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Hi I bought a new Seagate 2TB external hard disk. I opened the drive's application in my virtual windows, did product registration using the application present in it. I have few questions on how best to use it.

  • The drive by default has some files and folders - setup.exe, System Volume Information, USB 3.0 PC Card Adapter etc,. I copied all the files to my laptop. Is it safe to delete these files? It has a dash board for windows which allows to tune power options, test the drive etc. Will I be able to use the dash board if I put back all these files and mount on windows again?
  • I want to partition and format the hard disk. Data I like to store is
    • Around 10 to 20 GB Files - Virtual box images.
    • Around 4GB Files - Dvd images.
    • Other Movies and personal Files. What is the best filesystem to store very huge files like 10 to 20GB files. So that they are written and accessed fast also best uses the drive's capacity.
  • If I leave one of the partition as ntfs and others to different files systems, will it be able to mount on windows and Will I be able to use the device's dash board?

Note: I dont need any encryption for my data.

Any other advice on using the hard disk is also welcome.

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To partition ur HDD u can use gparted, depending on whether u r using/accessing data on dual boot or Ubuntu only u can format partition to ntfs or ext4 (for faster and reliable access) resp. About manufacturer specific files -- I don't have exact specific Drive so I don't know however my Sandisk thumb drives work perfectly (the way it came with) when I copy those manufacturer files back to drive – wisemonkey Dec 9 '11 at 23:14

First of all, all the stuff provided by the manufacturer of the hard disk drive, is "for the convenience of the user", which isn't used by some people because of some of we prefer to use different backup and diagnostic software, other than these provided by the manufacturer, and some other tools are facing the same situation.

For the diagnostic tools provided inside of the disk, I suggest you to perform a test running the software from a different location and let's see if the hard disk drive is found by the program. This way you can be sure that the hard disk drive will be handled by the programs in order to diagnose it when you put the files back into the disk. BTW: These tools will probably give you a better performance when used in a MS based system (Windows).

Well, it is a hard drive. With this in mind, let's take in consideration that the majority of the Operating systems will be able to reach the data contained on it. Nevertheless, the file system that you use will provide a better performance just if the OS is able to handle the allocation sectors with ease, which will be defined at the time that you create the partitions.

I mean: no matters what you put in the disk, if the OS that you use can understand the partitions table that you make, the data will be available.

In linux you can access the majority of the File Systems that are even created by other OS's, nonetheless, other OS's may not understand all the partitions created by Linux (in example: windows will have problems to natively read ext4 file systems)

About the partitions, In my experience I can tell you that partitioning provides an eye-candy solution for the user, which is just an optical illusion. If you make several partitions, you are forcing the heads to run from an allocation data sector to the MBR and back to a different allocation data sector, which won't provide a better performance than using a single partition. People may differ with me in this point but this is what I have experienced. Hard disk drives with several partitions burned because of overheat, situation that isn't faced by single partition HDD's.

For large files (10 up to 20 GB), I use NTFS. FAT may won't be able to store these files. And I haven't tested on ext4 FS.

About your last point: I have read that there are reports of people that says that Windows 7 doesn't read FAT file systems, you better gather enough information about it before making this kind of FS.

And good luck.

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I ALWAYS partition my windows systems with at least 3 partitions. A cdrv containing all operating system stuff. A ddrv containing all user-installed software. And a edrv for general storage and BLOBs.

Even on old DOS systems, this schema provides exceptional control of software and provides great security (hackers usually hit your cdrv). With win98, I could actually capture the cdrv to floppies and could install the system back to the hard drive with the help of a couple of small utilities (long file names and such needed special attention.)

With Dixml, I easily captured my XP systems (cdrv) in two files with the ability to copy XP to another partition or hard drive.

With relatively small amount of effort, I have gone thru several crashes where these techniques payed off in gold (time).


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I disagree with you on the partition fact you say for the reason is that if a user partitions a drive say into three drive instead of one, then the dive stays within that drive if say the user puts music on one drive, movies on another and writtings on the other. when a user is using the drive they are usually doing one thing at a time with the drive and not jumping from one thing to the other. There for the drive works within a more confined area on the dics. Especially if that drive is a external Drive. Think of it as having three albums on one album disc. If you usually play the same album the drive only has to move within a third of the space.

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I absolutely agree with the scenario that you provide in this excellent answer. But I think there are yet some different scenarios that should be considered in the "partition handling" topic, in example: what would happen if we make two partitions, the first one for OS and programs and the second one is for data? I can't say for sure what is happening inside of the disk at the read/write time but these disk have become unusable in less time than single partitioned disks. Even the disk diagnostic tools shows the data is stored in a different way. However, your point is good. Thank you! – Geppettvs D'Constanzo Jan 13 '12 at 17:41

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