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Using FAT32 on an external HDD

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Jerold, Jan 26, 2006.

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  1. Jerold

    Jerold Thread Starter

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    I found what looks like the HDD security software that I have been looking for called LocknGo. There is no install needed. YOu just need to place the files that you download onto the external HDD and it is is upposed to password protect the drive. The only thing is that it only works with FAT32 file formats and I haven't used that since Win98 years ago.

    I am using WinXP Pro on all my systems and all my drives (incl. External HDD) are NTFS. Customer Support for LocknGo won't support nor will they support NTFS in the future. I was thinking about trying to change (reformat) my External HDD to FAT32 so I can use it. I have the external HDD partitioned into 5 partitions. One very small partition that I want to use for the HDD Password protection software (ie. LocknGo) and 4 other ones that I use to transport my working and personal files between work and home. I've taken to using this External HDD to save all my personal data because I work on several PC's and This way I can just plug it in and have my current data with me at all times.

    Do you think that this would work if I convert over to FAT32 on the external HDD while all my PC's run NTFS?

    Thanks,
    Jerold
     
  2. irregularjoe

    irregularjoe

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    Yes it will work.
    One HD really doesn't care how another one is formatted. They both run independently.
     
  3. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    No issue at all. :)
     
  4. ttifrum

    ttifrum

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    The only problem you may have is if you are copying large files above 2gig. i recently bought a 60gig USB hard drive that was formatted in FAT32, when I tried to copy some AVI files that were 4gig from my NTFS formatted internal hard drive I kept getting an error message that stopped me copying them, as soon as I reformatted my USB drive to NTFS the problem disappeared.
     
  5. Jerold

    Jerold Thread Starter

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    Good to know...Thanks.
     
  6. irregularjoe

    irregularjoe

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    That's true.
    Forgot about that.
     
  7. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    It should handle files up to 4gig, but even that is a limitation for many videos. :)
     
  8. Jerold

    Jerold Thread Starter

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    Yeah, that is ok. I don't use this external HDD to save any data that large. if I do burn a movie or something that large, I'll use the HDD on my desktop that I'll burn to DVD-R.

    I am assuming that you are talking about one sngle file that is 4+GB, not a folder with multiple smaller files and folders in it that will add up to 4+GB...?...because I do at times move folders off and on and between partitions that contain mulltiple files that add up to 4+GB.
     
  9. techkid

    techkid

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    Theoretically, FAT32 should be able to take single files up to 4GB. But with recent experience with imaging to an external drive, the thing fell short at 2GB.

    Also, on the subject of re-formatting to FAT32, Windows XP does not let you format partitions larger than 32GB (stability issues or some such thing).
     
  10. Jerold

    Jerold Thread Starter

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    ok. It's looking good so far....

    I don't make files that large (in the ..GB range).

    The largest partition that I have on the external is 25GB.

    Can you "mix and match" partitions on an external drive? Say out of 5 partitions on the external that has a really large HDD you have a partiton or two that is greater than 32GB and formatted to NTFS and the rest stay under 32GB and is FAT32. I would/could keep my personal data on the FAT32 "locked" partition(s) and use the NTFS ones as temp partitions or partitions that I don't need to keep secure. A lot of the space is used up by work files that I bring back and forth to work on at home and don't really need securing. This way, if I eventually get a larger HDD, I don't have to make a million 32GB partitions with FAT32 formatting.:rolleyes:
     
  11. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    You can have any combination of FAT32 and NTFS partitions. If you use a 3rd party application like Partition Magic, you can also make FAT32 logical drives as large as you like.
     
  12. Jerold

    Jerold Thread Starter

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    OK...I just got some replies from tech support for LocknGo software. It is looking like it may be a Pain in the A...to use this on mulitplie partitions. I would have to copy a .exe file into each partition to secure them, so that means I have to go into like 5 partitions everytime I close up my PC's. Then, they say that I need to use the same interface (USB2.0 or Firewire) that I downloaded the software from when I buy a full version that I use to connect the external HDD when I work with it. Something about the program creating a "special" file or code that registers my HDD. Basically, they are selling me a hardware specific license. The whole thing about having a Firewire AND a USB enclosure is the ability to use either depending on the available connectors on the machine it is connecting to. I have multiple systems that all don't have Firewire or USB2 ports. I may just give the demo a try on one of the smaller partitions.

    What about this option?...I am using Cool Gear Drives external enclosures. They have one that has an encryption key in the back of the unit so I need that key to access the HDD. Anyone use one of these? As long as I don't lose the key...it looks like a viable option. They aren't too expensive (under $100.00)
     
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