Filesystem for WD Passport USB Drive: FAT32 or NTFS??

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by data7, Sep 20, 2006.

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  1. data7

    data7 Registered Member

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    I am going to use a Western Digital 80 GB USB external drive to hold an Acronis image file(s) of my hard disk. I have heard that it will go much fater if I re-format the USB drive as NTFS from FAT32. Can anyone confirm this from their own experience? Thanks for the help!

    Regards
     
  2. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    Yes. Format it to NTFS.

    FAT32 = Maximum 4gb file size limit. Your files will be split at 4gb.
    NTFS = Unlimited! Will not split your files up. You can make an Image 20gb if you want.

    I use the 80gb Passport as well. It works great.
     
  3. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    I don't think you'll see a speed difference, or at least not enough to be interesting, but the NTFS file system is more error resistant. Since you are storing backups, it's good to have them on the better file system.
     
  4. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Better speed used to be the reason to stay with FAT32. However, with current HW and SW I doubt if you will see any difference and as has been pointed out NTFS is much more fault tolerant with virtually unlimited maxfilesize.

    Some people like FAT32 because they can use FDISK and a bunch of old Win9x tools on it that can't read NTFS. If you need a bunch of disk tools you really have some other problem.
     
  5. storage_man

    storage_man Registered Member

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    Data7

    You should also be able to use the windows xp CONVERT command to convert the FAT32 filesystem to NTFS. ie:

    Open a CMD window

    enter the following command: Convert e: /FS:NTFS

    Where e: is the drive letter of your external drive.

    Storage_man
     
  6. Bruce Mahnke

    Bruce Mahnke Registered Member

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    The operating system hasn't been stated but hopefully we are talking about a system using the NT file system. If the USB drive is changed to NTFS the use of the drive on a Win9X system might be a problem. This may not be important though.

    Rather than doing a Convert as suggested, perhaps a better way of accomplishing the task if we're working with WinXP would be to use the disk management feature in Administrative Tools. This can be accessed at Start > Run and enter the expression %SystemRoot%\System32\diskmgmt.msc
    Here you can select the USB drive and do a format selecting NTFS as the file system.
     
  7. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Yes, it can't be Win9x.

    Convert will convert the disk to NTFS and will keep the data but it will use 512 byte clusters rather than 4096 and that is not seen as a good thing.

    If there is no needed data on the disk formatting it is by far the best method. Can't you just plug it in and right-click on the Icon in Windows Explorer and select Format?
     
  8. Bruce Mahnke

    Bruce Mahnke Registered Member

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    As seekforever stated right clicking on the drive should work I've never done it that way. You may need to select NTFS if there are other options. You will also need to select 4096 for the cluster size. A thought to keep in mind is that returning to FAT32 is generally not an option. I've accomplished it but that process is not a pretty sight. Consider going to NTFS a one way street.
     
  9. data7

    data7 Registered Member

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    Thanks for all the help!

    Yes, the OS on my system is XP and my plan is to take the USB drive out of the box, plug it into the USB port and then right click on the drive letter and select 'format'. I will use the cluster size of 4096 as was suggested for the 'NTFS' filesystem.

    Hopefully, that should do it, otherwise I will have to try the command line option that was also noted.

    Regards
     
  10. Bruce Mahnke

    Bruce Mahnke Registered Member

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    I think you're set to go. You may be prompted in Format Options to do a Quick Format and Enable Compression. Leave these unchecked.

    If you have any problems or questions let us know.
     
  11. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    If the Format command from right-clicking the drive in My computer doesn't give you the option to select the file system, there is another way that does (instead of going the command line route):

    Start, Programs, Administrative tools, Computer Management, Disk Management. Right click on the drive and select Format. You will be able to select the file system and cluster size. I always do all my disk management from the Disk Management applet. With the help of True Image (restore partitions with resize) one can even undestructively create a new partition on a disk in use.
     
  12. Bruce Mahnke

    Bruce Mahnke Registered Member

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    The expression I posted isn't working at the command level. It's merely a short way of getting to the Disk Management screen you are suggesting. The expression %SystemRoot% is a variable that usually is c:\windows but on some systems this might be something else, perhaps c:\winnt.

    Start button > Run and enter the path %SystemRoot%\System32\diskmgmt.msc takes you directly to the correct screen. Give it a try.
     
  13. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    It works indeed!

    And it was a fast way too, as I copy/pasted the command from your post... :D
     
  14. starsfan09

    starsfan09 Registered Member

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    Since you have a Western Digital External HD, I'd download this tool, and keep it on hand...just in case you need it. I've used it. Works great. But however, I would use NTFS ...as everyone suggested.

    IF for some reason...you want to Reformat your External back to FAT32 , then use this software tool from WD.

    http://support.wdc.com/download/index.asp?cxml=n&pid=12&swid=34

    Scroll down, and find this file.
     

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  15. Bruce Mahnke

    Bruce Mahnke Registered Member

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    Thank you for the information. This may be very usefull to many folks.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2006
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