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I have a laptop with 80gb “c” drive, running Win XP Home, and have bought an external 320gb IOMEGA USB desktop drive, with the intention of creating a “clone” of the “c” drive on it in case of catastrophic crash. This would use about 40gb, leaving more than enough memory for further storage of music, photos etc.

My questions follow my attempt to do this and coming up against an error message from Accessories>System Tools>backup that because the new drive is formatted in FAT32 it will not accept any larger file than 4gb as in the case of this size of backup. Using disc manager I am informed that all will be lost on the new drive if I re format to NTFS. As it’s a new drive and there is nothing stored on it yet, there should be no problem… except that I know that a certain amount of the 320 gb is already taken up by IOMEGA for.. what? I don’t know, probably some form of hidden files pre-installed for the operation of the drive. So if I reformat will this be lost too and therefore cause the new drive to stop working?

Secondly, if the answer is no, and I reformat the new drive will I still be able to swap files to and from the “c” drive which is formatted in FAT32. If not then is it possible to reformat the “c” drive to NTFS without the process deleting all the “c” drive’s content, programmes, Windows XP etc?

Am I stuck with only making incremental backups of the usual My Docs, Docs and settings, etc files ?

Thank you
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Fat32 is meant for just small files. I only ever see floop discs using that format. FAT is best in my opinion, especially for a drive of that size
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Hi PaulbMazarron...

The NTFS file system is indexed better so it is a little faster than FAT or FAT32...and NTFS will handle larger files and more of them. Besides, the File Allocation Table file system is slowly being phased out.

Converting the Primary (or root) drive from FAT32 to NTFS usually causes no problems or data loss, but it IS Windows...you should always back up your data before doing an operation of this kind. As for the external drive, give yourself another partition on that and format it NTFS...leave any other partition(s) as FAT32...this should eliminate any problems with the main partition and you should be able to move your files to the NTFS partition without problems.

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