External Hard Drives TIP

Gman496

Super Moderator
Staff member
I'm sure you already know this? but in case you don't?

All external drives come Pre formatted to FAT32 because it makes them cross compatible with Windows & Mac's.

In today's world especially with the large size of video files (Single layer DVD 4.8GB & Dual layer 9GB) this is a major restriction on the FAT32 format.

Why?

FAT32 can not handle a file greater than one MB less than 4GB (basically 4GB is the maximum file size for any one file that you can use on a FAT32 drive regardless of its capacity)

Therefore, the very first thing you should do when you purchase any external hard drive for use on a Windows system, is format it to NTFS.

To do this you simply right click the new drive in My Computer (Computer for Vista) and choose "Format".

Note: This must be done while the drive has no content, otherwise it will erase anything already on the drive.



-
 

rtm27

VIP Member
I have done this for each of the eternal drives I have gotten. I was also given a choice of a quick format or standard. I always chose standard, tho it does take longer. Formatting my 1TB drive took a few hours.
 

Gman496

Super Moderator
Staff member
I have done this for each of the eternal drives I have gotten. I was also given a choice of a quick format or standard. I always chose standard, tho it does take longer. Formatting my 1TB drive took a few hours.

Yes it does take time using standard, but it is the best choice. (y)

The differance between the two methods is,

Quick = Format only.

Standard = Format while carrying out a full chkdsk & marking any bad sectors.

Never assume that because a HDD is new that it has to be 100% healthy.

Remember, a 1TB drive holds a hell of a lot of data & you need to know the drive is in good nick, especially if the data you entrust it with is mission critical.


-
 

rtm27

VIP Member
My 1TB holds alot of my movies I haven't burned yet....right now it is at 65% capacity....nearly 2/3 full. This drive has been great since I got it back in february.
 

ferguj1

Super Duper Modulator
Staff member
I would like to have one of those someday as well, but right now I am happy streaming mine through my ps3.
 

wheelo

Admin
Staff member
Forum Supporter
good info gman, but here is the thing.....i didnt know that and now have a good amount on the hard drive, is the solution to put everything on a file on the computer and then format, then put stuff back on? as usual i bow to others superior knowledge.
 

Gman496

Super Moderator
Staff member
good info gman, but here is the thing.....i didnt know that and now have a good amount on the hard drive, is the solution to put everything on a file on the computer and then format, then put stuff back on? as usual i bow to others superior knowledge.
I would say that it would be the foolproof way of doing it wheelo, but if you want to convert from FAT32 to NTFS on a drive containing data without formatting it and losing data, it can be done using a built-in utility in XP & Vista (called "Convert.exe").

It is always advisable to Back up data in the partition or drive that you want to convert, to another drive or partition or another computer system or PC or any other storage media.


Procedure:

How to convert FAT32 Disk to NTFS in Windows Vista and XP with the Convert utility?


In Windows XP:
Click <Start> –> <Run>
Enter “cmd” into the text field labeled “Open“.
Click <OK> button
If you want to convert drive D, enter the command “vol d:” in the command window, to find the volume label for the D: partition
Then enter the command “convert d: /fs:ntfs” to convert the D: partition from FAT32 to NTFS
When prompted, enter the volume label for the partition


In Windows Vista:
Click <Start> sphere
In the Start Menu search box, simply enter “cmd” and hit enter.
If you want to convert drive D, enter the command “convert d: /fs:ntfs” to convert the D: partition from FAT32 to NTFS


You can use the “convert /?” command to bring up information on how to manage the conversion.As long as the drive or partition or disk that you want to convert is not in use, FAT32 to NTFS conversion will happen without any issues. Otherwise, the conversion must be postponed for the next time you reboot the computer system or PC. On Windows Vista start up, you will be prompted to either cancel or carry on with the conversion. The FAT32 to NTFS conversion process is fully automated and it involves a couple of restarts.Let Windows vista or XP to do the conversion.


-
 

Gman496

Super Moderator
Staff member
I didn't format my new hard drive either, i just put my pictures on it. Should i reformat it?
Hi Eva & welcome back, hope you all had a great time.


NTFS provides a number of improvements over FAT32, including:

Second copy of boot sector for improved reliability
Compression
File permissions
Improved recoverability
Improved performance on large volumes
Improved efficiency in disk space utilization
Improved fault tolerance

If all you intend to keep on the drive is pictures? it won't really matter too much if you leave it. If you ever wanted to put an uncompressed DVD video on it though, it would not work, any file over 4GB will not be readable by FAT32.


Personally I would always go NTFS but the choice is yours.


-
 

7thsinger

VIP Member
I will agree with Gman that i too prefer NTFS over FAT32; but i use mine for movies. Therefore, most of my files exceed the 4GB allotment for FAT32.
 

wheelo

Admin
Staff member
Forum Supporter
well Gman, after me scouring, the site, contacting you, etc. I backed up all the files onto the laptop, went to my computer- highlighted the drive, clicked format, and it was already on NTFS ,in the file system it only gives the option of NTFS.

For further reference the Seagate free agent external hard drive is already NTFS.
thanks again G (y)
 
Top