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panyo
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Joined: 02 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 5:37 pm    Post subject: Partitioning USB drive for Mac/PC/Linux Reply with quote

I would like to partition my 60G usb drive so I can use it on my Linux machines, as well
as on public lab PCs and Macs. Of course, the problem is with the PCs. I would like to have one partition about the size of a DVD that is recognizable by most fairly modern PCs.

Some sites talk about DOS partitions being limmited to 2G. Others mention that the PC partition must be the first partition. But can I have PC and Mac partitions on the same disk since partitioning for the mac produces a bunch of tiney partitions at the start of the disk? Are these needed if I will not be booting from the drive? And last, if there is a solution, exactly what partition type (what letter) do I type in mac-fdisk to creat the appropriate DOS partition?

Thanks for your help. It is hard to experiment because because I do not have all three types of operating systems is one place with 'administrator' permissions.
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ckdake
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not just format it in one big partition in FAT32? All major operating sytems should be able to read it just fine. The thing about Windows being first only matters when booting Windows.
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panyo
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ckdake wrote:
Why not just format it in one big partition in FAT32? All major operating sytems should be able to read it just fine. The thing about Windows being first only matters when booting Windows.

Isn't there a problem with symbolic links and the upper/lower case filenames? I wanted to keep an HFS+ partition because the main thing that will go onto this drive is the photo library from iPhoto, which I hope to run in mol because to my knowledge there is no Linux software that can organize and navigate pictures like iPhoto. The remainder will hold portage and things like data sets, files to be served on the web, and such things for which I would like an effecient file system . If FAT32 is realy good enough, then I should consider that. It is good to know that the 'first' issue only applies to booting. Thanks.
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silian87
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

use hfs+. Now linux support it on write to. Stable and good :D
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thedoc
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But no Windows support without Special software!

Just buy two keys, one FAT32 for Windows Transfer and one HFS+ for OS X/Linux

Mike
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panyo
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the input. It seems from the discussion that my current plan can work, and is the best solution for the task I have described. So, back to the first question then, how do I create this 4G FAT32 partition using mac-fdisk? Which partition code is it after I press 'C'? I tried FAT32 and it was written with no complaint, but the partition type was listed as unknown. So were the ext2 partitions written in OS X, so maybe this is not a problem. Now I need to find what package provides mkfs.msdos or mkfs.vfat. Any clues?
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fw146
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 3:05 pm    Post subject: Sharing drive between mac/pc/linux Reply with quote

panyo wrote:
Thanks for all the input. It seems from the discussion that my current plan can work, and is the best solution for the task I have described. So, back to the first question then, how do I create this 4G FAT32 partition using mac-fdisk? Which partition code is it after I press 'C'? I tried FAT32 and it was written with no complaint, but the partition type was listed as unknown. So were the ext2 partitions written in OS X, so maybe this is not a problem. Now I need to find what package provides mkfs.msdos or mkfs.vfat. Any clues?


You need
Code:
emerge dosfstools
mkdosfs /dev/sdXX
However, your problems are not over yet... mac and PC have different format for the partition table. I am not sure if OS-X can recognise the PC format. There is a readme file in the mac-fdisk which describes a hack for sharing a drive between PC and mac. It basically boils down to creating BOTH the partition tables/maps. Note I say partition maps and not partitions...
If you build in support for both mac and pc partition maps in linux,
Code:
File Systems-->Partition Types-->Advanced partition selection [*]
the PC partition map with take precedence. No big deal, except the partition numbers are different.

The tiny partitions, AFAIK, are for OS-9 drivers.
Finally 2G limit is for FAT16. 4G should be no problem with FAT32.

As you do not plan to boot from the drive, things should be a little easier. Please update the thread with your experiences :) Best of luck.
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