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Multi-partition, large UDF, questions, esperiences ...


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So, I had essentially dead 32GB Kingston DataTraveler G2 that went erratic and slow about a month after I bought it (yes web vendor ignored me as usual :) Ideal piece of hardware for trying crazy things :-)

Other folks reported that PeToUSB may not recognize large UDF-s and my first attempt was no different (Vista laptop but with LUA killed => always admin :D), but then when I rebooted with the fawlty Kingston G2 in, all of the sudden it got recognized as size 0 drive. I'll explain the Kingston mess latter -- the point here is if anyone knows sho maintains that PeToUSB -- it might be artificially cutting off drives by size.

So, I ran PeToUSB, it errored out, but it left a 1.4 GB primary FAT partition (1403 MB to be exact), recognized as "volume" by disk manager (meaning it let's me delete and re-create and is recognized as fixed drive). Mind you that this Kingston never saw 2 partitions during it's short life and it never saw that speed (15-20 GB/s) either. Therefore, the first question for people more experienced in these matters is - is there a way to pull the same trick but get a larger first partition? PeToUSB, obviously did something special to burn some brainz into this dead horse. An MBR specific MBR trick maybe? Custom FAT/FAT32 tables?

Another reboot and the "rest" of the drive showed up, 31,54 GB, but only as a "removable" that can't be recreated, resized or anything and is every bit as slow and erratic as it always was (3.7 MB/s max), wiring garbled file/folder entries into FAT or dir tables when on a faster USB port and/or after 15+ min of continuous file copying.

2nd question - does anyone know a way/tool to repartition this further (on an off chance that Kingston G2 firmware just can't handle large partition sizes)

3rd question - is there way to boot from first USB partition but to keep some data (iso-s, img-s ...) on the 2nd, 3rd ... and make sure that they are discoverable at boot time regardless of which partitions actual hdd in a PC has (probably a device naming/identification question).

4th question - if there's a way to do #3, can other partitions be NTFS? Seems to keep large UDF-s a lot more stable, plus I seem to remember that FAT32 has 4GB as a general compatibility limit. Not that it will necessarily help this broken Kingston, but I bought another 32GB in the meantime :rolleyes: and it works too well to try crazy things on it.

5th question - any tool that could create multiple partitions in a way as dirty as PeToUSB, but maybe the one that knows how to do FAT32 or NTFS? Talking nice and clean to this Kingston hasn't helped - I assume that PeToUSB just writes the bytes where it wants without checking much, and while it may break in other cases, it seems to have fixed the nut case :-) so I'm looking for both the "nice" and "dirty" options here.

Any other ideas / experiences / tools, ideas on what else to put into that 32GB space (haven't really planned on having 32 GB "boot/live" drive - even XP+2k3 x86+x64 is still "just" a 4 GB :blink:).

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#1 - Gparted?

#2 - GParted which also has a LiveCD, LiveUSB, and PXE boot capabilities.

#3 - Yes. Gparted, although the subsequent partitions won't be accessible in Windows.

#4 - Yes. Gparted, although the subsequent partitions won't be accessible in Windows.

#5 - GParted?

I'm not sure why transfer rates increased with your screwed up drive though.

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OK, after some more checking, what PeToUSB actually did was to dig out Intel's "Turbo Memory" (lives on a Mini-PCI card in newer laptops), format it and make visible - no wonder it was so fast :-)))))) I assume it was either completely invisible or unformatted or formatted but wihtout label, never checked before since I'm not exactly a Vista fan if you knwo what I mean :-), just tolerating it till I get to put normal 2k3 on this ThinkPad).

This would make PeToUSB a devilish or divine creature, depends on the angle of view (folks in some forums complaining they have no use for "Turbo Memory" and would love to turn it into a "ram-disk" :-) Could also be only the insertion of this erratic Kingston triggered the whole thing - i.e. that PeToUSB was dead sure that it was a USB flash drive since one was present, albeit largely defunct.

Back to partition-s. I thought about gparted, but I kind of do need extra partition(s) to be visible in windows if the purpose of the whole exercise would be to allow adding more and more iso-s, img-s and say have the 3rd partition for near-readonly data, like old mp3-s (old == not deleted in 2yr :-). N.B. This broken Kingston holds data OK as long as it's all written in one take - creating/renaming folders bellow the root makes trash and cross-links (looks like it doesn't initialize entries in dir tables), so it's a kind of like a big DVD-RW :-))

Come to think of it - are any of the well known "commanders" ({Total,Free,Speed,...} Commander) able to handle ext2|3, both read and write ? That would be fine at least for iso-s and img-s.

Has anyone tried Ext2fs.sys with USB drives? Does it handle dynamic nature of USB drives at all (auto-mount, drive letters and disk# changing), and in particular multi-partitions on flash USB-s. Althoguht Ext2fs.sys wouldn't be exactly practical for a drive that connects to all kinds of boxes, it still mgiht be practical for 1-2 "main" boxes.

Oh and since I tried MBRWiz a bit I wonder if there might be some /type values that could trick windows towards, ahem more tolerant attitude :-) for multi-partition case? Say I remember that U3 drives make windows accept one partition as "CD-ROM", that wouldn't be bad at all.

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