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I recently installed a new mobo and I did not realize it would cause me to reinstall windows (otherwise it would BSOD). So I bought a new HDD and still have my old HD with all the data on it, I installed both in my PC and copied all my old personal data from the old HD to the new HD so its safe to delete the old HD.

I want to make this second HDD into a backup drive where I will only store large amounts of data and movies/ISOs/etc. I will not be using this HD ever other than storing stuff in it. My question is, can I partition this hard drive and make it new and still copy data to it OR do I need to install some type of OS in order to transfer data onto it? What is the best way to make a HD "store-able" without taking up too much space to install the OS?


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I'd probably take a look at one of the NAS centric distros like freenas, they're tiny, and should do what you need. – Journeyman Geek Jun 18 '13 at 1:12
I'm reading some tutorials and it says you need at least 3 HD's to run it? I'm assuming that is only if you want to utilize its multi HD sharing utilities? – Goose Jun 18 '13 at 1:20
One drive is enough, and you can run freenas off a USB drive – Journeyman Geek Jun 18 '13 at 1:24
You don't need an OS on that drive or a NAS solution. Just format it if it only has a single partition or repartition it first. Then just store you data on it. There is nothing special about this. – Oliver Salzburg Jun 20 '13 at 17:52
up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you leave it connected internally, just format it. It will be assigned a drive letter and will not contain anything until you copy something to it first. No need for an OS, Windows will just see it as another drive.

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That's exactly what I wanted, didn't know if you formatted you can still use it as a disk, thanks. – Goose Jun 18 '13 at 2:01

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