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Author Topic: Creating a partition on an external HD for an encrypted Volume  (Read 7430 times)
jdd
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« on: February 02, 2009, 06:55:22 PM »

I am looking for recommended software to create an NTFS partition on a FAT32 external hard drive without losing data? 

The purpose of this is to use Truecrypt to create an encrypted Volume larger than the 4 Gig limit allowed on a FAT32 drive.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 07:01:08 PM by jdd » Logged
f0dder
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2009, 12:52:56 AM »

You'll need something that supports splitting the container file in multiple less-than-4GB files (never looked into whether TrueCrypt supports this, but I don't think so - it's not something I'd work hard to support as a developer.)

Why don't you just move from FAT32 to NTFS though?
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jdd
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2009, 08:13:23 AM »

Fodder, I want to move from FAT32 to NTFS.  That is why I want to know how to make an NTFS partition on the FAT32 external hard drive.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2009, 08:40:04 AM by jdd » Logged
f0dder
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2009, 10:44:27 AM »

If you don't need the external drive to be in FAT32, use the windows "convert" tool to convert it from FAT32 to NTFS. Nondestructive and fast smiley
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CWuestefeld
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2009, 10:59:23 AM »

I think that the terminology might be confusing things here.

There's no such thing as a "FAT32 hard drive". That's really shorthand for saying "A HD with a partition that is formatted as a FAT32 file system".

Once you pull this apart, you'll see that in order to get to the "NTFS" part of your request, you need to have a partition to format with that file system.

The "normal" way of getting to that is by creating a new partition on the hard disk; tools like Partition Magic will let you resize your existing partition (the one formatted FAT), letting you create a new partition in the freed-up space, which you can then format as you like.

An alternative way to get a new partition is to create one that's visible through a separate driver like TrueCrypt's. TC can look at a "real" partition as I described above, or it can handle a "virtual" partition that exists within a file stored within another filesystem. But in this latter case, the TC file must, of course, conform to the rules of the file system that contains it. And that means that you're stuck with 4GB on FAT32.
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steeladept
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2009, 11:48:46 AM »

Or you could just reformat the USB stick to NTFS natively.  It is just like formatting a hard drive, but you just target the Stick instead.  Another alternative that I use (though I use it on an NTFS formatted USB stick) is to create multiple Truecrypt containers.  Each container can be a different partition or just a file in the partition.  You can then use TrueCrypt to mount the files as favorites.  Lastly you can even make the containers have a single password and use a script to pass that password to each file.  I wrote one like that already that is quite useful.
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jdd
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2009, 01:47:20 PM »

The drive I am referring to is an external USB 300 GB drive that has about 50% free space available.  I am not sure of the exact terminology but the entire 300GB is presently in an FAT32 format.

I want to create an NTFS partition so that I can use Truecrypt to store a virtual encrypted Volume that is far in excess of the 4 GB limit for FAT32.  But I have never added a partition to a drive and I want to make sure I doon't loose the existing data.

Will Partition Magic do that?

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f0dder
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2009, 01:51:50 PM »

You can use Windows' built-in "convert" tool to non-destructively convert the partition to NTFS, if you don't need it to be FAT32.

Otherwise you'll need either
a) re-partitioning the drive to have a FAT32 and a NTFS partition (destructive)
b) use a tool (like PartitionMagic) to shrink the FAT32 partition (nondestructive, but remember backups) and create a new NTFS partition.
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jdd
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2009, 04:57:19 PM »

Let me make sure I understand correctly.   undecided

Let's say I have a FAT32 300GB drive D.  I can create a second 50 GB partition called T: which would be NTFS, and reduce the D: partition to 250GB while preserving the FAT32 format of D:, and preserving the data non-destructively, correct?
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CWuestefeld
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2009, 05:08:31 PM »

Given the correct tools, yes. Partition Magic is one such tool, but I believe that there are other free alternatives. (And you will make backups just in case, right?)
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jdd
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2009, 05:35:15 PM »

 I will backup.  What freeware alternatives are there?
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2009, 05:51:03 PM »

Quote from: jdd
I will backup.  What freeware alternatives are there?

You could try Easeus

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Chris
f0dder
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« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2009, 05:24:50 AM »

...And if you don't need FAT32, you can just do "convert x: /FS:NTFS" where X: is the drive letter of your FAT32 partition. It's nondestructive and fast.
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bcpaladin
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« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2009, 10:00:01 PM »

I've always had good luck with GParted.  It runs from a bootable disk however.  I've read good things about Esaeus and have a copy but haven't tried it yet.
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steeladept
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« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2009, 11:31:36 AM »

Not to beat a dead horse or anything, right fodder  tongue

However, he does have the right of it.  If your drive is D: formatted as FAT32 and you want to move to NTFS, just use the convert tool.  You already have it and it converts everything to NTFS without destroying your data.  If you do need your FAT32 partition (for whatever reason, though I can't think of any unless you still use Win9x), then you should look at the multiple partitions talked about by others.

As for my earlier post, the fact that it has a 300GB HD instead of USB stick is irrelevant (even though I did misread that part of it).  Truecrypt doesn't care about the media type.  As long as it runs on the media and has some location for storage that it can address, it will work.  My little script just runs against Truecrypt, so it will likewise function.
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OldElmerFudd
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« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2009, 08:49:03 PM »

Gparted works very well. It's the Gnome Partition Editor app that is run from a CD. http://gparted.sourceforge.net/  Easeus Partition Manager will also do what you want. The home edition is free for non-business use. http://www.easeus.com/disk-copy/dc-vs-epm.htm

+1 for Fudder's approach, though. It's simple, and works! Whatever you decide, back up your data. Did I mention back up your data? You can screw up a partition and have endless grief, so back up your data! (You really should anyway. I back up to a server and external drives, DVD's, etc. Paranoid? Oh, yeah.)

Last thought: do this when you're clear about what to do and expect. This is not a project to tackle after an evening of Ketel One and Cranberry Alize martinis.
 cheesy
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OldElmerFudd
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« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2009, 08:50:34 PM »

Oops, sorry about the spelling, f0dder embarassed
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f0dder
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« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2009, 12:38:09 AM »

Oops, sorry about the spelling, f0dder embarassed
Oh, don't worry - I'm used to it elsewhere, where it's loaded with malicious intent - I didn't read it that way from you, it just made me smile instead smiley
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