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Re: Formatting a partition for Windows XP

> From paul@paulgalbraith.net Wed May  5 21:23:41 PDT 2004
> Tom Kuiper wrote:
> > Greetings everyone.
> > 
> > I would like to be able to back up my daughter's Window XP PE laptop to
> > a secondary drive on my Linux (only) system.
> > 
> > Question 1:  Should I make an NTFS partition or something else?
> > 
> > Question 2:  How can I format a filesystem that is 30 GB in size?
> > 
> > Thanking you in advance
> > 
> > Tom
> If you're not interested in preserving file permissions on your 
> daughter's WinXP machine (for most people it's needless, I would say--I 
> certainly don't worry about it for my XP system) then I'd recommend 
> setting up a fat32 partition on your linux machine to backup to.  Setup 
> a simple batch file on your daughter's machine to copy over the critical 

What commands would the batch file contain?

> files for backup.  I assume you're copying via a samba server running on 
> your linux box...just use rsync to do the job.

Is the a DOS/Windows version of rsync? Or would I use rsync on the Linux box
to pull the files?
> Use cfdisk to create the partition, and mkfs.vfat to format it (make 
> sure you RTFM, these are dangerous commands).

I'm familiar with fdisk and used that on a previous attempt. (I'm doing it 
again because the disk failed and hope to get the Windows partition right
this time.)

Here's what I had then:
ommand (m for help): p

Disk /dev/hdb: 255 heads, 63 sectors, 9964 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 bytes

   Device Boot    Start       End    Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hdb1             1      4587  36845046   83  Linux
/dev/hdb2          4588      8338  30129907+   7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hdb3          8339      9964  13060845   83  Linux

nutmeg:~# mkfs -V -t vfat /dev/hdb2
mkfs version 2.11n (Jan 27 2002)
mkfs.vfat /dev/hdb2
mkfs.vfat 2.8 (28 Feb 2001)
mkfs.vfat: Attempting to create a too large file sile system.

I realize now that I was shooting in the dark.  Here are some plausible
partition choices:
 b  Win95 FAT32
 c  Win95 FAT32 (LB
 e  Win95 FAT16 (LB
 f  Win95 Ext'd (LB
I don't know how c, e, and f differ.

Maybe if I pick the right partition type, I won't have the "too large"

Thanks for your help so far.  I may be getting somewhere now.

Internet:       tbhk@DSNra.JPL.NASA.gov (
SnailMail:      Jet Propulsion Lab 169-506, Pasadena, CA 91109
Phone/fax:      (818) 354-5623/8895
WWW:            http://DSNra.JPL.NASA.gov/~kuiper/

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