I currently have a corrupted NTFS external drive that I want to re-format in a format that can be read by Linux and Windows - suggestions?

I want to reformat my 1TB NTFS drive to a format that can be read by Linux and Windows but won't cause freezing issues when copying files to and from it on Ubuntu.

I found a format that I want to format the drive in called Ext2 but how would I go about doing so?

  • 3
    ext2 isn't readable on Windows, so it doesn't satisfy your initial requirement. (Also, ext4 is probably preferable to ext2) – tumbleweed Dec 23 '11 at 6:24
  • Freezing issues? Maybe you should start a question about that rather than try to work around the main issue. – scottl Dec 25 '11 at 0:16

Plug your hard drive. Open Disk Utility. Choose the drive. In format Type option you will have ext2 option format it. [You may need to unmount it before formatting]

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you can install gparted and format to desired partition. You need to install gparted I guess. Just do sudo apt-get install gparted.

EDIT: I myself would recommend ntfs to any other partition if you have to access it on windows. Or create one partition on ntfs and other on ext4 on 50-50 storage basis.

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  • That doesn't look like it'll meet his requirement of being usable with Windows. – tumbleweed Dec 23 '11 at 6:02
  • @tumbleweed He himself has stated ext2 Basically the link he has presented clearly emphasizes on ntfs. I would recommend the same. – sagarchalise Dec 23 '11 at 6:22
  • @tumbleweed I need to be able to use it in windows as well as others. and NTFS is causing too many issues with Ubuntu – Alex Poulos Dec 23 '11 at 6:55
  • @AlexPoulos And you can't do that with ext2 (unless you use 3rd party drivers, as mentioned in other answers) – tumbleweed Dec 23 '11 at 6:57

Ext2 is definitely not the filesystem you want to put on your drive. Firstly it is a really old version of the ext filesystem. Secondly Windows wont read from it, unless you use special third party tools. FAT filesystem is the most compatible across Operating systems but for a large drive like yours I wont recommend it. From a compatibilty and filesystem point of view, Ext4 is your best bet as it supports journal, is reasonably fast, and can be read from Windows using freely available tools like Ext Reader.

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  • Thanks Ill do that. Because NTFS is giving me too much issue with Ubuntu especially for my 1TB. Thanks again – Alex Poulos Dec 23 '11 at 6:57

When I used windows I used EXT3/4 with this http://www.fs-driver.org/ in windows. Now many people are using EXT2FSD see here http://www.webupd8.org/2011/08/access-ext4-ext3-or-ext2-partitions-in.html I would recommend using EXT3/4 because it's journaled it makes it easier to recover if something goes wrong. hope this helps.

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  • Taylor, would I be able to format it that way from Gparted? – Alex Poulos Dec 23 '11 at 6:56
  • Yeah you would that's what I did when my NTFS got corrupted. I'm more for EXT3 but EXT4 should work also. – zeitue Dec 23 '11 at 7:13

The traditional answer here is FAT32, but it's maximum size is 2TB, and it can't hold files larger than 4G. Plus, there's no journalling, or any other nice features. It's a pretty ancient filesystem, that's not well suited to big disks.

I've heard of people getting good results using UDF. UDF is mostly used on DVDs, but can be used on hard drives. I think Windows XP can't write to it, but later versions of Windows can.

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