I don't see why not, Fred. Partitioning is a Windows concept, not something physical on the drive. For that reason they are called "logical drives". It has to do with how the file systems is set up, not the drive itself.
Is there something in the drive literature that leads you to believe it cannot be partitioned?
Partitioning is independent of the operating system. It's inherent in the hard drive design specification. It's likely that the software that is bundled with an external drive may, by default, partition it to one single primary partition, but the user should be able to override that and partition it anywan they want. I would recommend a single extended partition, and then as many logical partitions as needed, unless the drive is going to be used a a boot drive, then at least one primary partition is needed.
Thanks Gary and Ned; I don't have the drive yet. Tuesday I think. It is so big that I thought perhaps I could back up two or three computers on it keeping each computer on its own partition. Then I thought also that it might be a good idea to keep all the software from the three computers in one partition, data [genealogy, Rolling Stock, Money files and stuff like that on a second partition and documents like Work doc. Paperport, Flying J, Passport America etc on a third.
Not sure [in fact I know I do not know] the difference in the different partitions you mentioned Ned. Logical and ??. Nice if I could run the drive as part of a network system.
If you're not going to need to boot off the drive, then partition it with one extended partition. Put as many logical partitions in the extended partition as you like.
If you attach it to one computer and share it, it should be seen with your other shares on the rest of the network. However, it may be faster to attach it to each computer in turn while backing up as backup over the network will be slower than when it's directly attached.
I figure why bother partitioning. Just create a separate directory for each computer and back up to the directory. Partitions are annoying in that they limit the amount of material you can store on them, so if you decide to put humongous stuff on one computer, suddenly you're rearranging the virtual drives. However, directories are flexible. Anyhoo, that's what I did on my 250gb backup drive, which is FULL and needs a companion. Well, it was full until I dumped all the 2004 Tour de France TV coverage recordings. Really important stuff like downloaded executables, photos, etc., I also back up on CD or DVD.
I agree with Pat. If you are running a simple name server network like most of us do, i.e. MSHome..etc.. why complicate things beyond simple file and device sharing. On the other hand, if you have a more complex network with a true client-server relationship and really enjoy the administration of it you can design in as much flexibility and versatility as you want. I subscribe to the KISS theory myself. lou