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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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.
LMDE 3 Cindy

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

Post by AlchemistOfLife » Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:08 pm

Hi everyone. I'm new to linux and new to online forums so please bear with me.
I have been a windows user since 95 and recently have begun experimenting with linux mint; my laprop is set up in dual boot.

I just bought a WD Passport WiFi and I'd like to set it up with several partitions (documents backup; images backup; videos); i'd like these to be readable from both windows and linux.

1) is the proper procedure to reformat the entire new hard drive in order to clear it of any clutter?
2) which format to use when doing this (NTFS/FAT32/other)?
3) which softwware do you recommed for partitioning?
4) recommendations for backup (or sync?) software compativle with MS & Mint?
5) other recommendations warmly welcome.

I realize some of this seems to have been answered but I am so insecure (have historically caused MANY a crash of my computers) that I would appreciate your diligence in guiding me through the steps as above (unless I botched that too...).

Many thanks in advance!

Nicolai

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

Post by Mark Phelps » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:03 pm

@AlchemistOfLife:

You didn't mention the Windows version, but if it is Win10, you need to know that any filesystem that is open when you shut it down will then be locked and can not, after that, be opened by Linux. So, if it IS Win10, you have to disable Fast Startup:

There are two ways to disable FastStartup in Win10: (1) through the Control Panel, and (2) through an elevated command prompt.

Control Panel - Open Control Panel --> Power Options.
Select "Choose what the power buttons do"
Select "Change settings that are currently unavailable"
At the bottom of the Window, under Shutdown settings, uncheck the box regarding fast startup

Elevated command prompt - run the following command:
REG ADD "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Power" /V HiberbootEnabled /T REG_dWORD /D 0 /F

In both cases, reboot Windows.

As to your questions ...

1) Reformatting doesn't actually clear out the drive; instead, what it does is rewrite the partition records, actually leaving all the data pretty much intact -- it's just that OSs don't see the files and folders anymore because the partition records were blanked. If you really want to CLEAR the drive, then you need to use an app that WIPES the data -- overwriting it with ones and zeroes.

2) See above

3) Since you need a file format usable BOTH by Windows and Linux, then I suggest NTFS -- and the best free app I use is Minitool Partition Wizard Free (Windows app). You can get an ISO file from here: http://downloads.tomsguide.com/MiniTool ... 51034.html

Once you have that, burn it to a CD or create a bootable USB stick from it and use that for partitioning.

4) Clonezilla is compatible with both -- but I prefer Macrium Reflect Free for Windows, and although that WILL work in Linux, I prefer Clonezilla for Linux

Good Luck

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

Post by AlchemistOfLife » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:44 am

Thanks a bunch Mark!!!

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

Post by JerryF » Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:48 am

AlchemistOfLife wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:44 am
Thanks a bunch Mark!!!
Please don't hijack someone elses thread. It's against forum rules and impolite. Please start your own post.

Thanks.
IF your problem has been solved, please edit your original post and add [SOLVED] to the beginning of the Subject Line. It helps other members.

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