New Seagate external hard drive

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

Smoky

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 11, 2005
Posts
3,589
Location
wherever we are parked
We just picked up one of those new Seagate external hard drives.  The real sleek black and silver one that has the small footprint.  It was rated best buy last month by PC World.  Best Buy has them on sale for just $89 for 160 gigs.  Buy two of them and you have a real value for 320 gigs!  These are instant rebates so you don't have to send in coupons.  We bought em at Spokane Best Buy where they had a stack of them on an island display.  They were going out the door like hotcakes (maybe due to the PC World recommendation).

I was especially interested in them because they come with NO software.  I hate my Western Digital external because it uses Retrospect software.  Supposedly very powerful and flexible but a real PITA to get through the learning curve.

The Seagate allows drag and drop and uses USB2, 7200 rpm, etc... lots of good fast specs.

However, today I thought I would try using MSFT's XP backup module.  Everything went fine until it got up to 4 gigs in the backup.  Then suddenly I got a message telling me that FAT32 is limited to a 4 gig backup file.  Is this true?  My file was going to be 8 gigs, but it stopped in its tracks at 4 gigs.

Can anyone explain the ins and outs of this.  Would converting the drive to NTFS solve the problem, or even be possible?

If no one here has an answer a call to Seagate is next.

Despite all this I think it is a great buy and I am delighted with its speed and small footprint.
 

woodartist

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2006
Posts
563
Location
Wandering the Old West
Can't help with the problem Smoky, but thanks for the tip!!! Going to Vegas in a few weeks and will check to see if they are on sale........good deal!
 

Ned

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Posts
25,107
Location
USA
See here for the various limitations of the different file systems, but the short answer is FAT32 is limited to 4GB maximum file size.  NTFS is limited only by the volume size.
 

Karl

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
5,154
Location
Elkhart Lake, WI for the summer. Work at Road Amer
Adding to Ned's comment, anyone that uses FAT32 is facing severe limitations as opposed to NTFS. Even with large (over 160Gb disks), you need to format them properly and have the necessary OS boot sftw before it will operate properly and recognize the full disk size.
 

Ned

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Posts
25,107
Location
USA
Unless you're running Windows 98 or ME (and you shouldn't be) you should use NTFS for all of your hard drives, for many reasons.
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,610
Me too Shayne. I was about to put out a "Where's Smoky?" alert, then out of the blue he showed up.
 

woodartist

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2006
Posts
563
Location
Wandering the Old West
Well Smoky I'd consider posting on a computer forum where there is up to date experts. With all respect, the folks here are kind of old and out dated. I suspect Microsoft and other companies might know a bit more ;)
 

vlady daddy

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 23, 2006
Posts
104
Location
Texas
Look into Norton PartitionMagic by Symantec to easily create additional FAT, FAT32 or NTFS partition in one hard drive or change existing file system in a given partition without losing any data.
 

Ned

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Posts
25,107
Location
USA
There are a number of us here that have more computer experience than any of the kids at Microsoft or most of the self-proclaimed experts on the internet so computer related questions here will get as good or better answers as anywhere.

Partition Magic will not change the limitations of the file systems and won't solve Smoky's problem.
 

woodartist

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2006
Posts
563
Location
Wandering the Old West
Sorry Ned, but things get quickly outdated. I doubt the folks here know more than MS, although I am not a fan of theirs. I have a rather extensive background in computers and my daughter is a software engineer ( as I am) who knows a bit. Sometimes it is hard to move over and let the more educated and experienced folks lead. I know that my education and experience is dated and I listen to those who really know...........Egos aside
 

Ned

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Posts
25,107
Location
USA
Well, I think my 45 years in the computer industry are worth something to some people.  ....Egos aside, as least mine is.
 

vlady daddy

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 23, 2006
Posts
104
Location
Texas
:)
PartitionMagic runs inside Win"doze" so you see a nice graphic interface for dummies like me. First, run "Convert Partition" to change FAT32 to NTFS. Second, run "Resize/Move Partition" to change the volume size if necessary. You can even place a "Free space before" and "Free Space After" an existing partition so additional partition can be created.

Alternative, you can use command line interpreter in XP using CMD and type "Help Convert". Type CONVERT D:/FS:NTFS".  D being the drive letter of the external drive.
 

Jeff

Site Team
Joined
Apr 8, 2005
Posts
8,965
Location
SD/AZ
Ned:

Do you think the external drive can be repartitioned?

Smoky:

Glad to see you back. Headed for Davis I presume.

You mentioned not having to install any software, does that mean the drive came partioned and formatted? Any information about repartitioning the Seagate to NTFS?

I am heading to BB in the morning to check it out-it would fill the bill for me for Photo storage.

 

Ned

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Posts
25,107
Location
USA
Sure, the drive can be partitioned but I'm not sure what the benefit would be.  With todays large drives and NTFS there is little need for partitioning.

With any recent computer (less than 3-4 years old anyway) there is no need for special software to recognize the entire drive.  The newer BIOS support the largest drives made today.  External drives may or may not be formatted, but Windows will format them like any other drive once it recognizes it.

Since Smoky is using this drive for a backup I wouldn't spend time (or money if you don't own it) on Partition Magic, just reformat the drive NTFS and proceed with the backup.  The problem was caused by using the Windows backup program that creates one large file containing the entire backup.  I would suggest using NTFS and turning on compression for the drive (may only be available in XP Pro) and just copying the folders to be backed up.  Even better is a product like Acronis True Image that creates a backup file, like the Windows backup program, but it can be mounted like a drive for selective restoring of files.  This can't be done with Windows backup, it's all or nothing.
 

Jeff

Site Team
Joined
Apr 8, 2005
Posts
8,965
Location
SD/AZ
Ned:

Thanks, I meant blow away the Fat32 formatting and replace with NTFS, not partioning.
 

Ned

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Posts
25,107
Location
USA
Understand, Jeff.  Get the biggest drive you can find, you never have enough storage.  When I rebuild my computer this winter I'm probably going to put 2 500GB drives in it.  Of course, then I'll need 2 more for backups.  It never ends :)
 

BernieD

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 1, 2005
Posts
5,873
Location
Goodyear, AZ
Smoky/Ned

I've got the Seagate 250MB, 16k buffer version of the USB drive. It came with software to format as NTFS, which I did, and partition the drive, which I did not. Very easy to do.

My problem came about when I tried run Norton Ghost on both my laptop and desktop computers. I had been using the Seagate strictly on the desktop and all of the Ghost entries were direct files on the single partition. When I just had to bring my laptop in for service, I was going to do a sytem-restore save on the Seagate but was concerned about overwriting and intermingling files between the desktop and laptop. I wished I had done a second partion which I would have used exclusively for the laptop.
 

Ned

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Posts
25,107
Location
USA
Bernie,

With external hard drive getting so cheap, I would just get another one for the other computer.  But partitioning it would also work, as long as the partitions remained large enough to hold the respective backups.
 
Top Bottom