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  1. #1
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    New External Hard Drive - Does it require formatting?

    Just purchased a WD 1TB Elements hard drive to back up the pictures on my laptop. I plugged it in, copied about 12 gb of pictures and videos to it and everything works perfectly. I thought it might be smart to do a backup of my laptop on this new drive as well. I regularly back up to a Toshiba 500gb external drive that I've used without issue for well over 5 years.

    When I went into the "backup and restore" program with the new WD drive plugged in, the laptop doesn't seem to recognize it. It obviously functions correctly as I've already backed up pictures to it. It says it is formatted as NTSF. I think I remember having to format my Toshiba drive to the FAT 32 system (but it was so long ago I'm not entirely sure!) and I was wondering if perhaps that's why my laptop isn't recognizing this new drive in the backup and restore program? Thanks for any insight you can offer.

  2. #2
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    Pam,

    ??Are you referring to the native Windows backup and restore program?? - if so, you probably should be using a 3rd party backup (either imaging or file synchronization) program.

    Zig

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    I use a Seagate 500GB external HDD for back ups but use the system image option and it hasn't needed reformatting, although I have to boot up into the Advanced Boot options to navigate to the Recovery Environment to restore from it.

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    Yes, Zig I am referring to the native Windows backup and restore program. That is the only one I've ever used. What 3rd party programs should I be looking at and would I still have to reformat the new WD drive??

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    Personally, I am using a 750 Gig WD drive and the free version of Macrium Reflect for my backups. I didn't have to do any formatting on the WD drive and Macrium works just fine with it. It has saved my tail a number of times - LOL

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    EaseUS ToDo and Macrium Reflect (both available in free and paid versions) seem to be the best (I use EaseUS); the paid versions offer differential backups, automated scheduled backups and automatic cleanup of old backups after a set number of backup sets.
    Acronis (paid) is supposed to do this, but many find it doesn't work for the more complex tasks (though it works OK for manual complete backups).

    Zig

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    PamKoryn (2015-04-07)

  8. #7
    jwoods
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    The best "paid" software I have used is Terabyte Unlimited's Image for Windows.

    Never experienced a failure doing an image backup or restore.

    http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/image-for-windows.htm

    You might check in Device Manager and see if you have the latest drivers for the removable HD.

  9. #8
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    Guys, I thought an only once full-format the first time a backup HD is put into service would be a good idea -- lockout any bad sector/clustor?
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

  10. #9
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    I have a WD My Passport Ultra 1TB external hard drive and didn’t have to format it

    You have a brand new WD 1TB Elements hard drive to back up your pictures to your laptop
    --- It says it is formatted as NTSF: that is normal

    OK the main issue at this time is
    “When I went into the "backup and restore" program with the new WD drive plugged in, the laptop doesn't seem to recognize it.”
    --- Does this mean your new WD 1TB Elements external hard drive isn’t listed in Windows Explorer under Computer but the Win7 built in create a system image is where the your new WD 1TB Elements external hard drive is recognized?

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    Might have to assign a drive letter to it in Disk Management.

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    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    Berton, thanks for the reminder! OP has to assign a drive letter to the external HD since Windows did not do so. Should OP go ahead and format this ext HD as NTFS anyway? Why not err on the side of caution? I'm old school, we always had to do several steps preparing an ext HD -- if we wanted to be as sure as possible.
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PamKoryn View Post
    When I went into the "backup and restore" program with the new WD drive plugged in, the laptop doesn't seem to recognize it.
    Have you tried doing a reboot (with the external drive plugged in) and then going into the backup and restore utility?
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
    Berton, thanks for the reminder!
    You're welcome.

    As for formatting I think most external drives come formatted as NTFS. If wanting to use it on older OS it may need to be FAT32. My MacBook Pro OS X has that problem so I have a 120GB FAT32 drive just for it. Most USB Thumb/Flash drives are FAT-32. Main issue with FAT32 is drive or partition size limit. Also involved is FAT32's limit of 4GB minus 1 Byte for a single file size.

  15. #14
    jwoods
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    The WD website (bottom of the page) says they are formatted as NTFS...

    http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=470

  16. #15
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PamKoryn View Post
    ...When I went into the "backup and restore" program with the new WD drive plugged in, the laptop doesn't seem to recognize it. It obviously functions correctly as I've already backed up pictures to it...
    Probably "Backup and Restore" is looking for the Toshiba 500GB external HDD you were using previously.

    You will need to click on the "Change settings" link in "Backup and Restore" and tell it to use the new WD USB HDD.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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