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New external hard drive

Discussion in 'Gadgets and Gizmos' started by wdwgrandma, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. wdwgrandma
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    wdwgrandma Addicted to Mickey

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    Ok. I got a lovely new 1 terabyte external hard drive from Santa Hubby. :smoochboy: That should be enough space to last me for a while, I'd think.

    Anyway, in reading the documentation yesterday I discovered that it has been preformatted as FAT32 which has a maximum individual file size of 4 GB and partition size of 32 GB. When attempting to back up my laptop yesterday I quickly reached that file limitation.

    The documentation says I can reformat the drive as NTFS to overcome the file and partition limitations. This is probably a silly question, but should I go ahead and reformat the drive? Oh, I'm running XP, by the way, which is why the new drive was preformatted as FAT32...

    Also, when I tried to bring up my laptop this morning WITH the drive attached, my laptop never came up. However, when I removed it and powered my system back on, it came right up. Any ideas?
  2. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    Hiya,

    I actually prefer FAT32 for external drives because pretty much everything can read/write them, xp/vista even linux and so on. NTFS is becoming more widespreadly supported but not quite as much so as fat32.

    In terms of the limitations, actually you can have a FAT32 partition greater than 32GB, my 1TB external drive is FAT32 and all 1TB is accessible, it's just that the XP format utility in the setup procedure won't do it.

    (so I'm kinda surprised if they really only formatted it to 32GB from the outset :/ I dont see any reason for that)

    Anyway, to be honest there's nothing to be lost by formatting it to NTFS if you like and especially if you'll only be accessing it from windows.

    In terms of not booting up, it sounds like perhaps the laptop has assigned bootable c: to the external drive rather than the internal drive of the laptop :/ which again is REALLY weird.

    None of it is insurmoutable :) I'd give it a go formatting it as NTFS first and go from there.. just be careful to format the right one :/ I know you know what you're doing but sometimes the letters can get swapped around and it's easy to end up blanking the wrong drive
  3. wdwgrandma
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    wdwgrandma Addicted to Mickey

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    Thanks, Keith. You are pretty much just confirming what we already know. But it was a bit scary to even consider doing something to a new gift! I'll need to copy the stuff that was already on the new drive before I reformat it (utilities, documentation, etc...). I always get a bit nervous when doing something so drastic.
  4. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    totally know what you mean :hug2:

    I'm really surprised it's been formatted as 32GB to be honest :/ I mean, staggeringly surprised.

    Anyway, I think you're definitely on the right path. Give me a shout if looks like it's not working out or something goes weird
  5. wdwgrandma
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    wdwgrandma Addicted to Mickey

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    It said it was formatted that way for "compatibility with all updated Windows and Macintosh operating systems..." Their words, not mine. LOL So I'm sitting here trying to work up the nerve to attempt this feat!!!
  6. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    I'm sitting here scratching my head and getting nothing but splinters

    Anyway yeah, sounds like it's a good idea to wash it all away

    I totally know what you mean :yes:

    Thing is, it's not useful with 32GB so something has to be done
  7. wdwgrandma
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    wdwgrandma Addicted to Mickey

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    LOL So a quick look at the C: drive on my laptop shows me that it is also NTFS!!!
  8. malcolm
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    malcolm Villa Owner

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    Someone better not tell Crayola DeVille about these as all the pictures she takes when she meets me and knocks me black and blue for talking the "wee-wee's" out of her on the forum..

    Keith...thinking of getting one for me laptop for itunes/films etc...recomendations of one ?
  9. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    yep :) that's just fine!

    NTFS has been around as the default filesystem for ages now so no problem there :yes:
  10. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    Well most of the big name brands are just fine. We've kinda settled on the Western digital range
  11. wdwgrandma
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    wdwgrandma Addicted to Mickey

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    Hey Keith, on the Partition Format screen in the wizard there are two boxes: "Perform a Quick Format" and "Enable File and Folder Compression". Should I choose either of these?
  12. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    Wellllllll

    quick format will save you time for no real disadvantage given its a new drive so I'd go for that one

    I dont tend to do file/folder compression since it makes every access a little slower but can save space if you think you'll be pushed (which on a 1TB unit I doubt you will be ;-)
  13. wdwgrandma
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    wdwgrandma Addicted to Mickey

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    Ooooooooookkkkkkkkkkk............ It's formatting... Somebody hold my hand here!
  14. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    We're with you all the way :hug2:
  15. wdwgrandma
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    wdwgrandma Addicted to Mickey

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    It seems to be finished. Could it have really finished that quickly?????
  16. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    yep :) hence the quick format.... if you hadnt have clicked that, it could have taken an hour
  17. wdwgrandma
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    wdwgrandma Addicted to Mickey

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    Ok... Now I'm supposed to go to the support website and download the software. Off to see what to download!
  18. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    I think the most important thing to do next is make sure that your laptop can reboot with it plugged in.... to make sure it comes up as drive D: or E: or whatever rather than stopping the laptop starting :yes:
  19. wdwgrandma
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    wdwgrandma Addicted to Mickey

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    Ya gotta love user manuals and support websites. The documentation states: "After formatting, go to Downloads, find your product, download the My Book utility and follow instructions as prompted." However, there is NO My Book Utility... I have no idea what I'm supposed to download! I know not to download the 98E driver utility since that is for Windows 98 only...
  20. wdwgrandma
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    wdwgrandma Addicted to Mickey

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    Ok. I'll give that a shot...

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