How to format my external drive?

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How to format my external drive?

Postby germanix on Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:41 am

I have connected an external drive to my laptop. The drive is 500GB. I started the application Gparted. It gives me the following information:
Partition /deb/sdb1
Filesystem ntfs
Mount point /media/volume
Size 465 GiB
I previously used this drive to back-up my files under "Windows". I now no longer use "Windows", and will now only use this drive to back-up files with Linux Mint and also with Ubuntu that runs on my PC. As it now stands, is seems that I can back-up files to i,t but I was was told this is not ideal (as the drive is formatted in ntfs) I would be better, I was told, for me to format the drive with Linux.
So now I would like to format this drive for Linux, and do not know how to proceed. I do not care to partition it really, I just need to format it. Which command should I give to format this drive? please advise.
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Re: How to format my external drive?

Postby routine on Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:51 am

I will attempt to answer your question.

First and foremost, if there's anything on that drive that you want to keep, make sure you copy it to another drive.

Second, if you ever want to plug that drive into a Windows system (a laptop for example) then I would recommend keeping it NTFS. You will still be able to copy files to and from that drive from your linux box. You will not be able to access the drive in Windows once you format at in linux as EXT2/3/JFS/XFS/etc without special drivers.

Now, if you really want to format it. The easiest way to do it is to use GPARTED.

1. Plug the drive in the computer.
2. After Linux Mint has detected and automatically mounted the drive. Right click on it and select Unmount.
3. Open GPARTED... Select /dev/sdb1 (or whatever the drive is -- make sure you select the right one or you will lose all your data).
4. Right click on the partition and select Delete.
5. Right click on the partition and select New.
6. Here you can set the size and type of partition you want.
7. Click Add.
8. Repeat steps 5-7 if you're not creating one huge partition.
9. Click Apply.

For a good discussion on the different types of partitions, start here: http://linuxmint.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=90&t=13480
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Re: How to format my external drive?

Postby germanix on Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:05 am

In the meantime I have found the solution on the Ubuntu Forum. For those interested here the solution.
1. The drive can remain on NTFS, may not be ideal, but works.
If however you want to format to ext3 which would be ideal.
2. Go to Gparted, select the drive, make sure the drive is not mounted. (if mounted then demount) Go to partition - format to - select ext3
I decided to leave it as is, saves my some work, but I now know how to do it, should I want to in future.
The problem is now solved.
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Re: How to format my external drive?

Postby germanix on Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:13 am

I thank you "routine" for this very informative answer. Before I saw this answer I had already replied to my own post, giving an answer that I had found on a different forum. Your answer do go into a lot more detail for which I thank you. I am here to learn and all information I can get, I am thankful for. Have a nice day.
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Re: How to format my external drive?

Postby routine on Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:53 am

No problem... glad to help. :)
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