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Query on adding a USB hdd

Hi all

I am thinking of getting an external/USB2.0 hard-drive.
This is entirely new to me, so I have a load of questions if you guys don't mind throwing your opinions into the pot on this?

1. Is this a device that can/should be rw via other (possibly non-GNU/Linux) machines? If yes, then what are the best avenues for a decent encryption set-up on this USB drive?

2. Does this need to be made bootable? And if so, what of those BIOS that don't have the option for USB boots?

3. How would I go about cfdisking it? Would I need to change something in /etc/fstab and create a mount point (which would seem logical)? How could I set this up so that it automounts when plugged in?

4. Any gotchas or dire warnings? Any alternative ideas about obtaining portable storage space?

Thanks for any thoughts on this. There's a good deal on locally and I am just wondering how feasible it would be to take advantage because an external drive makes good sense as a system back-up repository, as well as for additional data.

Cheers all



"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." - Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

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