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  #1  
Old 25th April 2006, 10:20 PM
scotta3234 Offline
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External Hard drive for windows and linux

Hello,
I have my FC5 box up and running GREAT with all the apps and packages i need but i do have this one problem. I want to be able to use my firewire/usb external hard drive for use on both Fedora and Windows. I want to have both Read/Write access. I understand that NTSF is read only and that Fat32 can be read/write but i have some questions:

1. I understand that under windows you can't format fat32 beyond Xnumber of gigs. BUT (see below)

2. I have been reading posts that even under linux i will be limited to 2-4 gigs of fat32 read/write space on my external drive. Is this true? if it's possible to use the entire drive this seems like the best solution for most people, although current instructions on this forum aren't helping me or other users to be able to fix this problem of formating the drive as fat32 once and for all.

3. If there is another solution (yes, i know about just formating my drive as ext3 and getting a plugin for windows) then please suggest one. I have also tried using qparted to see if i can format my entire drive as fat32 but this doesnt seem to work correctly or i am simply using it wrong. See problem here with qparted: http://www.fedoraforum.org/forum/sho...d.php?t=103336. I essentually just want to be able to use it for linux and fedora without all the hassle. All and any help in this matter will be appreciated

Last edited by scotta3234; 25th April 2006 at 10:25 PM.
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  #2  
Old 26th April 2006, 02:49 AM
Seve Offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotta3234
Hello,
I have my FC5 box up and running GREAT with all the apps and packages i need but i do have this one problem. I want to be able to use my firewire/usb external hard drive for use on both Fedora and Windows. I want to have both Read/Write access. I understand that NTSF is read only and that Fat32 can be read/write but i have some questions:

1. I understand that under windows you can't format fat32 beyond Xnumber of gigs. BUT (see below)

2. I have been reading posts that even under linux i will be limited to 2-4 gigs of fat32 read/write space on my external drive. Is this true? if it's possible to use the entire drive this seems like the best solution for most people, although current instructions on this forum aren't helping me or other users to be able to fix this problem of formating the drive as fat32 once and for all.

3. If there is another solution (yes, i know about just formating my drive as ext3 and getting a plugin for windows) then please suggest one. I have also tried using qparted to see if i can format my entire drive as fat32 but this doesnt seem to work correctly or i am simply using it wrong. See problem here with qparted: http://www.fedoraforum.org/forum/sho...d.php?t=103336. I essentually just want to be able to use it for linux and fedora without all the hassle. All and any help in this matter will be appreciated
If you really want it to be easily used by both Windows and Fedora then IMO FAT32 is the way to go. You will be able to read and write from both Windows and Fedora. If the drive size is an issue for formatting under FAT32, (at one time this was a limiting factor, however I think this has been upped into the terabyte range??) then split the drive into smaller partitions. Maybe I mis-understood your concern, so, I am not sure about the:
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotta3234
2. I have been reading posts that even under linux i will be limited to 2-4 gigs of fat32 read/write space on my external drive. Is this true?
Perhaps someone else can shed some more light on this ? Or can you point out the posts that you have been reading this on?

To format the drive just do it from Windows...plug-n-play baby...it will be the easiest.

Anyway, if I was you, I would use Windows to format the drive in FAT32..just plug it in and go to disc managagement (I think) and format the drive and see what happens. You won't likely break it.
Then plug it in to FC and see what happens? What's the worse that could happen and for sure you will never learn younger.


Cheers

Seve
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  #3  
Old 26th April 2006, 03:18 AM
Jman Offline
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I haven't heard of a 4 GB limit, perhaps this is being confused with some other limit.

x = 32 GB when talking about the XP installer. Your hard limit is about 8 TB.
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  #4  
Old 26th April 2006, 03:56 AM
scotta3234 Offline
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hmm well i thought i had just solved the problem by using a third party partitioning/formating tool but now windows doesn't seem to be able to recognize my drive... although linux can read/write.
here is my fdisk -l: Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdb1 1 257 2064321 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sdb2 258 19457 154224000 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/sdb3 19458 19457 2147483616+ b W95 FAT32

any ideas... or suggestions on an easier way of formating. in windows if i right click and select FORMAT for my external drive it doesnt have fat32 as an option only ntsf.
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  #5  
Old 26th April 2006, 04:20 AM
Seve Offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotta3234
hmm well i thought i had just solved the problem by using a third party partitioning/formating tool but now windows doesn't seem to be able to recognize my drive... although linux can read/write.
here is my fdisk -l: Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdb1 1 257 2064321 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sdb2 258 19457 154224000 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/sdb3 19458 19457 2147483616+ b W95 FAT32

any ideas... or suggestions on an easier way of formating. in windows if i right click and select FORMAT for my external drive it doesnt have fat32 as an option only ntsf.
Hello:
Cannot you use disc management in windows? Is this WindowsXP? Someone please correct me if I am mistaken, but under the section that has the Services etc. isn't there a section for computer or disc management, where you can change partitions, format etc.?
Sorry I haven't been on Windows for a while now and I don't have it running anywhere at the moment.
I'm sure someone else will chime in and assist.
Seve
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  #6  
Old 26th April 2006, 05:06 AM
scotta3234 Offline
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Alright, I see where you were talking about disk management but when i run the wizard it wont let me select fat32 as a formating type it only lists ntsf. Is there a way i can change this? I know that you said you haven't used windows in a while so don't know if you know or not but everything is working on my fedora box and the only reason i need to get this working is so i can transfer my files and put fedora on my laptop.
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  #7  
Old 26th April 2006, 07:02 AM
Seve Offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotta3234
Alright, I see where you were talking about disk management but when i run the wizard it wont let me select fat32 as a formating type it only lists ntsf. Is there a way i can change this? I know that you said you haven't used windows in a while so don't know if you know or not but everything is working on my fedora box and the only reason i need to get this working is so i can transfer my files and put fedora on my laptop.
Hello:
Please see this: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300030/en-us

Basically you need to create an unformatted partition first.

Then you should be good to go.
Cheers
Seve
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  #8  
Old 26th April 2006, 10:37 PM
scotta3234 Offline
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Talking External Hard drive for windows and linux [Solved.. sort of]

Ok so here's the deal.. the disk manager is able to format in fat32 so long as the size is under 32Gb. So in disk management when you make a new partition in the wizard change the size of the disk space to anythign under 32Gb and you will then be able to format as fat32. Don't know why this happens, but i don't need more than that for what im doing. I'm simply going to make the rest of my drive ext3 for any external storage i need on linux.
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  #9  
Old 26th April 2006, 10:57 PM
sej7278 Offline
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i used this to format my external 250gb disk: http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/fat32format.htm

i tried to use linux fdisk and mkfs.vfat, which worked, but the partition kept getting corrupted.

fat32format.exe worked a treat and my fc3/4/5 machines can now write to the drive (as well as winxp).
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  #10  
Old 26th April 2006, 11:38 PM
scotta3234 Offline
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Thank you sej7278 that seems like an excellent solution if people want to use all of their drive. For me, it's not really necessary for what im doing but hopefully people reading this will use either of the two methods described.
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