TI Formatting of an External USB Drive

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by tkurkowski, Sep 4, 2006.

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  1. tkurkowski

    tkurkowski Registered Member

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    I have 2 IDE hard drives coming in the mail, that I will need to format in an external USB drive box. I had a real bad experience with Seagate Diskwizard a while ago, which ended up formating my C: drive instead of the external drive (once I realized the problem it was too late). So I'm wondering how safe TI is for this.

    I don't want to transfer TI images, etc, just format the external drives. Assuming TI finds it, how will I know on the screen which one is the new, unformatted drive? Will my other drives be identified by drive letters?

    I know I could just try it but I'd rather get advice first <grin>

    Ted
     
  2. Tabvla

    Tabvla Registered Member

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    I am a little surprised that you want to use TI for this task. Why would you want to do that?

    Your OS (Windows or Linux) is the correct tool to use to format disks. There should be no confusion with regards to which disk is which.

    Could you provide some additional information as to why you want to use TI?
     
  3. tkurkowski

    tkurkowski Registered Member

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    > Your OS (Windows or Linux) is the correct tool to use to format disks.

    I haven't done this with WinXP, but older versions of Windows didn't seem to be able to find an unformatted disk, since being unformatted they don't have a drive letter.

    I was hoping TI could find an unformatted disk with no drive letter assigned yet, and format it so the OS can assign a drive letter to it.

    Ted
     
  4. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Use Control Panel Administrative Tools Computer Management Disk Management

    You should see your USB drive there as unallocated space unless it came preformatted. Right-click on the "block" representing your space and you will be able to format it.

    If you are smart you will assign meaningful drive labels to all your partitions so you can read what they are rather than rely on drive letters. This is very useful when using the TI Linux recovery disk because Linux does not assign drive letters the same way Windows does so a label is very useful to ensure you get the right partition.

    I believe labels are restricted to 11 characters.
     
  5. tkurkowski

    tkurkowski Registered Member

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    Thanks! I was looking at the Disk Management console in WinXP this morning and it does appear that it will find an unformatted drive. This kind of flexibility hadn't been present in older Windows versions (which is why Seagate published their Diskwizard app) but I'll give it a try when the new drives are delivered. I just didn't realize that WinXP had made that improvement.

    Thanks for your help.

    Ted
     
  6. Tabvla

    Tabvla Registered Member

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    While you are waiting for the disks you may want to read up on the options that Disk Management will provide you. I am not going to make recommendations as it would be more beneficial if you read the literature first. If you have questions then please come back to the Forum.

    Some of the decisions you may need to make when formatting and setting up your disks.

    1. Basic or Dynamic disk?

    2. FAT or NTFS?

    3. How many partitions?

    4. What type of partitions - Primary or Logical?

    5. Do I need an "Active" partition? What about the MBR? And Track 0?

    6. What naming convention will I apply to the partitions?

    7. What drive letters will I use? Is there a recommended sequence of drive letters?
     
  7. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    Hello Tabvla,

    I think you should also have mentioned that Dynamic disks are not supported in the Home edition of True Image but they are (IIRC) in the Corporate editions.
     
  8. Tabvla

    Tabvla Registered Member

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    Hi bVolk

    Yes, you are right, it was a bit mean to expect tkurkowsk to find that out for him/herself. ;)
     
  9. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello tkurkowsk,

    Thank you for your interest in Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please accept our apologies for the delay with the response.

    Along with Tabvla's advice would also like to mention that Acronis True Image 9.0 Home has a special tool that will help you to install a new drive quick and easy. Using "Add New Disk" Wizard you will be able to partition a new drive, if necessary, and format the partition to one of the supported filesystems (FAT16/32, NTFS, Ext2/Ext3, ReiserFS, Linux SWAP).

    Please find the detailed instructions on how to perform these actions in Chapter 13. "Adding a new hard disk" of the Acronis True Image 9.0 Home User's Guide.

    We also recommend that you take a look at Acronis True Image 9.0 Home FAQ page and this article providing the illustrated instructions on Acronis True Image 9.0 Home installation and usage.

    Thank you.
    --
    Aleksandr Isakov
     
  10. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    Why use TI to format?

    Use the windows supplied tools or the drive manufacturer's tools.
    I was just looking at Seagate's Disk Wizard last week. Looked good to me.

    You should also have a tool such as Symantec's Partition Magic to handle odd cases.
     
  11. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    We all learn from our mistakes and I am no exception. I strongly concur with seekforever about assigning names to each partition on your hard drive. It is easy to do and can save a great deal of grief. You can do the renaming from within Disk properties--either in Explorer or Disk management.

    Many programs including Acronis TrueImage gives you a drive picture different from how it is displayed in Windows. You can never go wrong using the unique names and totally ignore the drive letters displayed. Should you ever have need to use the XP Recovery console, be sure and use the DIR or MAP command to help identify the drive being accessed.

    You may find it helpful to create a desktop or quick launch shortcut for quicker access to DiskManagement. The shortcut command line is %windir%\system32\diskmgmt.msc

    When viewing DiskManagement, it is helpful to have your view settings to Graphical for either the top or bottom view--even customize the view to what is most useful to you. Whatever view you choose, be sure the your personal drive names are displayed for foolproof selection of correct drive.

    Be very careful about using the drive number assigned to a drive. Some programs such as XP, begins with first drive as Drive 0; whereas many other programs being with Drive 1 as the first drive. Just be aware of the possible variances and identify your disks carefully.

    You may find it helpful to read my comments about unique drive names as displayed in my signature.
     
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