Even a notebook with a hard disk of 160GB is reaching its limits – sooner or later. So I decided to buy an portable external hard disk to make smaller backups, save data for transportation issues and to out-source some files which are not required all the time.
But why the hell do external hard drive cases have to be ugly?
At least that is the impression you can get when you look at what the market has to offer. However, there are a few exceptions, one of which is the Passport series of Western Digital. With 2.5″ hard disks up to capacities of 250GB and MacBook inspired designs in different colours like black, white, red, green and pink (?!) those portable hard disks are really nice to look at. They do not need an external power supply. The receive their energy directly from the USB 2.0 slot, which works nicely on my FSC Amilo si1520.
There is some windows software on the hard disk, so first thing I did was emptying the hard disk. Then I wanted to do a back-up of my files, so that I could take the risk to finally update to Ubuntu 7.10. I used Sbackup under Ubuntu 7.04 which worked nicely and was easy to configure.
But it only created a compressed file of 4GB. I was sure the files to back-up where much bigger than that. The reason for that was easy to find. The WD Passport is formatted with FAT32, which can only handle files up to 4GB. Some other day I will have to format the hard disk, maybe with EXT3, so that I can use the hard disk with Sbackup, but this will have an impact on the possibility to transport files from my computer to others. FAT32 is fine for Linux, Windows and Mac OS. So I am not sure what to do. Maybe I will use Sbackup only with backups to the Icybox NAS 4220 and will do everything manually with the WD Passport, so this portable hard disk can still be accessed by different operating systems.