Best file system for WD "My Passport" external hard drive?

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a42857
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Best file system for WD "My Passport" external hard drive?

Post by a42857 » Wed May 30, 2018 7:12 pm

Hi,

I just bought a Western Digital 1-TB "My Passport" external hard drive (Model number: WDBYNN0010BBK-WESN), which I plan to use with my Linux Mint PC. What is the best file system to select for configuring the said external hard drive?

Thanks in advance!

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phd21
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Re: Best file system for WD "My Passport" external hard drive?

Post by phd21 » Wed May 30, 2018 8:52 pm

Hi a42857,

Welcome to the wonderful world of Linux Mint and its excellent forum!

It would help to know more about your system setup. If you run "inxi -Fxzd" and "lsusb" from the console terminal prompt, highlight the results, copy and paste them back here, that should provide enough information.

This depends upon what you want to use your USB external drive for.

If you are only going to use the drive for backing up, then you can use whatever you want, leave the existing NTFS file system, or format it using the typical Linux "ext4" format.

I chose to make 2 partitions on my WD USB external drives: I left the existing NTFS partition, but I shrank it in half so I could also create a Linux "ext4" partition. The NTFS partition is accessible by almost any other computer and their operating systems, and smart devices like smart TV and Blu-Ray / DVD players, tablets, Game consoles, hardware routers with USB ports, etc... most of which will not read the Linux "ext4" partition (this may be changing now because some of the newer devices will read the Linux ext4 file system). If you have multimedia files (music, videos and movies, pictures, etc...) that you may want to use (or share) with any of the aforementioned computers and devices at home or elsewhere, then you want an NTFS partition available for those.

I do find that the Linux "ext4" file system to be faster and it is quick and easy to fix if needed. It is also more secure with your Linux system.


Hope this helps ...
Phd21: Mint KDE 17.3 & 18.3, 64-bit Awesome OS, Ancient Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram,256gb SDD, Video: Intel 4 Graphics, DVD Lightscribe. Why I use KDE?:https://opensource.com/life/15/4/9-reasons-to-use-kde

a42857
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Re: Best file system for WD "My Passport" external hard drive?

Post by a42857 » Thu May 31, 2018 1:06 am

Hi phd21,

Thank you so much for your incredible help! My PC is currently without an internal hard drive, and once I install it tomorrow, I will run the 2 prompts and provide the results, so that I can get your advice to set up my external hard drive.

Thanks very much again!

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tdockery97
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Re: Best file system for WD "My Passport" external hard drive?

Post by tdockery97 » Thu May 31, 2018 7:16 am

I have a 1TB WD My Passport that I use for my backups and I formatted the entire drive FAT so that it can be read by either Linux or Windows. That setup has never failed me.
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Pierre
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Re: Best file system for WD "My Passport" external hard drive?

Post by Pierre » Thu May 31, 2018 7:24 am

most of these drives, come pre-formatted to the FAT32 file system,
for maximum compatibility with the windows operating system.

BTW: this type of file system has a file size limitation of ~4Gb for any one file.

so, if you don't have any intention, to use this drive with that windows operating system.
the you could re-format that dive to the Linux format of either ext3 / ext4
8)
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phd21
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Re: Best file system for WD "My Passport" external hard drive?

Post by phd21 » Thu May 31, 2018 10:41 am

Hi a42857,

You are welcome...

I got my 2 Western Digital 1tb USB external Drives (Grey "Slim" and Blue "Ultra") a long time ago, and I honestly do not recall what the original filesystem was on them. I thought it was NTFS, but it could have been Fat32. It is easy enough to check though, with the drive connected, just bring up your partition manager or "Drives" from your menus, click the drive to see information about it like which filesystem it has on it. I would get larger backup drives when I can, greater than 1 terabyte.

As I stated before, you do not need to do anything to start using the drive right away for backing up or whatever. I do know it came with a bunch of MS Windows software which I deleted to save space since I do not use MS Windows.

It is fairly easy to change the drive's filesystem and or to re-partition a drive like I mentioned before. If you want to know how just ask.

FYI: I create compressed backup drive images using "Clonezilla Live" to my USB external Drives, and I also use a synchronization (sync) application (Lucky Backup, or FreeFileSync) for frequent (daily or so) faster backing up of changed files. There are a lot of good posts in this forum on backing up.
A console terminal command for listing drives

Code: Select all

sudo lsblk -f
9 commands to check hard disk partitions and disk space on Linux – BinaryTides
https://www.binarytides.com/linux-comma ... artitions/
I also recommend that you do not keep the USB drives connected all the time, it is not necessary unless you are backing up or restoring. Always disconnect the USB external drives properly, "unmount" them, or you could damage the filesystem, even if the drives claim to be "hot swappable". Drives can be mounted and unmounted easily through the "device notification" icon in your system tray panel or using your file manager.

Hope this helps ...
Phd21: Mint KDE 17.3 & 18.3, 64-bit Awesome OS, Ancient Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram,256gb SDD, Video: Intel 4 Graphics, DVD Lightscribe. Why I use KDE?:https://opensource.com/life/15/4/9-reasons-to-use-kde

a42857
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Re: Best file system for WD "My Passport" external hard drive?

Post by a42857 » Thu May 31, 2018 2:09 pm

Hi phd21, tdockery97, and Pierre:

Thank you all so much for your incredible help! It is greatly appreciated.

My friend set up the external hard drive earlier today using the ext4 file system, since I have no intention to use the drive with Windows. It's working very well thus far.

Thank phd21 for the tip, I'll make sure to remove the external hard drive when I'm not using it.

Is it possible to use a sync application like luckyBackup or FreeFileSync even if the external hard drive isn't always plugged in? Also, if I set the sync application to update my files once per day, and then I re-connect my external hard drive after 2 days, will it update all of my files? Does it only update the files that have been changed?

Thanks so much!

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phd21
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Re: Best file system for WD "My Passport" external hard drive?

Post by phd21 » Thu May 31, 2018 2:59 pm

Hi "a42857",

You are welcome from all of us that replied...
a42857 wrote:Is it possible to use a sync application like luckyBackup or FreeFileSync even if the external hard drive isn't always plugged in? Also, if I set the sync application to update my files once per day, and then I re-connect my external hard drive after 2 days, will it update all of my files? Does it only update the files that have been changed?
Obviously, no backup program can backup to a drive that is not connected and mounted (available).

Although you can setup various backup applications and sync applications to automatically run at specified times, I just run them when I want to with the drive connected and mounted. Yes, the syncing apps will backup only the changed files. The first time you run a syncing app could take a while to run, but from then on it is usually very quick because it only updates the new and changed files.

FYI: You may have to give yourself (your logged in username) permission to access the USB external drive.

I created folders for my various backups, like "backup-images" where I store Clonezilla drive and partition images by date, and other folders for syncing using "Lucky backup" or "FreeFileSync" applications, like "LM183KDE" for syncing my Linux Mint KDE 18.3 system's home folder to my USB external drive.

Hope this helps ...
USB_External_Drive1.jpg
Example of my USB external drive setup.
Phd21: Mint KDE 17.3 & 18.3, 64-bit Awesome OS, Ancient Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram,256gb SDD, Video: Intel 4 Graphics, DVD Lightscribe. Why I use KDE?:https://opensource.com/life/15/4/9-reasons-to-use-kde

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Re: Best file system for WD "My Passport" external hard drive?

Post by a42857 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:59 pm

Hi phd21,

Sorry for the slow response.

Thanks very much for all your helpful advice! It is greatly appreciated :)

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phd21
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Re: Best file system for WD "My Passport" external hard drive?

Post by phd21 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:13 pm

Hi a42857,

You are welcome...
Phd21: Mint KDE 17.3 & 18.3, 64-bit Awesome OS, Ancient Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram,256gb SDD, Video: Intel 4 Graphics, DVD Lightscribe. Why I use KDE?:https://opensource.com/life/15/4/9-reasons-to-use-kde

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Schultz
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Re: Best file system for WD "My Passport" external hard drive?

Post by Schultz » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:35 pm

Since I only use my external drive on Linux, I formatted it to ext4.

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flyingeggs
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Re: Best file system for WD "My Passport" external hard drive?

Post by flyingeggs » Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:04 am

I actually have one of those myself. I keep it formatted with NTFS so that it's compatible with Windows. I've had a few issues with this so I'm considering reformatting it to FAT32.
The NTFS driver seems to violate certain rules for NTFS that will show up on a CHKDSK in Windows.

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