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HD format FAT32 vs NTFS

Posted on 2004-09-24
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I have an external HD with 80 GB but it's formatted with FAT32, while my main box uses NTFS.  Is that a problem?  I'm trying to run a full back up before clean instal of XP.  I'm getting a message that it's out of space....  The volume on my C drive is under 10 GB.  Thanks!
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Question by:Lucynka
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by:Luc Franken
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Hi Lucynka,

FAT32 has a 4GB filesize limit, it looks like you're trying to archive all of your files into one file which you put on the FAT32 drive.
As long as you split the archive into chuncks of 4GB or less both filesystems will suit you great for this purpose.

You still might want to read all the differences about the filesystems:
http://www.ntfs.com/ntfs_vs_fat.htm

Greetings,

LucF
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by:Lucynka
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Thank you, LucF.  That's exactly the message I received.  I'm trying to back up the entire C drive.  Should I back up separate folders instead?
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Luc Franken earned 125 total points
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Lucynka,

See for yourself, as you didn't mention what software you used for the backup I can't give you specific advice, but you always have two choices in this case:
1) See if your software can split the archives, if so, this is the easiest solution.
2) Backup separate folders to make sure you don't cross that 4GB limit. This will give you multiple archives, but it'll also make sure you can recover only the data you want to recover.

LucF
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by:Luc Franken
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One other thingy...
As you said: "I'm trying to back up the entire C drive." I just have to ask: "Why?"
You'll re-install windows, so why backup the OS?
You'll re-install all your programs, so why backup these (putting only the files back won't do you any good because the registry entries will be missing)

What I advice you to do is to only backup important documents (don't forget your email box)

LucF
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by:Lucynka
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That's very good advice.  I'm backing it all up not to miss something I will need after I clean install, but you are right - I do not need the OS!  I do have a couple of programs, though, I no longer have the CDs for.  I suppose I will need to back those up, too.  I'm using the XP back up functionality.  I also have a DVD burner and was planning to perform a second back up on that afterwards.  It uses Nero software.

Lucy
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by:Lucynka
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I don't know how to back up my Outlook 2003 address book.  I searched my C drive for a file with a .pab extension but found nothing.
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by:Luc Franken
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>>I do have a couple of programs, though, I no longer have the CDs for.  I suppose I will need to back those up, too.<<
Without using the full installation of these programs, the registry entries will not be created so the programs might not run, or might give problems. Please try to locate the original CD's for them, otherwise the software might be lost completely.

The XP backup functionality will try to write to one file only, so you'll have to look at my 2nd suggestion at http:#12148028 and backup one folder, or one group of folders at a time.
As you're planning on writing the backups to DVD, this will be the best solution as there will only fit 4.7GB on a DVD.

LucF
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by:Luc Franken
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>> I don't know how to back up my Outlook 2003 address book.  I searched my C drive for a file with a .pab extension but found nothing.<<
You've been looking for an Outlook Express address book.
With Outlook everything is stored in the PST file, you'll probably find that PST file in your profile on the harddisk, called outlook.pst which will just contain everything, all your mails, appointments, contacts etc.

LucF
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by:Lucynka
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I've searched for outlook.pst and *pst and came up with nothing.
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>> *pst <<   Try *.pst
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by:nobus
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And do not forget to backup your favourites in IE and cookies if you want them.When i make a backup, i first put everythingin a folder, add all the items i can think of to it, and then transfer them on the backup media
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by:richinsc
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Hi Lucynka,

From what I see you are trying to bakup your whole hard disk with the operating system. My best suggestion would be to not backup up the os but instead just backup the critical data. Now if you want to archieve and compress the data then that is one option, the other option that you do have is to create a folder on your external and start placing the data on that hard disk. As you said: "I'm trying to back up the entire C drive." One suggestion that I do have is that you could ghost your hard disk using a product called Symantec Ghost if you are willing to purchase the product. Now will not be able to ghost the hard disk to the external drive. You would need to take your external drive apart and make the hard disk inside a slave and then ghost the master hard disk to the slave hard disk, provide you have experience in installing a hard disk drive in a computer, and you arn't worried about voiding any warrenties as a result of doing so. Warrenties such as teh external hard disk itself or of the warrenty on your pc. Now if you are using windows XP there is a backup utility built in to windows xp, but as LucF informed you the archieve limits of a backup on Fat32 is 4GB. I would suggest splitting up your information and creat a backup for you music if you have any and then backup your personal data and just organize your backups to make it eaiser for you to know which backups are more critcal then the other backups that you make.

Kind Regards,

richinsc
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