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Thread: Off topic: help with external hard drive question

  1. #1
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    Off topic: help with external hard drive question

    I want to buy an external hard drive. Am not sure about going with the smaller size or the larger with the fan. I want at least 500gig. Main question is the format FAT v. NTFS. Western digital comes with FAT and many say you need to reformat to NTFS due to file size of 4gig not supported by FAT. Could someone just simplify this for me? I would use it to backup art files (not video), music files, photos and even mirror my desktop hard drive if it starts to go so I could mirror it back to a new one.
    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
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    Hi Jogirl, i have a 1 terabyte western digital, don't be concerned with the fact that they come formatted with fat 32, it's a snap to reformat it.

    Once you plug it in, go to my computer and find it, it will be listed as an extra drive you didn't have before, then right click on it and select format from the pop up list, select which format you want "NTFS" and allocation unit size 4096 and select quick format and click start then bamo your done.

    I will have a closer inspection of the full process today (it's 1st thing in the morning) and will write a proper tutorial with pictures if you need it.

    Hope it helps

    Col
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  3. #3
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    Hi Silentman,
    Thanks for your help. So I will need to reformat it. I have a friend telling me there is to need to reformat it to NTFS because it is only for storage not for use to run programs like my computer's hard drive. From what I have learned online, NTFS is the way to go for external hard drives used for storage, particularly the larger ones. Thanks, again.

  4. #4
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    Your best off reformatting in my honest opinion Jo, you may run into problems down the track if you don't, i have all my media, everything except my programs on my external, this way if my main hardrive crashes it's not stress, i only have to reinstall windows and various programs

    I'm not talking about copying files to the external, it's my main storage drive, never gets unplugged or goes anywhere, 1 terabyte is perfect and gives my main 320 gig plenty of horse power, as i don't clutter it up with media and other rubbish files
    Vista Business SP2 - 32 bit
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  5. #5
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    I have a computer which had a fat32 and a NTFS drive in it. They ran fine together and I never saw any difference. I would just plug it in and see what it does before reformatting or anything.
    I oridinally bought the one drive as an external and later just took it out of the case and installed it in the computer.

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    It would seem that NTFS is a superior format Ken, i have done some searching today of which i will post one link, there are always arguments for both sides and as i said early your best bet is to format the drive to NTFS, to future proof your hardrive. I will leave you with the link Jo and leave it you, i have no interest in getting into some tech debate over the matter

    http://blog.taragana.com/index.php/a...ld-you-choose/

    Do a search for this term "why is NTFS is superior to FAT32" and you will find heaps of info, adios
    Vista Business SP2 - 32 bit
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentman View Post
    I'm not talking about copying files to the external, it's my main storage drive, never gets unplugged or goes anywhere, 1 terabyte is perfect and gives my main 320 gig plenty of horse power, as i don't clutter it up with media and other rubbish files
    So, you use your external drive for storage, but you never unplug it? And do you have media files on it that you don't have anywhere else? I'm in a questioning mode or brain picking. What happens if your external hard drive dies? Thanks for all your help. I called Western Digital and tech support told me if I just want to backup files then I should reformat to NTFS since it can hold files larger than 4 gig. Thanks for all your help and patience.

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    Yeah, i trust WD, i have had one of their drives for over 3 years and it's never had a hitch, if i was to make hard copy backups of everything, i would need a storage facility lol, so i trust the drive instead, when your only storing stuff, you don't have to worry about a registry and badly written code messing up your drive beyond recovery, so it stays plugged in and everything goes on it, everything except for program files, and occasional documents that i'm currently working on, it's either that or online storage and i don't trust online storage so it's that for me hehe

    Anyway glad to be of help.

    And sorry Ken, i'm just trying to help, i'm not a guru, and that's why i won't get into a debate, i was just sharing all i know and how i do it, which is only one of many ways that it could probably be done
    Vista Business SP2 - 32 bit
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    AR3 Studio Professional Unleash The Full Power

  9. #9
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    Silentman,
    Thank you for all your advice. I did get a W.D. 500 gig hard drive today-fantastic sale price. Thanks again.

  10. #10
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    heya Jo girl,
    I had a WD ext hard drive that worked wonderfully till a year and after the warranty expired it started misbehaving. just ensure that it's plugged into a UPS if you have power outages/ fluctuations.
    In the end I had to chuck the external casing and now it resides as an internal 500g drive in my desktop so that a way WD rocks.
    ta,
    fly
    The more hair I lose, the more head I get.

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