Convert EXT3 USB Hard Drive to FAT or NTFS

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Network Storage Devices' started by timper, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. timper

    timper LI Guru Member

    Hi all, first post, although I have been a lurker for a while, picking up some real useful stuff.

    Got an NSL now running 2.63 firmware, when I first installed the unit I wasn't aware of the firmware upgrade to allow FAT & NTFS drives to run on the NSL, so my USB Hard Drive was formatted to EXT3.

    Have searched the forums, but have not found out how I can now convert this drive back to FAT or NTFS, data loss is not an issue...?

    Apologies if this has been answered already but I couldn't find the solution.

  2. eric_stewart

    eric_stewart Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    Assuming that you're using Windows XP:

    Connect your USB drive to a PC. Right Click on the drive in "My Computer" and format it. You will be given the choice of FAT or NTFS before you format it.

    If the drive isn't visible in Windows XP, you might need a 3rd party disk utility such as Partition Magic to format the drive.

  3. timper

    timper LI Guru Member

    Thanks Eric.. when plugged into XP I get the usual USB device connected tone, but the drive doesn't show up in My Computer, Partition Magic does recognise it and offers the option to reformat, so I'll try that when I have got a bit more time.

    Good call..!
  4. bobkoure

    bobkoure LI Guru Member

    Two things to keep in mind:
    - FAT32 doesn't support files bigger than 4G (or so) - and you can't configure windows backup so "split" backups into smaller files the way you can with, say, WinRar
    - There are at least two "flavors" of NTFS - an older one used by NT/Win2K (essentially the OS/2 FS), and a newer one, used by WinXP and 2003. If you think you'll ever be plugging this drive into a Win2K or NT machine (via USB), partition and format it by plugging it into a Win2K box, not an XP one. Win XP and 2003 can read/write both NTFSs. Not an issue via SMB (i.e. as a network file store) unless NSL cares about NTFS type. I've no idea about this last...
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