View Full Version : How to format an external hard drive for linux

13th February 2007, 07:15 AM

I bought a new Western Digital 250 G external hard drive.
Can you please tell me how can I re-partition it so that I can use in my linux environment?

I walk thru the New Partition Wizard in Windows XP, it does not let me format the hard drive in ext3 partition? I can only format it to ntfs.
I want 100G to be available to Windows, the rest to Linux.
How can I do that?

Thank you.

John the train
13th February 2007, 09:48 AM
GParted can format in ext3 , though I'm not sure how you could set up nfts and ex3 partitions. First step I'd suggest is to download and burn GParted, which is a live CD, then set up your two partitions using Windows, load GParted and re-format the one you want to use for Linux. I can't see any problems, as it's similar to setting up a dual-boot, but has anyone actually done it?

13th February 2007, 06:27 PM
Are you installing Windows or Fedora on the drive?
If not, then format it as Fat32 and both OS's can read/write to it. Or you can try out ntfs-3g if you format it as NTFS.

If you are installing one or both OS's onto it, let Windows format it's own partition as NTFS and let Fedora handle the remaining disk space.

13th February 2007, 06:46 PM
No, I am not going to install any OS on that drive.
That drive is like my 'data' drive.

But the Partition manager in Windows only let me format the drive in NTFS. Can a partition format in NTFS can still be see in Linux?

13th February 2007, 06:55 PM
If you use Gparted as John the train suggested you can partition / format the drive with a variety of filesytems.
If you want to share the drive between both windows and linux then you might want to consider formating with FAT32, which can be seen natively by both windows and linux.


13th February 2007, 11:10 PM

What is the difference between 'Primary partition' and 'Extended partition'? which one should i ues?

13th February 2007, 11:48 PM
Primary = Main partition on the disk
Extended = also known as logical, it's one partition that 'masks' other partition so you can have more than the standard 4 on one disk.