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Old 11-01-2010, 08:19 PM   #1
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Second hard rive questions

I have a second hard drive in my desktop and both the main dirve and second drive are 250GB. I use the second drive for backups, both manual and using back in time. The other day I noticed that the second drive was formated in FAT32. If I go to disk utility and look at the drive it says:

Partition Type:Linux (0x83)
Type:FAT(32-bit version)

Is this ok? I thought in Linux it should be Ext4. So far its been working fine for a while now but if I need to move my files and re format it to ext4 and move them back I would rather do it now when there is less data on the drive. Please let me know if I am doing this wrong.

Old 11-01-2010, 08:41 PM   #2
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Did you format the second hard drive or was it already formatted? FAT32 is the preferred format of Windows, so if you got it of a machine that was using Windows (or you had previously Windows installed) that's the reason that your backup drive is formatted in FAT32. You note correctly that the preferred format of Linux is Ext4, but that does not mean that it won't function with other formats. My second hard drive is also FAT32 and I never had any problems with it. Of course, if you are planning to use your second hard drive for more than backups, then you may want to consider reformatting it to Ext4, but I don't think it's strictly necessary...
Old 11-01-2010, 08:45 PM   #3
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FAT32 and ext[#] are different drive types.

Linux can read FAT drives.

It is common for drives to be factory-formatted FAT[something or other] by the manufacturer for maximum compatibility with legacy Windows systems.

If you want to format the drive for another file system, now is indeed the time for exactly the reason you stated--less to back up and restore.
Old 11-01-2010, 08:51 PM   #4
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No it is not really o.k. - FAT can't save permissions (although it looks like backintime now handles this).
I'd recommend you reformat as a Linux filesystem.

Given the partition type is 0x83, I'm guessing you make a mistake with mkfs - Windows would never use/create a partition like that.


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