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Old 10-15-2015, 10:56 PM   #1
Gregg Bell
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Can I put different File System formats on the same usb drive with Gparted?


All my usb flash drives are FAT32. Can I make a part of one of those drives NTFS (while retaining the rest of that same USB drive in FAT32)? Thanks.
 
Old 10-15-2015, 11:20 PM   #2
frieza
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in theory, yes, though i don't think windows woks well with multi partition thumb drives, linux it won't matter and probably the same for mac, but other than that yes, a thumb drive emulates a normal drive and can be partitioned like one.
 
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Old 10-16-2015, 12:09 AM   #3
Gregg Bell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frieza View Post
in theory, yes, though i don't think windows woks well with multi partition thumb drives, linux it won't matter and probably the same for mac, but other than that yes, a thumb drive emulates a normal drive and can be partitioned like one.
Thanks frieza. But let me see if I understand you. My drive is already FAT32. So if I add NTFS. Then if I want to use the drive in Windows you don't think neither the FAT32 or the NTFS portion will work?

So--if that's the case--the only solution for the drive to work in Windows (and Linux) is to wholly format it in NTFS?
 
Old 10-16-2015, 02:24 AM   #4
frieza
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hmm i've never tried partitioning a thumb drive and plugging it into windows, though i know from the CHDK wiki that it doesn't like multi partition SD cards, not sure if thumb drives are the same or not, but it is a driver level thingy with windows that it would only see the first partition..

my recomendation would be to try it and see, it can't really hurt as long as your files are backed up properly.
 
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Old 10-16-2015, 12:08 PM   #5
Gregg Bell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frieza View Post
hmm i've never tried partitioning a thumb drive and plugging it into windows, though i know from the CHDK wiki that it doesn't like multi partition SD cards, not sure if thumb drives are the same or not, but it is a driver level thingy with windows that it would only see the first partition..

my recomendation would be to try it and see, it can't really hurt as long as your files are backed up properly.
Thanks frieza. I suppose the easiest thing to do would be to back up the Linux with NTFS (with the USB in NTFS completely). I can do that.
 
Old 10-16-2015, 12:46 PM   #6
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I have had those weird drived with an autoexec partition that's masquerading as an ISO CD on Windows show up as two drives, so it ought to work.
I'm running Windows 10 (occasionally) and Linux at home so might have a play this weekend but I'm almost certain I have seen a USB drive with two partitions show up as two Windows drive letters even, perhaps, as long as 10 years ago.
 
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Old 10-16-2015, 03:44 PM   #7
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I saw a similar question on another forum and did some experimenting. Create two partitions on a flash drive, one FAT32 and one ntfs. Doesn't matter which is the first partition. Windows will only see the first partition. It doesn't matter that both partition contain windows filesystems. Windows will only see the first.

On a 1TB Seagate external hard drive attached by usb, I have 3 windows partitions. sdb1 and sdb2 are ntfs. sdb10 is FAT32. All can be accessed from Linux and all show in "Computer" as partition with drive letter labels in windows.

This has been discussed in numerous places and from what I have read, microsoft is fully aware and doesn't consider it a problem and has no intention of changing this.

If you create multiple partitions on a flash drive, you should be able to see them all from Linux.
I used the mkusb utility from Ubuntu last week and it created a persistent Live CD on the flash with 5 partitions. Two were small BIOS boot and EFI then 1 ntfs (sdc1 or the first partition) and 2 Linux partitions. All available and accessible from Linux and only the first partition shows up in windows. I don't know much about how the hardware is created and what the differences are between a flash and standard hard drive since they are both attached by usb ports.
 
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Old 10-16-2015, 03:50 PM   #8
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As far as I know from my experiences, Windows just sometimes assigns a letter just to the first FAT or NTFS partition... You can still assign drive-letters manually (right click on "My Computer", click Manage and go to Disk/Drive Management or something like that -- you'll see it).. But maybe I just got lucky, I don't know...

LE: After a quick Google search I see that I might be wrong.. Which is weird for me since I never had any problems..

Last edited by Smokey_justme; 10-16-2015 at 03:58 PM.
 
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Old 10-16-2015, 03:50 PM   #9
yancek
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Quote:
Can I put different File System formats on the same usb drive with Gparted?
Short answer, Yes. Long answer, keep reading.

I saw a similar question on another forum and did some experimenting. Create two partitions on a flash drive, one FAT32 and one ntfs. Doesn't matter which is the first partition. Windows will only see the first partition. It doesn't matter that both partition contain windows filesystems. Windows will only see the first.

On a 1TB Seagate external hard drive attached by usb, I have 3 windows partitions. sdb1 and sdb2 are ntfs. sdb10 is FAT32. All can be accessed from Linux and all show in "Computer" as partition with drive letter labels in windows.

This has been discussed in numerous places and from what I have read, microsoft is fully aware and doesn't consider it a problem and has no intention of changing this.

If you create multiple partitions on a flash drive, you should be able to see them all from Linux. I used unetbootin to create a bootable persistent flash drive and put the Linux system on sdc2 after creating an ntfs partition on sdc1. Worked like a charm and from windows was only able to see sdc1 (ntfs). sdc2 was FAT32.

I used the mkusb utility from Ubuntu last week and it created a persistent Live CD on the flash with 5 partitions. Two were small BIOS boot and EFI then 1 ntfs (sdc1 or the first partition) and 2 Linux partitions. All available and accessible from Linux and only the first partition shows up in windows. I don't know enough about the usb hardware to know why.

Last edited by yancek; 10-16-2015 at 03:52 PM.
 
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Old 10-16-2015, 04:50 PM   #10
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I just formatted a USB stick under Linux first as FAT32, EXT4, NTFS; then FAT32, NTFS and Windows 10 did see all the partitions but would only give a drive letter to the first. Sorry, I don't have the will to format it under Windows today but I do wonder whether it may work. Otherwise it seems that this is just another failure on the part of the M$ developers -- perhaps it was more important to make the CD box look pretty?
 
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Old 10-16-2015, 06:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Windows 10 did see all the partitions but would only give a drive letter to the first
Interesting. I just booted windows 7 to check the flash drive I have with two windows partitions and only one showed.
 
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Old 10-16-2015, 06:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yancek View Post
Interesting. I just booted windows 7 to check the flash drive I have with two windows partitions and only one showed.
And you can't assign a letter to the other one?
 
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Old 10-16-2015, 08:02 PM   #13
Gregg Bell
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Thanks guys. What a mess! LOL I think I can stay with just Linux and Windows friendly formatting. (In other words, NFTS.) It seems like there are so many possible situations. I don't do hardly anything with Windows but they have all these refurbished computers for sale that are like only a hundred bucks and they come with Windows 7 so I think maybe some day and I'll get one and dual boot and then it would be nice to have the flash drives work on both operating systems.

From what you guys are saying it seems to me my best bet is a flash drive in NTFS with no partitions. That way, I'm Linux friendly and Windows friendly.

And partitioning and getting Windows to recognize all the partitions seems an exercise in futility.
 
Old 10-17-2015, 07:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yancek View Post
Interesting. I just booted windows 7 to check the flash drive I have with two windows partitions and only one showed.
Did you check it under the drive management utility rather than explorer? I found a drive letter was allocated to the first partition but when trying to allocate a letter to the second and third (or just second in that setup) an error was shown.
 
Old 10-17-2015, 10:38 AM   #15
yancek
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Quote:
Did you check it under the drive management utility rather than explorer?
Going to Disk Management all the partitions did show. The first partition was assigned a drive letter. Right clicking on the FAT32 partitions gave a menu with all the options greyed out except for 'Help'. The Linux partitions had the 'Help' and 'Delete' options and the others were greyed out and it was not possible to assign a drive letter logged in as administrative user.
 
  


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