Ext HD: FAT or NTFS ?

  Dumble452 07:33 10 Aug 2007

When I assembled my computer, it was my first experience of XP so I organised it to be dual boot, Win98 and WinXP home. The internal hard drive has a number of FAT and NTFS partitions. I now want to reformat my hard drive and remove Win98 (I never use it). I also want to organise my computer in a more logical manner so that I can easily restore the operating system if necessary. I have bought a Freecom 500GB external USB drive which came with its own software Freecom Personal Media Suite and Freecom Backup Software which only appear to work with Freecom The instructions insisted that this software be installed prior to connecting the external drive. The Freecom HDD is pre-formatted as FAT32 with one partition "to ensure maximum interchangeability between different computers". I have printed off the manual and it seems to recommend that the external drive should be divided into 2 partitions i.e. one FAT and one NTFS. I am now somewhat confused.
I also own Acronis True Image 10 Home which is highly recommended on this forum and I'm attempting to understand its capabilities more fully, having found and printed off the 94 page manual. My gut feeling is to persevere with Acronis True Image.
Do I need to partition and re-format the external hard drive or should I just leave it as it came out of the box?

  mgmcc 08:25 10 Aug 2007

Unless you need to store files larger than 4GB (effectively Video), then I'd leave an external drive as FAT32. Acronis will automatically split backup "image" files when they reach the 4GB limit. You then treat the first file in the split archive as though it were the complete image file for validating, mounting or restoring.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 10:17 10 Aug 2007

Freecom HDD is pre-formatted as FAT32 with one partition "to ensure maximum interchangeability between different computers".

Windows up tp 98se will only recognise Fat32 and NOT NTFS.

Some recovery programs also only work on a fat partition which allows you to boot from a DOS disk and therefore "see" the partition

If you do not have a PC with an op system lower than windows 2k and dont want to use DOS than format it in NTFS

  Dumble452 11:10 10 Aug 2007

Perhaps I'm just being over cautious. I bought the 500GB drive on the basis of buying the largest I could afford and it should be more than adequate for my needs. I'm tempted to hedge my bets and set up 2 partitions as Freecom recommend in their manual, but before I do I'll try to discover if I can use Partition Expert in the future, in case I change my mind.

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