Question about LaCie d2 Quadra Hard Drive

3 Answers

Cross platform backup drive format/partition

Please submit any recommendations you have on how to format an external hard drive.
I am triple booting Windows XP, Mac OS X 10.4, and Fedora Linux for my engineering, general notetaking and computer use, and computer science needs respectively. Windows and Linux are used primarily for classwork; all my personal data is on the mac partition. The drive is a LaCie d2 Quadra 750GB, with Firewire 400, 800, eSata, and USB ports. The computer is an early 2007 Macbook Pro with a 120GB drive formatted into EXT3, NTFS, and HFS+. I'm connecting with FW800.
I'd like to have a partition (150-25GB) dedicated to media and large files I don't need on my notebook drive. I'd also like 120GB partition to back up my girlfriend's MB (because she doesn't have a drive).
What should the remaining space be partitioned as? I'd like a better solution than my current setup-exchange between partitions is severely limited. Is there a program available with which I can simply mirror the entire drive (including partitions) over to the new one? If so, how should this space be formatted? I don't want to create a massive FAT32 partition but I'd like to be able to interchange files. Is there a way to do this?
I'm comfortable running a command line, and have done some research to no avail. If it's not possible, tell me what's the best compromise that's worked for you. Thanks!

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  • reemrevnivek Jan 27, 2009

    That's mostly correct. Yes, I need


    • 250 for large files


    • 120 to fit in my girlfriend, she runs a Mac only and this will be HFS


    • 380 to back up everything.
    The question is, what is "The rest" and the "large files" formatted as?

    You can make large FAT32 partitions, but it only technically supports up to about 32 GB.
    Making FAT32 partitions larger creates waste because the small index file means you need large sectors, meaning a little file of a few bytes (folder properties, text, etc) takes up a lot of bytes. Windows makes you format anything larger as NTFS because it just doesn't make sense for a drive that large.
    It also would be problematic for sequential backups because it fragments like a monster. EXT3, HFS+ both do not need defragmenting-they (basically) do it on the fly. I don't want to defragment the backup of all my files. That's just asking for trouble.
    The largest issue, which seals the deal for non-FAT32 is that it absolutely doesn't allow files over 4GB. Any DVD images or large dmg's will not work, meaning I'd have to create split RAR archives for anything big-more transcoding, more chance for data loss, more hassle.

    I don't want FAT32.

    Anybody know something about UFS or UDF with Windows XP? I know the latter is for optical media. How does it work for a hard disk?
    Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_... for more information/ideas.


  • Randall  Trahan
    Randall Trahan May 11, 2010

    @ p3ngy HELLO! FAT32 has a max partition size of 32GB!! DO THE MATH!! and only works with Windows...ext2/ext3 work on Linux and have a 2TB limit. And a new file system for linux is called GPT (GUID partition tables that break the 2TB size limit....
    And stop with the !!! especially when you don't know what you are talking about.


  • Ekse May 11, 2010

    I think you will need to format / partition the drive as follows

    250 GB Fat 32
    120 GB Fat 32
    380 GB Fat 32

    This is the only way you can use the all the partitions on all operating system and have separate room for your GF and large files.


  • Ekse May 11, 2010

    Lets see if I understood it correctly.

    You need a drive that is usable on all 3 enviroments, as far as I remember, NTFS doesn't go well with linux and is readonly, Fat 32 should work with linux and mac and obviously with windows.



    • so you need 250 for large files


    • 120 to fit in your girlfriend, what system is she runing? same computer? mac?


    • 380 to the rest.

    And you would like to interchange files between all the partitions in any os?


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I agree with Ekse here, Norton Ghost will only Reset your O.S

FAT32 Is Compatible with all 3 O.S !!.NOTHING ELSE.!!

Posted on Jan 27, 2009

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Norton Ghost and Acronis True Image are standards in the commercial sector. A friendly tip here: using your computer for multiboot, multi-purpose and multi-user is asking for trouble. Steve here is a link for imaging software as you will need that I guarantee you. Good luck and reconsider what you are doing. Steve Medley

Posted on Jan 27, 2009

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  • LaCie Master
  • 13,433 Answers

Fat 32 is the only system that would work on all 3 os's direcly.
You could use NTFS if you only write those big files on windows, you could read it on both linux and mac.

NTFS 250 (or ext2)
HFS 120
If you need to use the last partition on of the operating systems the fat 32 would work here, but as you know the problem with that. Looking at the wikipedia page ext2 would also work.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009

  • Ekse Jan 27, 2009

    Well I saw a thanks for trying rating, could you update me on that?

    Ext2 doesn't do it?

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