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Using external USB drives with Linux

I am currently running Fedora Core 3 and want to upgrade to FC 6.  I am 
contenplating getting an external USB (or firewire) drive for backup 
during the upgrade (and for general backup use).

I understand that some external drives come formatted NTFS, but I can 
deal with that. I would reformat it, probably as vfat, so I could also 
use it for backup under Windows.  As long as my system recognizes the 
sdisk as a mass storage device, I know what to do.  Are there any other 
potential problems.  Are some drives recognizable only by Windows?   I 
am considering an Iomega drive.  Any comments about those.  Any other 
suggestions?
0
len1 (65)
11/24/2006 4:06:08 PM
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Leonard Evens wrote:

> I am currently running Fedora Core 3 and want to upgrade to FC 6.  I am
> contenplating getting an external USB (or firewire) drive for backup
> during the upgrade (and for general backup use).
> 
> I understand that some external drives come formatted NTFS, but I can
> deal with that. I would reformat it, probably as vfat, so I could also
> use it for backup under Windows.  As long as my system recognizes the
> sdisk as a mass storage device, I know what to do.  Are there any other
> potential problems.  Are some drives recognizable only by Windows?   I
> am considering an Iomega drive.  Any comments about those.  Any other
> suggestions?

Unlikely that any come formatted with NTFS because maker doesn't want to
pay m$.  Mine came with one FAT32 partition.  I used it that way for several
years, then reformatted to ext3: no more w2k crashes during painfully
long defrags.  Consider making two partitions: NTFS or FAT32 for m$ stuff,
a linux format for the rest.

Any drive that meets the USB standards should work fine under either linux
or win.  I don't know whether IOmega's package is OK.

Don't settle for USB 1.
0
roby (102)
11/24/2006 4:25:18 PM
On Fri, 24 Nov 2006 10:06:08 -0600, Leonard Evens wrote:

> I am currently running Fedora Core 3 and want to upgrade to FC 6.  I am 
> contenplating getting an external USB (or firewire) drive for backup 
> during the upgrade (and for general backup use).
> 
> I understand that some external drives come formatted NTFS, but I can 
> deal with that. I would reformat it, probably as vfat, so I could also 
> use it for backup under Windows.  As long as my system recognizes the 
> sdisk as a mass storage device, I know what to do.  Are there any other 
> potential problems.  Are some drives recognizable only by Windows?   I 
> am considering an Iomega drive.  Any comments about those.  Any other 
> suggestions?
>
There is no need to have any Windows filesystems at all on an external
disc. There is one caveat: you must be able and willing to live without
accessing this disk directly from Windows. But if all you want is to
backup a dual boot workstation, then GNU/Linux can easily backup Windows
filesystems. For example, I use ntfsclone to backup ntfs formatted
partitions.

VMWare...
Setting up the Microsoft OS to run in as a virtual machine is the most
compatible option of all. This allows the external disk to be managed by
GNU/Linux and formatted using an advanced journalling filesystem, such as
xfs. (Also, partition level encryption using device mapper is another
layer which is simply added to GNU/Linux, if necessary.) VMWare has
some nice features which allow virtual machines to be suspended and
resumed quickly. When a VM is suspended its assigned memory and
other resources are freed. Upon "Resume," the operation will complete
as quickly as "real" laptop resuming from suspend.

This recent thread has more information:
http://groups.google.com/group/comp.os.linux.misc/msg/ca7c8cfe441d3ec8

This is a followup response:
http://groups.google.com/group/comp.os.linux.misc/msg/e31c8f472228067c

-- 
Douglas Mayne
0
doug7709 (132)
11/24/2006 5:24:27 PM
Leonard Evens wrote:
> I am currently running Fedora Core 3 and want to upgrade to FC 6.  I am 
> contenplating getting an external USB (or firewire) drive for backup 
> during the upgrade (and for general backup use).
> 
> I understand that some external drives come formatted NTFS, but I can 
> deal with that. I would reformat it, probably as vfat, so I could also 
> use it for backup under Windows.  As long as my system recognizes the 
> sdisk as a mass storage device, I know what to do.  Are there any other 
> potential problems.  Are some drives recognizable only by Windows?   I 
> am considering an Iomega drive.  Any comments about those.  Any other 
> suggestions?

I finally got a Western Digital MyBook Essentials 160 GB external USB 
drive.  Fedore Core 3 redognizes it without problem and the format is 
FAT32.   I plan to use it for backups under both Linux and Windows.

I also installed it with appropriate drivers, downloaded from WD, on my 
wife's old Windows 98 installation on a Dell desktop.  It works there 
also, but for some reason double clicking on the drive icon brings up a 
installation dialog box asking me to register it.  Just more Windows 
nonsense.  I hope it doesn't do the same thing with XP.
0
len1 (65)
11/26/2006 2:13:11 PM
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