Reformat my EXT3 data partitions to NTFS--Best way?

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gumby
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Reformat my EXT3 data partitions to NTFS--Best way?

Post by gumby »

I installed EXT3 IFS windows driver so that I could access my Linux partitions in Windows but it doesn't work. It can't open the partitions and when I double click on them I get a message asking if I want to format the partition. I can't find a good solution to this problem on the net. I've tried several solutions but they don't work for me.

I also tried installing Linux Reader but it, too, cannot open my Linux EXT3 partitions.

So now I think the best solution is to reformat my Linux data partitions as NTFS so Windows can see them. I can move all the data on them to other media temporarily so as not to lose it, but what program is best, and simplest, to do this reformat? Should I do it in Linux or in Windows? Also, how can I do this without losing GRUB? If I would have to reinstall GRUB from a Live CD, the only Live CD I have now is an old Felicia one. Would I be able to use that to re-install GRUB? (I am running Gloria but I upgraded online, didn't get a Live CD)

Thanks for any assistance.
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pluraldave
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Re: Reformat my EXT3 data partitions to NTFS--Best way?

Post by pluraldave »

How did you get to Gloria?

All you have to do is boot up the liveCD and reformat the ext as ntfs (mkae sure you format the right one!). Grub shouldn't be affected.
You will have to edit fstab though as it will point to a partition that is ext instead of ntfs and the uuid of the partition will change.
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Re: Reformat my EXT3 data partitions to NTFS--Best way?

Post by DataMan »

Another alternative on the re-formatting end is to re-format the partition to FAT32. This is viewable by both Windows and Linux. Consider this approach unless you have file sizes > ~ 4G. If that be the case, stick with NTFS.

Have you exercised all of the options for viewing ext3 partitions in Windows? You may want to search these forums or Google a bit before proceeding with the drastic approach (NTFS).

-DataMan
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gumby
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Re: Reformat my EXT3 data partitions to NTFS--Best way?

Post by gumby »

pluraldave wrote:How did you get to Gloria?

All you have to do is boot up the liveCD and reformat the ext as ntfs (mkae sure you format the right one!). Grub shouldn't be affected.
You will have to edit fstab though as it will point to a partition that is ext instead of ntfs and the uuid of the partition will change.
I got to Gloria by upgrading Felicia online, not by downloading the Gloria CD.

I don't have a Gloria Live CD. I have a Felicia live CD. Will that work to reformat the partitions?

I don't know how I should edit fstab but I won't need that instruction unless I decide to go this route.

Any good reason why i shouldn't do the reformat in Windows? Would probably be easier.
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Re: Reformat my EXT3 data partitions to NTFS--Best way?

Post by gumby »

DataMan wrote:Another alternative on the re-formatting end is to re-format the partition to FAT32. This is viewable by both Windows and Linux. Consider this approach unless you have file sizes > ~ 4G. If that be the case, stick with NTFS.

Have you exercised all of the options for viewing ext3 partitions in Windows? You may want to search these forums or Google a bit before proceeding with the drastic approach (NTFS).

-DataMan
Dataman,

Why would FAT32 be better than NTFS? Isn't NTFS also viewable and writable by Linux? Actually, I do have files bigger than 4G, so I'd rather use NTFS. Why is NTFS a drastic approach? What are the reasons not to use NTFS?

I haven't tried all the options I found on Google, like Virtual Volumes, for instance, because that one warns that it's beta and could damage your computer.

Also, I think I really want to be able to write to the Linux NTFS partitions in Windows, as well as read. I know some say that's risky, but it's necessary for me. So I am less interested in the programs that only let you read from Linux. And, as I mentioned, the first two that I tried fail to even give me read-only access.

I really want to do this the simplest way possible while not losing GRUB. Unless Windows has a GRUB alternative that will let me choose to boot to Mint.

What about using XP disk management? Would that wipe GRUB?

Thanks for your suggestions.
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pluraldave
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Re: Reformat my EXT3 data partitions to NTFS--Best way?

Post by pluraldave »

Grub has nothing to do with your data partition. Grub does not point at your data partition, and reformatting the data partition should do nothing to the MBR or grub that is in your / partition.

Whether you reformat the partition in Linux or in Windows you will have to edit fstab because it does point at your data partition and it expects that partition to be ext3.

My advice would be to download the Gloria iso and either burn it to a CD or get usb-creator from synaptic if your computer can boot from usb and then do a fresh install and format the data partition at the same time. You can just type your mountpoint for the data partition and it will take care of fstab for you as well as clearing up all of your other problems (which are probably a result of upgrading instead of doing a clean install anyway).
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Re: Reformat my EXT3 data partitions to NTFS--Best way?

Post by gumby »

Dave, perhaps you're right that my problems come from upgrading rather than doing a clean install. I've also been having problems with Mint failing to shut down properly, or taking me to the first login screen when I try to shut down or restart, and also occasionally Mint has shut down suddenly all by itself, while I was in the middle of working.

But if I'm going to go to the trouble of downloading a new ISO, I think I'd rather download the KDE edition and try that instead of Gnome. Can I install KDE without reformatting the whole hard drive? I'd like to keep the partitions i have, just reformatting the data partitions to NTFS. Also, I have two 70 GB data partitions, and I'd like to be able to reformat them one at a time, so that I can save the data from one onto the other one (one of them is nearly empty), and then move the data back to the newly reformatted NTFS data partition and reformat the second data partition as NTFS. Is that possible during the KDE install or afterwards?

Thanks again.
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Re: Reformat my EXT3 data partitions to NTFS--Best way?

Post by gumby »

Also, when I upgraded Felicia to Gloria, the upgrade program installed the 64 bit version instead of the 32, without offering me a choice. Could that be another reason I'm having problems? I read that the 32 bit version is more stable.
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Re: Reformat my EXT3 data partitions to NTFS--Best way?

Post by pluraldave »

gumby wrote:Also, when I upgraded Felicia to Gloria, the upgrade program installed the 64 bit version instead of the 32, without offering me a choice. Could that be another reason I'm having problems? I read that the 32 bit version is more stable.
That depends on what you had before the upgrade. You shouldn't be able to switch between 32 and 64 bit so either that is entirely normal or a complete disaster. I run 64 bit and haven't had any problems with stability. If anything the only difference I've seen is that flash seems less prone to breakage in 64 bit.
gumby wrote:Dave, perhaps you're right that my problems come from upgrading rather than doing a clean install. I've also been having problems with Mint failing to shut down properly, or taking me to the first login screen when I try to shut down or restart, and also occasionally Mint has shut down suddenly all by itself, while I was in the middle of working.
The more you say the more I think a fresh install is a good idea. Helena will be out by the time we trouble shoot all these. :p
gumby wrote:But if I'm going to go to the trouble of downloading a new ISO, I think I'd rather download the KDE edition and try that instead of Gnome.
My suggestion here would be to try KDE on your current setup first to see if you like it. Open up synaptic and search for mint-meda-kde. That should pull in all the packages required for KDE. Once installed you can then log out of your current Gnome session and back into a KDE session to see which you prefer. There is a "sessions" option on the login screen you have to click to select your preferred session.
gumby wrote:Can I install KDE without reformatting the whole hard drive?
You will have to reformat the / partition during install but you will have to do that whatever desktop environment you choose. Make sure you back up any important configuration files (ie your internet browser and email) in /home before you start any formatting.
gumby wrote:I'd like to keep the partitions i have, just reformatting the data partitions to NTFS. Also, I have two 70 GB data partitions, and I'd like to be able to reformat them one at a time, so that I can save the data from one onto the other one (one of them is nearly empty), and then move the data back to the newly reformatted NTFS data partition and reformat the second data partition as NTFS. Is that possible during the KDE install or afterwards?
You could do one before the install and one afterwards (from the liveCD!). You will have to edit fstab to account for the change in one partition from ext3 to ntfs though. Given that you will have one ntfs line from the install it should just be a case of copy/pasting the appropriate parts.
I should point out that it is safer to back up externally in case anything goes wrong with the partitioning.
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Re: Reformat my EXT3 data partitions to NTFS--Best way?

Post by gumby »

How big is the Mint-Meta-KDE download? I googled it and it seems that some people have problems with it. Also, since Mint KDE is only available in 32 bit, how will it function on my 64 bit installation?

Does this package produce a Mint KDE that is identical to the one on the Live CD?

If the Mint-Meta-KDE download is very large, I'd rather just download the live DVD.

Maybe a new 32 bit install of Mint KDE will solve whatever problem is preventing Ext3 IFS from working. Then I wouldn't have to reformat as NTFS.

Thanks again for your help.
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Re: Reformat my EXT3 data partitions to NTFS--Best way?

Post by pluraldave »

I just tried it, turns out the meta package won't work. (There is a 32bit specific dependency). You could just mark KDE and see what gets pulled in but it won't be as polished as the Mint version with bug fixes. I don't know how big it is either, but it's certainly quicker than downloading the iso.

the Mint KDE edition might solve the issues with ext ifs but you really should not install that software, it's a security nightmare waiting to happen.
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Re: Reformat my EXT3 data partitions to NTFS--Best way?

Post by gumby »

Well, after doing a bit of research, I see that Mint Kde also won't support my Broadcam wifi card out of the box. It might be better to wait for the next edition. I will download the Gnome ISO for now and attempt reinstall OS.

Thanks again, Dave.
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Re: Reformat my EXT3 data partitions to NTFS--Best way?

Post by gumby »

pluraldave wrote: the Mint KDE edition might solve the issues with ext ifs but you really should not install that software, it's a security nightmare waiting to happen.
Assuming I could get Ext2 IFS to work, I wonder if you could give it write access to only the data partitions, and not the linux OS partitions. If you could do that, would it still be a potential nightmare?

Anyway, simply making the data partitions NTFS should enable write access from Windows without any security issues, no?
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Re: Reformat my EXT3 data partitions to NTFS--Best way?

Post by pluraldave »

I don't know if that would be possible - I doubt it though. Most likely it just gives Windows the ability to read the filesystem and Windows then just assumes it can do whatever it likes.

NTFS is probably the best option I think.
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Re: Reformat my EXT3 data partitions to NTFS--Best way?

Post by gumby »

Dave,

How about if I reformat the data partition as NTFS from Windows Computer Management? Right now I'm having so many problems with Linux I would rather use windows. If I do that, will the partition work with Linux?

I will do this before the reinstall of Mint. I'll move all my data to my other data partition (and wherever else I can find space, maybe in another empty partition I have), then reformat the first data partition as NTFS in windows. Then I'll reinstall Mint into its existing partition, then move all my data back to the new NTFS partition, then reformat my other data partition as NTFS after the reinstall.
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Re: Reformat my EXT3 data partitions to NTFS--Best way?

Post by gumby »

Okay, forget about doing it in Windows Computer Management. My two data partitions are the same size and Windows Computer Management doesn't know their names and reports that both have 100% free space, which isn't true. So I wouldn't know which one I was formatting and could format the wrong one.

So I guess I'll use Gparted if I can figure out how exactly to do this.
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Re: Reformat my EXT3 data partitions to NTFS--Best way?

Post by gumby »

Dave or anybody,

I successfully reformatted my Data1 partition as NTFS with Gparted. Then when I restarted I got lots of error messages about the partition not being ext3. I was able to start Mint and it's running OK but I can't access the reformatted partition. Can you tell me how I must edit fstab and any other files?

Here is my current Fstab: The reformatted partition is /dev/sda8

I haven't reinstalled Mint yet. Will do that later.

Thanks.

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
#
# <file system> <mount point> <type> <options> <dump> <pass>
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
# /dev/sda6
UUID=c0f43a4f-6fca-48b8-89bf-b2296f4332d4 / ext3 relatime,errors=remount-ro 0 1
# /dev/sda5
UUID=52e7132f-6553-46b7-a9ff-b8b760a19a49 none swap sw 0 0
/dev/scd0 /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,noauto,exec,utf8 0 0
/dev/sda1 /home/gumby/WinXP ntfs defaults,umask=007,gid=46 0 0
/dev/sda8 /home/gumby/Data1 ext3 defaults,noatime 0 2
/dev/sda9 /home/gumby/Data2 ext3 defaults,noatime 0 2
# Transcend JetFlash1
# UUID=09EA-3A0B /media/trjf1 vfat rw,noauto,nosuid,nodev,users,shortname=mixed,utf8,umask=077,flush 0 0
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Re: Reformat my EXT3 data partitions to NTFS--Best way?

Post by pluraldave »

You need to fix the Data1 line. We can pretty much copy the relevant part of the ntfs mount you already have, eg

Code: Select all

/dev/sda8 /home/gumby/Data1 ntfs defaults,umask=007,gid=46 0 2
Permissions for ntfs are set at boot (with umask and gid or uid). I assume you are (have to be?) in group 46 so will get the appropriate permissions but if not open a terminal and type

Code: Select all

id gumby
This will give you a list of your uid (user id) number (probably 1000) and your gid (group id) numbers. You should then replace gid=46 with uid=<uid number> or gid=<gid number>. I think you can also use uid=gumby instead of the user id number.
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Re: Reformat my EXT3 data partitions to NTFS--Best way?

Post by gumby »

Thanks so much, Dave. It worked. I did have to add the UID number though.

Should I reformat the other data partition now or after I reinstall Gloria? Now that I know how it should be easy.

Thanks again for all your help.
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Re: Reformat my EXT3 data partitions to NTFS--Best way?

Post by pluraldave »

Might as well do it now, that way the installer can take care of your new fstab for you when you assign the partition mounts.

Make sure you copy your data across to the partition you just formatted first though. ;)
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