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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

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Old 07-31-2005, 10:34 AM   #1
spfdz
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Linux, Windows and a external hard drive.. how to make this work.


I got a external hard drive so I just wanted to ask a quick question.

Here's how my setup will be.

Laptop - Windows XP
Desktop - Linux (Storage/backup server)
External Hard Drive - Connected to Desktop majority of the time.

When doing backups I would be doing it through a local area network. Now regarding the format on the external hard drive.. is there any one file type other then FAT that would be able to be read and write off linux and windows OS? Once in awhile I might unplug the external hard drive and bring it to a friends house or something which his computer would be running Windows XP.

Thanks.
 
Old 07-31-2005, 12:28 PM   #2
J.W.
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The FAT32 file system is the best choice currently for a dual-use external drive under both Windows and Linux, because both OS's recognize FAT32. (XP can work with FAT32 just fine, and no special setup would be required.) The native XP file system (NTFS) can usually be read by Linux, however, write capability under Linux is still in the experimental stage, and should not be considered reliable yet. In other words, I wouldn't attempt to write to NTFS from under Linux, unless I didn't care about the possibility of losing all the other data in that NTFS partition. If you'll be switching this external drive between XP and Linux, presumably you do care about that data, so again your best best is to use FAT32. Good luck with it -- J.W.
 
Old 07-31-2005, 01:32 PM   #3
spfdz
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The thing is, the hard drive is 320GB. Fat32 can be that big?
Or will I have to make multiple FAT32 partitions?
 
Old 07-31-2005, 02:54 PM   #4
J.W.
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According to Microsoft, the max partition size is 32G, so yes, you would need to split it into multiple partitions if you let Windows format it. However, that same article also states
Quote:
However, Windows XP Professional can read and write to larger FAT32 volumes formatted by other operating systems.
-- J.W.
 
Old 09-04-2009, 04:24 AM   #5
robbiemac
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This seems the better solution:


Quote:
You can format the external as ext3 and install fs-driver so windows can write to it.

Go to
www (dot) fs-driver (dot) org
An ext3 can be read and written to with an ext2 driver:

Quote:
Does the Ext2 driver access Ext3 volumes, too?

The Ext3 file system is the Ext2 file system which has been extended by journaling. Ext3 is backward-compatible to Ext2 - an Ext3 volume can be mounted and used as an Ext2 volume. Just as older Linux Kernels which do not know the Ext3 file system can mount Ext3 volumes (as Ext2 volumes), the Ext2 file system driver ext2fs.sys for Windows incorporated in this software package can do it without any problems, too. Of course you do not take advantage of the journaling of the Ext3 file system if you mount it as an Ext2 file system.

If you mount an Ext3 file system as an Ext2 file system and the file system is not cleanly dismounted, (e.g. due to a system crash), you have to run the e2fsck tool. (Linux does it automatically.) Running e2fsck can take several hours on large volumes. You do not benefit from journaling the Ext3 file system, because you have to run e2fsck.

If you mount an Ext3 file system as an Ext3 file system (journaling) and the file system is not cleanly dismounted due to a system crash, things are much better: When the volume is mounted next time as an Ext3 file system, a replay of the journal will be done, after which the file system will be consistent. You need not run e2fsck. (If you run e2fsck nevertheless, it won't find any errors of the Ext3 file system, because there will not be any errors after replaying the journal.)

If a volume is mounted as Ext3 file system, any new data is first completely written into the journal, and then into the file system. This is also called a transaction. Finally, the data is removed from the journal. So a journal only contains data when you are writing to the file system. After a clean dismount of the Ext3 file system, the journal is empty.

When the Linux kernel mounts an Ext3 file system, it first checks whether the journal contains complete transactions (not written yet due to a prior crash). If there are any, it does the already mentioned replay of the journal, which means that all data of the journal is written to the file system, and any data will be removed from it. So a replay always repairs any damage caused by a prior crash.

With the described way of writing the journal and the file system's data and with a replay of the journal after a crash, consistency of the file system is always achieved. Thus, e2fsck will not find any error.

The Ext2 file system driver of the Ext2 IFS software will refuse mounting an Ext3 file system which contains data in its journal, just like older Linux kernels which have no Ext3 support. In this way data loss and damaging the file system is avoided when the journal is subsequently replayed. So you can access only those Ext3 volumes with the Ext2 IFS software which have been cleanly dismounted beforehand.
 
Old 09-04-2009, 04:31 AM   #6
robbiemac
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Found this about using an EXT2 or EXT3 on Windows:

Mount your EXT2 Partition On Windows NT/2K/XP (EXT3 too) driver
 
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