[SOLVED] Drive Format

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TaterChip
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[SOLVED] Drive Format

Post by TaterChip »

Hello All.... I am in the process of making the switch to Linux.

I have my main laptop (not linux) and my baby laptop (Mint XFCE) that I want to backup to an external drive. I know that Linux can read and write to NTFS, but I'm thinking it's best not to. I also know that my primarily laptop will not read a drive formatted in ext4.

I'm wondering what the best option is. Purchase a single 5tb and format to NTFS so both systems can backup there, or buy a 4tb and 2tb and format the drive accordingly.

What are your thoughts?
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When it comes to your data... two is one, one is none!
Cosmo.
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Re: Drive Format

Post by Cosmo. »

You are right: you can store backups on ntfs drives - more exactly on partitions. But this has at least disadvantages, because the Linux file properties get lost on a ntfs partition, and partly you cannot use it at all (for Timeshift).

But you can buy a 5 TB drive and create different partitions there, one with ntfs format and one with ext4 format. You did not say, where this drive shall get installed, a 3rd computer, something else?
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Re: Drive Format

Post by TaterChip »

Cosmo. wrote: Sat Apr 22, 2023 2:08 pm You are right: you can store backups on ntfs drives - more exactly on partitions. But this has at least disadvantages, because the Linux file properties get lost on a ntfs partition, and partly you cannot use it at all (for Timeshift).

But you can buy a 5 TB drive and create different partitions there, one with ntfs format and one with ext4 format. You did not say, where this drive shall get installed, a 3rd computer, something else?
It is just going to be an external drive that gets moved to whatever computer I plan on backing up. I'll be using something like FreeFileSync to copy the files over.

I didn't think about setting up two different partitions. I'll have to give that some thought.

I do plan on using VeraCrypt to encrypt the external drive, or at least create encrypted files to store things in.
When it comes to your data... two is one, one is none!
mikeflan
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Re: Drive Format

Post by mikeflan »

I create quite a few soft links (shortcuts) in Linux. If you don't, then backing up the Linux to NTFS might not be as bad as you think. It might work out very nicely for you.

If you ever give up on windows, then you are probably going to convert to EXT4 entirely. But EXT4 is not necessary for backup of personal files.
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Re: Drive Format

Post by TaterChip »

mikeflan wrote: Sat Apr 22, 2023 3:19 pm I create quite a few soft links (shortcuts) in Linux. If you don't, then backing up the Linux to NTFS might not be as bad as you think. It might work out very nicely for you.

If you ever give up on windows, then you are probably going to convert to EXT4 entirely. But EXT4 is not necessary for backup of personal files.
I am working toward that. I've been in the MS ecosystem since MSDOS, and Win 11 is the straw that broke the camels back. I've already converted 2 out of 3 machines to Linux. My main laptop has win10, and that will be the last version for me.
When it comes to your data... two is one, one is none!
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Re: Drive Format

Post by linux-rox »

TaterChip wrote: Sat Apr 22, 2023 2:18 pm I didn't think about setting up two different partitions. I'll have to give that some thought.
Having data file backups on NTFS is relatively harmless, and prudent for so long as you are dual booting with Windows. File level backups of Mint's system and home, and Timeshift snapshots if you wish to save them on this drive, all should be on ext4. Not even a close question.
I do plan on using VeraCrypt to encrypt the external drive, or at least create encrypted files to store things in.
Be aware, you also can encrypt a partition with VeraCrypt. Just be sure to back up the files to another, similarly encrypted container.
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Re: Drive Format

Post by zcot »

For me, I do not have any system even close, or even half of 1TB.

I will not create partitions any bigger than maybe 500GB, because if it comes to partition management, or backups, or any other related operation then the time it takes to deal with TB sizes is outrageous. Maybe you want to change a partition size later to accommodate some other other partition then an operation on even 1TB or multiple then the operation shows it will take 3 hours or 6 or something, for me I will never do that.

I have not had a (linux) system go over 100GB, ever.

Maybe I am a gamer and use Steam, then I will create a separated partition for that data specifically, this means I deal with the management a lot easier in any case. If I reinstall a system then I will have a separated partition for that stuff and only have to reinstall steam on the system partition and just link back to the data.

Maybe I like to collect tv or movies series, then I would create a specific data partition for doing that, I will not attempt to do this on the system partition(s) to where it is mandatory to back that up as an integral part of a system.

If I want to use a specific backup scheme, ok, so let's say Timeshift is one of the methods, it will take a first snapshot of maybe 15GB and then only a few more for each subsequent snapshots, so if I had a dedicated backup partition then I will only require, -I don't know, -way less than 500GB even that's for sure!

With the availability of these gigantic drives now it makes it almost a default to have 1TB at least, and I will never make any huge partitions, it only means I set myself up for a headache later.

5TB, 4TB, even 2TB, I'm going to create MANY partitions on those drives. And at least with my habits, I don't collect any large things really, there will be plenty of times where there are huge blocks of "free space" on those drives.
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Re: Drive Format

Post by TaterChip »

zcot wrote: Sun Apr 23, 2023 12:12 am For me, I do not have any system even close, or even half of 1TB.

I will not create partitions any bigger than maybe 500GB, because if it comes to partition management, or backups, or any other related operation then the time it takes to deal with TB sizes is outrageous. Maybe you want to change a partition size later to accommodate some other other partition then an operation on even 1TB or multiple then the operation shows it will take 3 hours or 6 or something, for me I will never do that.

I have not had a (linux) system go over 100GB, ever.

Maybe I am a gamer and use Steam, then I will create a separated partition for that data specifically, this means I deal with the management a lot easier in any case. If I reinstall a system then I will have a separated partition for that stuff and only have to reinstall steam on the system partition and just link back to the data.

Maybe I like to collect tv or movies series, then I would create a specific data partition for doing that, I will not attempt to do this on the system partition(s) to where it is mandatory to back that up as an integral part of a system.

If I want to use a specific backup scheme, ok, so let's say Timeshift is one of the methods, it will take a first snapshot of maybe 15GB and then only a few more for each subsequent snapshots, so if I had a dedicated backup partition then I will only require, -I don't know, -way less than 500GB even that's for sure!

With the availability of these gigantic drives now it makes it almost a default to have 1TB at least, and I will never make any huge partitions, it only means I set myself up for a headache later.

5TB, 4TB, even 2TB, I'm going to create MANY partitions on those drives. And at least with my habits, I don't collect any large things really, there will be plenty of times where there are huge blocks of "free space" on those drives.
There are times I wish I could say this. I have a LOT of data. Not only do I run a business, but I'm also a full time photographer. Between those two, I eat up a lot of data. I have 3tb of internal storage on the main win laptop, and 2 tb of internal storage on the baby Linux laptop.

I will admit, it takes several hours for the initial VeraCrypt encryption process.

Part of me runs one big partition because I hate to waste space... meaning.... if I fill up the data partition, but the OS partition is only a quarter full, then I'm kinda screwed. I can definitely see the advantage though. Especially when it comes to upgrading the OS or even swapping distros. I'll have to look into this a little more because as of right now, that is above my skill level with linux.
When it comes to your data... two is one, one is none!
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