it should be a breeze.
As for the usage/partitioning of your drive... it's really up to you, and
depending on the content of the drive... if it's for regular installer
files, different documents and pictures... I would partition the drive into
different partitions and designate a specific partition to a certain
datatype. but then again, this is a personal preference. lately, I've been
tending more towards just having one big partition, and dividing stuff up
using folders, because I ran into a problem where the partition that I had
created that was intended for ISOs became full, and found that the partition
that was for picture still had some 60Gb free... of course, you can always
use partition magic or such to repartition on the fly... but I didn't really
see the reason for that.

The other thing I would recommend that you would figure out, and would be a
reason for partitioning is your cluster size requirements. to take full
advantage of your hard drive size, you want to make sure that your cluster
size is appropriate with the filetype that you're going to be storing. for
instance, if most of your data is ISOs, then you probably won't a bigger
cluster size, but if all you're using is small word docs, you might want to
make the cluter size a little smaller on the partition so that you avoid
wasting space.

I don't know if that covered all your questions, but if you have any more
questions, let me know and I can try to help.

Good luck!

"WCH" <DELwhexeterETE@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:qKqdnTvj9t769IHZnZ2dnUVZ_tSdnZ2d@comcast.com. ..
>I know variations of this topic is covered here and elsewhere all the time.
>Even so, I can't find the exact answer to address my situation. I have many
>computers, lots of hard drives, tons of data that I want to back up. I
>just bought a 500GB LaCie external USB hard drive. I used Windows 2000 Pro
>to set up one large partition, which is what I want because I'll be sorting
>files into specific folders on the LaCie from various computers in my
>system.
>
> The size of the partition was about 476GB. I tried to format it as FAT32,
> which everything I have is, I believe, and at the END of the 90 minute
> format process it said the size was too big. OK, I created two partitions
> of about 240GB each and tried to FAT32 format one of them. Same dead end
> result. It never did tell me what is the largest partition that it WILL
> format with FAT32.
>
> As far as I can tell, NTFS would work fine on one big partition, but I
> can't tell for certain what limitations on putting data on, and taking
> data off, my Windows 2000 machines would have if I hooked them up to a
> giant NTFS hard drive. If the drive was formatted with NTFS would Windows
> 2000 machines with FAT32 drives still be able to share information (on AND
> off) with it?
>
> If I hook the LaCie up to an XP machine will I gain any formatting
> advantage over a 2000 Pro machine? Given the use I want to make of the
> 500GB external drive, what's the best way to get this set up?
> WC




Toolman Tim 03-18-2006 08:49 PM

Re: NTFS or FAT32 for 500GB external drive?
 
In news:qKqdnTvj9t769IHZnZ2dnUVZ_tSdnZ2d@comcast.com,
WCH spewed forth:
> I know variations of this topic is covered here and elsewhere all the
> time. Even so, I can't find the exact answer to address my situation.
> I have many computers, lots of hard drives, tons of data that I want
> to back up. I just bought a 500GB LaCie external USB hard drive. I
> used Windows 2000 Pro to set up one large partition, which is what I
> want because I'll be sorting files into specific folders on the LaCie
> from various computers in my system.
>
> The size of the partition was about 476GB. I tried to format it as
> FAT32, which everything I have is, I believe, and at the END of the 90
> minute format process it said the size was too big. OK, I created two
> partitions of about 240GB each and tried to FAT32 format one of them.
> Same dead end result. It never did tell me what is the largest
> partition that it WILL format with FAT32.
>
> As far as I can tell, NTFS would work fine on one big partition, but I
> can't tell for certain what limitations on putting data on, and taking
> data off, my Windows 2000 machines would have if I hooked them up to a
> giant NTFS hard drive. If the drive was formatted with NTFS would
> Windows 2000 machines with FAT32 drives still be able to share
> information (on AND off) with it?
>
> If I hook the LaCie up to an XP machine will I gain any formatting
> advantage over a 2000 Pro machine? Given the use I want to make of
> the 500GB external drive, what's the best way to get this set up?
> WC



First, only use FAT32 if you need to connect your external drive to a Win9x
system. Otherwise, do the full drive as one large NTFS partition. If you DO
need to use FAT32, you would need to do the format from a system running
Win98 or WinME. You can't do that with XP or W2K. The partition limit in W2K
or XP is 32Gb, IIRC.

Second, no, W2K should have no problem accessing an external NTFS drive even
if it running on an internal FAT32 drive. With one possible exception: if
you have files on the external drive with encryption/compression or other
NTFS attributes set by XP. I don't know how well W2K would handle those.

--
The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.



FML 03-18-2006 08:52 PM

Re: NTFS or FAT32 for 500GB external drive?
 
WCH wrote:
> I know variations of this topic is covered here and elsewhere all the
> time. Even so, I can't find the exact answer to address my situation. I
> have many computers, lots of hard drives, tons of data that I want to
> back up. I just bought a 500GB LaCie external USB hard drive. I used
> Windows 2000 Pro to set up one large partition, which is what I want
> because I'll be sorting files into specific folders on the LaCie from
> various computers in my system.
>
> The size of the partition was about 476GB. I tried to format it as
> FAT32, which everything I have is, I believe, and at the END of the 90
> minute format process it said the size was too big. OK, I created two
> partitions of about 240GB each and tried to FAT32 format one of them.
> Same dead end result. It never did tell me what is the largest
> partition that it WILL format with FAT32.
>
> As far as I can tell, NTFS would work fine on one big partition, but I
> can't tell for certain what limitations on putting data on, and taking
> data off, my Windows 2000 machines would have if I hooked them up to a
> giant NTFS hard drive. If the drive was formatted with NTFS would
> Windows 2000 machines with FAT32 drives still be able to share
> information (on AND off) with it?
>
> If I hook the LaCie up to an XP machine will I gain any formatting
> advantage over a 2000 Pro machine? Given the use I want to make of the
> 500GB external drive, what's the best way to get this set up?
> WC


http://support.microsoft.com/default...b;en-us;184006

philo 03-18-2006 10:11 PM

Re: NTFS or FAT32 for 500GB external drive?
 

"WCH" <DELwhexeterETE@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:qKqdnTvj9t769IHZnZ2dnUVZ_tSdnZ2d@comcast.com. ..
>I know variations of this topic is covered here and elsewhere all the time.
>Even so, I can't find the exact answer to address my situation. I have many
>computers, lots of hard drives, tons of data that I want to back up. I
>just bought a 500GB LaCie external USB hard drive. I used Windows 2000 Pro
>to set up one large partition, which is what I want because I'll be sorting
>files into specific folders on the LaCie from various computers in my
>system.



assuming the drive will be used on an XP or win2k machine
by all means go with NTFS !



Rick Merrill 03-18-2006 11:26 PM

Re: NTFS or FAT32 for 500GB external drive?
 
FAT32 will not work for you. The largest file a FAT32 drive can store
is only 1.9 GB!

Toolman Tim 03-19-2006 12:39 AM

Re: NTFS or FAT32 for 500GB external drive?
 
In news:3s2dnTRWG72DCoHZRVn-tA@comcast.com,
Rick Merrill spewed forth:
> FAT32 will not work for you. The largest file a FAT32 drive can store
> is only 1.9 GB!


Where in the original post did the OP indicate he had a problem with file
sizes over 1.9GB?

--
The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.



Meat Plow 03-19-2006 01:44 AM

Re: NTFS or FAT32 for 500GB external drive?
 
On Sat, 18 Mar 2006 15:10:27 -0500, WCH wrote:

> I know variations of this topic is covered here and elsewhere all the
> time. Even so, I can't find the exact answer to address my situation.
> I have many computers, lots of hard drives, tons of data that I want to
> back up. I just bought a 500GB LaCie external USB hard drive. I used
> Windows 2000 Pro to set up one large partition, which is what I want
> because I'll be sorting files into specific folders on the LaCie from
> various computers in my system.
>
> The size of the partition was about 476GB. I tried to format it as
> FAT32, which everything I have is, I believe, and at the END of the 90
> minute format process it said the size was too big. OK, I created two
> partitions of about 240GB each and tried to FAT32 format one of them.
> Same dead end result. It never did tell me what is the largest
> partition that it WILL format with FAT32.
>
> As far as I can tell, NTFS would work fine on one big partition, but I
> can't tell for certain what limitations on putting data on, and taking
> data off, my Windows 2000 machines would have if I hooked them up to a
> giant NTFS hard drive. If the drive was formatted with NTFS would
> Windows 2000 machines with FAT32 drives still be able to share
> information (on AND off) with it?
>
> If I hook the LaCie up to an XP machine will I gain any formatting
> advantage over a 2000 Pro machine? Given the use I want to make of the
> 500GB external drive, what's the best way to get this set up?
> WC


NTFS
--

Pierre Salinger Memorial Hook, Line & Sinker, June 2004

philo 03-19-2006 03:25 AM

Re: NTFS or FAT32 for 500GB external drive?
 

"Toolman Tim" <frack.this@no.spam.invalid> wrote in message
news:%K1Tf.144$gJ5.123@fe02.lga...
> In news:3s2dnTRWG72DCoHZRVn-tA@comcast.com,
> Rick Merrill spewed forth:
>> FAT32 will not work for you. The largest file a FAT32 drive can store
>> is only 1.9 GB!

>
> Where in the original post did the OP indicate he had a problem with file
> sizes over 1.9GB?



and besides, the file size limit with fat32 is 4 gigs



Toolman Tim 03-19-2006 03:28 AM

Re: NTFS or FAT32 for 500GB external drive?
 
In news:_ZadnQEpQbWuUoHZnZ2dnUVZ_tmdnZ2d@athenet.net,
philo spewed forth:
> "Toolman Tim" <frack.this@no.spam.invalid> wrote in message
> news:%K1Tf.144$gJ5.123@fe02.lga...
>> In news:3s2dnTRWG72DCoHZRVn-tA@comcast.com,
>> Rick Merrill spewed forth:
>>> FAT32 will not work for you. The largest file a FAT32 drive can
>>> store is only 1.9 GB!

>>
>> Where in the original post did the OP indicate he had a problem with
>> file sizes over 1.9GB?

>
>
> and besides, the file size limit with fat32 is 4 gigs


Quite.

--
The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.




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