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Windows 7: Best way to format external hard drive used for backup

08 Nov 2009   #1
Cluent

Windows 7 Professional
 
 
Best way to format external hard drive used for backup

Hi,

I hope someone can help me with this question.

I am acquiring a 1.5TB external drive. I will be basically have a single 1.5TB file on this drive. It will be a Truecrypt encrypted archive.

Given that the entire hard disk will be occuppied with one huge file, what is the best way to format it? Is NTFS still the way to go? Does it make sense to increase the cluster size above the 4KB default?

I am concerned about both performance and not wasting space, but the performance is the lesser concern.

Many thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Nov 2009   #2
nabilalk

Win 7 Professional 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Cluent View Post
Hi,

I hope someone can help me with this question.

I am acquiring a 1.5TB external drive. I will be basically have a single 1.5TB file on this drive. It will be a Truecrypt encrypted archive.

Given that the entire hard disk will be occuppied with one huge file, what is the best way to format it? Is NTFS still the way to go? Does it make sense to increase the cluster size above the 4KB default?

I am concerned about both performance and not wasting space, but the performance is the lesser concern.

Many thanks.
Despite being advertised as a 1.5 TB hd, you don't actually have 100% disk space. If you have one 1.5 TB archive, then you will actually need a 2GB TB hd to store it.

I believe NTFS is the way to go. And once formatted, right click on the drive, properties, and look at the available space. Also, your performance on a drive decreases as its capacity is reached. You said performance wasn't your main issue, but there you go anyway.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Nov 2009   #3
Cluent

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by nabilalk View Post
I believe NTFS is the way to go.
Why? Is NTFS better than FAT32 when there will be only one file on the drive/volume taking up all of the space?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Nov 2009   #4
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Cluent:

I have read that generally large clusters are better for large files, but I wonder if it would matter if you rarely or never overwrote the file? Is it going to be continually deleted and replaced, or changed. Or just left in a static state and rarely changed?

You might be able to dig something out of this long article on big drives:

http://tinyurl.com/yc9vanu

Or, lookie here:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Q_20795143.html

Or here:

http://tinyurl.com/yc93wxr
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Nov 2009   #5
rsvr85

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Given that the entire hard disk will be occupied with one huge file means that NTFS is the only one you can use. The maximum possible size for a file on a FAT32 volume is 4 GB minus 1 byte.

NTFS - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
File Allocation Table - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Nov 2009   #6
Cluent

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by rsvr85 View Post
Given that the entire hard disk will be occupied with one huge file means that NTFS is the only one you can use. The maximum possible size for a file on a FAT32 volume is 4 GB minus 1 byte.

NTFS - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
File Allocation Table - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Could point. So the choice comes down to cluster size. The two drawbacks I am aware of clusters > 4KB is that compression and encryption are not possible, which is not an issue in this case. But I have never tried a large cluster so I don't know.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Nov 2009   #7
Cluent

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Cluent:

I have read that generally large clusters are better for large files, but I wonder if it would matter if you rarely or never overwrote the file? Is it going to be continually deleted and replaced, or changed. Or just left in a static state and rarely changed?

You might be able to dig something out of this long article on big drives:

1TB, 1.5TB, 2TB... Does Anyone Want More? (page 4) - X-bit labs
The large file will be a "virtual drive" (I don't know whether there is a better word for it). It will be used as a backup, so there will be regular additions to it. Read speed is not an issue. I will look at the links you provided. Out of curiosity, why do you use tinyurl. What is it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Nov 2009   #8
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

As the name may imply, tinyurl is a site where you can turn a URL of hundreds of characters into a short URL. That makes it tidier and more compatible with displaying on certain web sites--it doesn't wrap from row to row like a 200 character URL might. It's also easier to copy and paste.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Nov 2009   #9
rsvr85

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Out of curiosity, why do you use tinyurl. What is it?
I've never used tinyurl, what is it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Best way to format external hard drive used for backup




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