Format Ext hard drive for ext2 or ext3

  zeppman 15:49 16 Oct 2010

I have a Smartbox 8320HD PVR which I have bought an 2TB external hard drive to export recordings to as the hard drive is only 320 GB in the Smartbox.I have been told I need to format the external either to Fat32 or ext2 or 3.Firstly I must say I have been on a few sites to get info and I'm none the wiser of what I need to do.

I have decided to op for ext2 or 3 because I have been told Fat32 has a 4GB limit on file size but I dont know what I need or how to go about it.Please can some one explain what steps I need to follow as simply as possible or steer me to a site where the info is easy to follow .
I am using a PC running XP pro service pack 3.
Any help would be great but please info rather than just putting a link that I wont understand.
Thanks in advance :-)

  gazzaho 17:05 16 Oct 2010

I've never formatted a drive for ext 2/3 myself so I've no idea if this will work, I found this site on google (click here) on how to do it through a command line prompt. It may help.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:09 16 Oct 2010

You cannot format a drive in ext2 0r 3 using windows

Ext or 3 is a linux file system I suggest you download a live linux CD click here and use that to format your drive

  gazzaho 17:13 16 Oct 2010

This site (click here) may also help.

  GaT7 19:08 16 Oct 2010

FB is right. I usually use a GParted in its LiveCD form click here, as it's much smaller (117Mb) to download than a Linux distro LiveCD (usually 650MB+), as well as quicker to create or burn to a blank disc.

First, download GParted from click here.

Check the downloaded file is good by verifying it with a MD5 hash checker tool. Download & install HashTab click here. Right-click the GParted iso file you downloaded earlier & select Properties > File Hashes tab. Now you're going to compare the MD5 hash value here to the one mentioned at GParted click here. Simply copy 925620fbfc025abe64500991e2ad73d8 & paste it in the 'Hash Comparison' field - if you get a green tick it's fine. Otherwise redownload it (i.e the GParted iso) & repeat the above procedure till you get a green tick. This is very important to get right because if it's even slightly corrupted, the LiveCD will not function properly.

Next, use your disc-writing software to burn the GParted .iso file to a blank CD/DVD as an image (NOT as data or anything else). Or, to do this, use the free ImgBurn click here. This will create the GParted LiveCD. Burn the image at a very low speed - 2x is good. By using a low speed, there's a greater chance it will be burnt accurately, so it will need doing only once. Also, enable the option in your disc-writing software to 'Verify the disc' on completion.

Then simply reboot your PC & change boot options in the BIOS to boot from CDrom first (i.e. the drive that contains the newly created LiveCD). Once you have loaded GParted's graphical interface (by choosing a few options), select the external drive, right-click it & format it to EXT2/3. Make sure to select the correct drive/partition here (i.e. the external drive), otherwise you'll be formatting an OS/data partition.

Finally, you'll need a 'mounting' tool to be able to access the files on the EXT2/3 external drive from WinXP. click here - choose one with 'Read as well as Write Access'. Install it & use it to configure the EXT2/3 drive to be seen & accessed from WinXP. After doing this, the EXT2/3 drive will behave just like any other hard drive or partition.

Feel free to ask anything, or if you get stuck at any point. I'm a bit rusty with these things but will do my best to help. G

  woodchip 19:15 16 Oct 2010

So why not NTFS?????

  zeppman 19:20 16 Oct 2010

I am using the external to export programs I have recorded from TV the PVR can only use Fat32 or Ext2 or Ext3 this is why I need to format the NTFS external to one of these formats

  zeppman 19:46 16 Oct 2010

Crossbow7 I have a PartedMagic Live CD which I have booted from but didnt know what to do after that but I'm sure I did see Gparted on there.

  GaT7 20:29 16 Oct 2010

That looks like a similar tool to GParted - here's its documentation, including video guides: click here.

Just choose a few options in PartedMagic (default ones if available) when it loads initially, till you get to the graphical interface (like Windows). Here it will most likely display a diskmanagement-like applet. Then you need to choose the correct hard disk/partition (i.e. the external drive) with your mouse & convert it to EXT2/3. E.g. right-click the partition > choose Make partition > EXT2. G

  robin_x 22:03 16 Oct 2010

FAT32 will cope at 4GB for about a 3hr film from PVR.

In fact most PVRs demand it.

ext etc as mentioned are Linux.

  zeppman 00:03 17 Oct 2010

I have deleted partition then selected to format to ext3 have read that it is more stable than ext2 tyhe final size was about 1.84TB so I am 1.6 short will that be ext3 I know you dont always get the full size of hard drive stated.Will test it with PVR tomorrow.Crossbow7 Does the mounting tool have to be installed on my PC for access of ext3 files and will I be able to delete files through this?

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