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Re: Formatting a partition for Windows XP

Tom Kuiper wrote:

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.

I assume that both machines are networked?

I further assume you want to backup "C:\Documents and Settings" and don't care about the other directories (be careful of those apps that still write data files elsewhere).

In that situation, I'd "apt-get install samba smbfs swat" on your Debian box, then use swat (via a web browser pointed to 'localhost://901" to set up a share for her to use. Then use a Windows backup utility on her machine to push the backup from her laptop to her share on your Debian box.

There are other ways to accomplish this backup, but I'm assuming that you and she are somewhat familiar with the Windows side of things, and know how to map a network drive (to Samba on your box which looks just like any other network share to which you've mapped before - \\paulsdebbox\daughtersshare) and know how to use a Windows backup program. If you don't know these things, you'll have a learning curve any direction you go, so you might want to look into other methods, such as setting up a cron job on your Debian box and rsync'ing data from the Windows administrative share C$, etc, which is a pull-from-Debian method, as opposed to the push-from-Windows method above.

Question 1:  Should I make an NTFS partition or something else?

No need for an NTFS partition on your Debian box, again, assuming you plan to do this backup over the network. In fact, I can't think of any reasonable method that would require an NTFS partition on your box (not to say there isn't one).

Question 2:  How can I format a filesystem that is 30 GB in size?

Is that how big your daughter's Windows partition is? Unless she has a lot of multimedia files, I suspect only about 8 GB of that is actually being used. And probably only 4GB or less of that is actual data. Assuming you compress the data in your backup, you'll need even less space.

But to answer your actual question, it depends. Are you formatting it as FAT? FAT32? NTFS? ext2? ext3? Reiser? On which box? I assume you're looking for space for her laptop's backup. Probably you want to use cfdisk/fdisk some other Debian partitioning tool to create the partition of the desired size on your Debian box, then use the mkfs (MaKe FileSystem) tool to format (initialize) this partition. For example, if you create a /dev/hda12 that is 30GB large, and you want it formatted as ext3, the command "mkfs.ext3 /dev/hda12" should format it so.


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