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Old 02-16-2008, 08:23 AM   #1
tomihasa
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Question How to Format a NTFS (USB) Hard Drive to FAT32 (or Ext3)?


How can I format my NTFS formatted USB hard drive (WD Passport 160 GB) to something that my Ubuntu 7.10 installation disc understands? I think I should format the hard drive to FAT32 or Ext3?
 
Old 02-16-2008, 09:01 AM   #2
justin23lee
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It has been my experience with Linux that when you install the OS it will do the formatting for you. See, if you have the HDD as free space and if it isn't you can delete any volume in has and it will set it to free space. Once you do that and then install Linux it should do all the formatting that you need as well as set up GRUB and any EXT that you will need. If you want to format it yourself as FAT32 for instance then go to the start menu(I am assuming that you are running XP) and find run, then type in CMD. Then you can type in FORMAT and go from there. If you need help with it try HELP FORMAT or you can try FDISK. If you want to delete a volume then go to RUN and try COMPUTER MANAGEMENT and find STORAGE. I hope that this helps some.
 
Old 02-16-2008, 10:40 AM   #3
wit_273
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If you do not need/want any of the data on the USB drive make sure it is not mounted, then as root run the following command on the the device.

Code:
mkfs.ext3 /dev/sdX1
Replace X with the correct device. So if you only have one othrt drive connected to the system it will most likely be /dev/sdb1. Before running the command make sure the device you are referencing is the correct device. The command will erase all data on the drive.

Also, if you want it to be a FAT partition replace mkfs.ext3 with mkfs.vfat.

Hope this helps.

George
 
Old 02-20-2008, 09:25 AM   #4
tomihasa
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Unfortunately my Windows XP didn't recognize the hard drive (no "E:" icon appeared as does with my other USB hard drives) as it seems like Windows XP mainly understands NTFS, FAT and FAT32 formatted hard drives.

But the command

Code:
mkfs.ext3 /dev/sda1
solved the problem.
 
Old 06-14-2009, 06:29 AM   #5
mmpsy
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formating portable drive to ext3

Hi, I'm having the same trouble and I initially got stuck in that I couldn't find where my Ubuntu 7.04 had the plug-in drive. I couldn't see it on the mount table, so I issued
Code:
  sudo fdisk -l
which produced, among other things,
Code:
   Disk /dev/sdb: 250.0 GB, 250059350016 bytes
  255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders
  Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
     Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
  /dev/sdb1               1       30401   244196001    7  HPFS/NTFS
Then I did
Code:
  mkfs.ext3 /dev/sdb1
as suggested. I'll let you know if I get stuck again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wit_273 View Post
If you do not need/want any of the data on the USB drive make sure it is not mounted, then as root run the following command on the the device.

Code:
mkfs.ext3 /dev/sdX1
Replace X with the correct device. So if you only have one othrt drive connected to the system it will most likely be /dev/sdb1. Before running the command make sure the device you are referencing is the correct device. The command will erase all data on the drive.

Also, if you want it to be a FAT partition replace mkfs.ext3 with mkfs.vfat.

Hope this helps.

George
 
  


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