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The question kind of says it all. When archiving files with Winrar you get the option of different compression modes, one of which is "store".

I'm under the impression this does no actual compression but instead just groups all the selected files into a single file.

Is this the same as "tarring" on a linux?

We do we semi-daily "backups" of two directories, which contain between 5 and 10 files each, which a total file size of approx 40gb for the two directories combined. We configure the archive to be split into 2gb files. We do this because windows does not allows us to copy files larger than 2gb on to an external usb drive. This takes about 30mins on out quad core machine with 4gb of ram.

Is there a faster way of doing what we are trying to do?

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I'm under the impression this does no actual compression but instead just groups all the selected files into a single file.

Correct.

Is this the same as "tarring" on a linux?

Correct. tar groups files into a single archive; data compression is done by gzip/bzip2/xz.

We do this because windows does not allows us to copy files larger than 2gb on to an external usb drive.

Windows is fine with it. The filesystem doesn't allow larger files (although the limit in FAT32 seems to be four GB).

  • The recommended fix is to reformat the drive using the NTFS filesystem. You also get increased reliability that way.

  • Windows XP and later also support exFAT, which is based on FAT and therefore much simpler than NTFS (good for SSDs and flash memory), but does not have the 2 GB limit.

Is there a faster way of doing what we are trying to do?

  • See the filesystem recommendation above.

  • There are many file splitting tools for Windows which may be faster than WinRAR. However, they only work if you already have one big file.

  • You can get tar for Windows.

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I was going to make a comment about it being the filesystem but you already covered that nicely. ;) –  Shinrai Mar 14 '11 at 22:52
    
"The recommended fix is to reformat the drive using the NTFS filesystem. You also get increased reliability that way." - But also decreased portability. –  Majenko Mar 14 '11 at 22:55
    
I had a funny feeling it might have been a limitation due to FAT32 but was under the impression the drive was already formatted as NTFS. Turns out I was wrong. Portability might be an issue in the future as we do have MAC users, but formatting as NTFS looks like the best bet for now. –  xzyfer Mar 15 '11 at 0:54

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