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smurf
07-06-2012, 05:04 PM
I have an external hard drive (Western Digital) which I have been using on my old computer running Windows XP. Looking at the file system used by the drive it is FAT 32. I have bought a new machine running Windows 7 64 bit and the file system is NTFS. In order to use the external drive to continue to back up would I have to reformat the external drive from FAT 32 to NTFS or is this an automatic process. Excuse my ignorance for asking :) An answer would be much appreciated :)

mzee
07-06-2012, 07:03 PM
The only reason to re-format your external drive to NTFS is if you wish to save files of over 2Gb in size. If you re-format the drive you will lose all the data, so back it up first. It is possible to convert the Fat32 to NTFS, but there is a strong possibility that you will corrupt the data anyway, and you should still back it up. The Drive manager in W7 is good and will handle this well.

fred_fish
07-06-2012, 07:23 PM
Also, NTFS will save file metadata like owner and ACL permissions but Fat32 will not.
That may not bother you in the slightest though ... :)

smurf
07-06-2012, 08:06 PM
Thanks mzee and fred_fish for your replies. If I understand you, it is not critical to reformat the drive. I used Fbackup on the previous XP computer and want to use it on the Win 7 computer too.

gary67
07-06-2012, 08:19 PM
It will still just work unless as has been stated the individual files are bigger than 2GB

smurf
08-06-2012, 09:51 AM
Thanks Gary

Iantech
08-06-2012, 10:17 AM
You dont need to format a drive to convert it to NTFS. Just open a command window and at the prompt type in CONVERT X: /FS:NTFS (X being the drive letter of the drive you want to convert). It needs extra space to perform this process though, so make sure you have plenty on your drive, also as a safety make sure you have your data backed up somewhere else in case something goes wrong. The whole process may take a while.

1101
08-06-2012, 11:58 AM
It all depends on how you are backing up : ie what program you are using to backup.
Some backup programs can split the backup into 2G chunks . If you are using backup software that came on the
original HD, then you may want to use something newer

But in general, convert to NTFS regardless. A reformat is the best way, IF you dont mind the drive being wiped.

smurf
08-06-2012, 12:04 PM
Thanks Iantech and 1101. Your replies are appreciated. Will be reformatting to NTFS :)

pctek
08-06-2012, 04:06 PM
Just use Syncback.

Long file names or large files you might want to reformat it.

8ftmetalhaed
08-06-2012, 07:13 PM
^^ I love syncback. I use it to keep my folders in sync between my laptop and desktop, since I have song files for in the groove, and all my MLP stuff (pictures, episodes, videos) that I want to keep up to date. Nothing more annoying than going to pull up a video on the bus home to realise it's on your desktop.

lakewoodlady
11-06-2012, 02:49 PM
+1 for syncback!

LL

Agent_24
11-06-2012, 03:17 PM
NTFS gets my vote

tmrafi
11-06-2012, 03:58 PM
NTFS for an external drive is actually a major pain as it associates NTFS permissions of the original machine, if you take it to an other machine, and try to copy data out, you could run into permissions issues most of the times.
My recommendation is for you to format your external drive in ExFAT format. This format is supported by Windows Vista SP1 and up (XP needs a MS provided patch KB 955704), and Snow leopard 10.6.3 and up, So basically will work on all modern PCs and MACs. ExFAT is an improvement of FAT32 and supports large disks 512TB and large file sizes 512TB

dugimodo
11-06-2012, 04:22 PM
I have a 32GB flash drive and I tried ExFAT on it for the very reasons tmrafi suggests, it worked perfectly at home but the first time I plugged it into a work computer it showed up as not formatted. Turns out all our work PC's running XP don't have the necessary update. If you use XP at all it might be best to stick with FAT32 or NTFS.

Agent_24
11-06-2012, 04:50 PM
NTFS for an external drive is actually a major pain as it associates NTFS permissions of the original machine, if you take it to an other machine, and try to copy data out, you could run into permissions issues most of the times.
My recommendation is for you to format your external drive in ExFAT format. This format is supported by Windows Vista SP1 and up (XP needs a MS provided patch KB 955704), and Snow leopard 10.6.3 and up, So basically will work on all modern PCs and MACs. ExFAT is an improvement of FAT32 and supports large disks 512TB and large file sizes 512TB

Never had a permissions problem (for an external\storage drive) here.