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[ale] OTQ: partition formats of USB storage

On 4/17/07, John Mills <johnmills at speakeasy.net> wrote:
> ALErs -
> Speculative question:
> I just bought a USB external HDD by Seagate, based on a presumably
> standard 3.5" drive. If I had to replace the drive, any idea how the
> replacement should be partitioned?
> (I'm not about to check mine while it's still guaranteed - in fact I
> don't even know if it's serial or parallel!)

I work a lot with external USB connected drives, but I don't
understand your question.

There are really only 2 scenarios I've seen for external USB drives.
(Standalone NAS drives are a totally different kettle of fish.)

1) The external unit is very bare bones and all it does is convert the
SCSI commands on the USB/firewire bus to the equivalent ATA commands
that the drive needs.  For these you can partition the drive anyway
you feel like.

2) Some of the newer bigger drives seem to have more smarts to them.
ie. When I connect them to a computer, software installers start
running trying to install backup software.  If you have something like
this I would be surprised if you can replace the drive and get all the
old functionality.  ie. That software has to be somewhere on the
drive.  I don't use it so I've just ignored so far.

Greg Freemyer
The Norcross Group
Forensics for the 21st Century