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I have acquired an used external HD (a WD Passport) that I'm planning to use for the backup of important files - I was thinking of using it with Déjà Dup.

Should I format it beforehand? Which partition type would make sense? Should I go for the "Don't Partition" option? All of this is supposed to be done trough the disk utility, right?

Sorry if the questions seems somewhat silly - I'm definitely not very savvy regarding these matters.

Thank you very much. Done as suggested, formatting the whole thing as ext4. A separate 700 Mb partition with stuff from the HD producer (instructions, an automated backup program for windows etc...) seems to have survived. Should I go after it or leave it be? The disk is pretty big and I backup mostly texts, so I'm not really craving for more space.

Another question: would the ext4 interfere with the recovering of the data in the HD by using a non-unix system? How much of a hassle would that be?

Thanks again!

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I would use gParted to format it to either ext3 or ext4. I don't see a need to partition it. – dan08 Jul 5 '13 at 19:23
up vote 4 down vote accepted
  • Yes, you can not use an unformated disc. Plus if it is second hand it might have a Windows filesystem.
  • ext3 or ext4. I would go for ext4 myself.
  • No, if you solely use it for backups do not split it up.
  • Yes, gparted is the name of the program.
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I would agree, start with a fresh ext4 partition. – BiggJJ Jul 5 '13 at 19:35

I've just done this.

I backed up my home directory onto an external hard drive that also has windows files on it.

Ubuntu just sees it all as part of the file system when you connect via usb.

So I didn't reformat it or anything, just plugged it in, created a backup folder on the hard drive from ubuntu file manager, did the backup with luckyBackup and everything is fine.

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