External Drive format

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by photogeniie, Sep 3, 2007.

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  1. photogeniie

    photogeniie Registered Member

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    My current C drive is formatted NTFS. There is a 39MB partition formatted FAT16. The external hard drive I plan to backup to this morning is WD, 160gb, Fat32. It shipped with some supplier provided software, it desktop google search and Picasa 2.

    Do I need to reformat the WD external HD to NTFS? What if I do not but backup the NTFS and FAT16 partitions on my computer harddrive to the WD external leaving it as FAT32?

    Bev
     
  2. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    If you leave it as Fat 32 your backup Image, if larger that 4Gb, will be split into 4Gb pieces. But that's not a problem for True Image to restore. If it was NTFS, the Image will be one file.
     
  3. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Bev:

    You don't need to reformat the drive. No matter what format you're backing up, the result is a .tib file. A file is just a file and it doesn't matter what kind of file system it's stored on. For example, you can store TI backups on CD in ISO filesystem format, or on Linux PCs in ext2 format, etc. So you don't need to store a backup of an NTFS partition on an NTFS-formatted hard drive. For other reasons, however, you MAY want to reformat your drive to NTFS.

    Most external hard drives ship formatted as FAT32 because they will plug in and "just work" with Win98, WinXP, Vista, MAC OS, Linux, etc. That's not to say that FAT32 is the best choice for a file system.

    FAT32 Advantage:
    Compatible with a wide variety of operating systems.

    FAT32 Disadvantages:
    a. Has a maximum file size limit of 4 GB. If your images are larger than this TI will break them up into multiple 4 GB pieces.
    b. Less reliable than NTFS. A momentary power outage during write operations can result in damaged files. The damage may or may not be repairable using chkdsk.

    If you only use your external drive on Windows XP computers then you're probably better off reformatting the drive as NTFS.
     
  4. photogeniie

    photogeniie Registered Member

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    Thanks Down.

    Thanks Mark. I gues the sensible thing to do would be to format the EHD to NTFS now before it is ever used. I must tell you that I am uncomfortable working with Disk Management. A reformat will erase the software that shipped with the WD but I was going to add/remove it anyway. I found an article by Microsoft and they recommend formatting EHDs to NTFS. I am assuming that NTFS will be supported by Vista, if I ever update.

    Bev
     
  5. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    Both of those programs are free, if you think you might ever want to use them in future.
     
  6. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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  7. photogeniie

    photogeniie Registered Member

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    Sorry Grover, I missed your response from yesterday as I got home late. I checked my original post this morning and it was not on the opening page of the Acronis forum so I mistakenly thought there were no responses.

    If I backup leaving the EHD as FAT32 and then need to restore, would the restore to my C drive be NTFS or FAT32.
     
  8. thomasjk

    thomasjk Registered Member

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    The restore will be the same as the file system of the drive you backed up. Fat32-->Fat32, NTFS-->NTFS. If your image is larger than 4GB then TI will break it into 4GB chunks if you leave the external drive as Fat32. 4GB is the max file size for Fat32. If you format it to NTFS you will get one large file.
     
  9. photogeniie

    photogeniie Registered Member

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    Thanks Tom. What would you do?
     
  10. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Bev


    First thing I always do with a new external hard drive is reformat to NTFS, for all the reason's stated above. So my recommendation would do the reformat.

    Pete
     
  11. photogeniie

    photogeniie Registered Member

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    Thank you Peter. I will do that and then do the backup.

    Bev
     
  12. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Yes; Vista uses the same version of the NTFS file system (v3.1) as XP.
     
  13. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Correct. I can see my 2nd internal drive and external drives whether I've XP or Vista on the machine. Tested and true.

    Pete
     
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