I want to have two partitions on my USB drive. First one mainly for all files, I decided to be FAT32 because it works on Linux and Windows. Second one for my Linux Mint backup and private files, partition ext2, ext3, or ext4.

This configuration is mainly for this I want to people who are using my pen drive do not see my private files (I am using it in my school).

I have few questions:

  • What file system i should use for second partition (ext2/ext3/ext4) ?
  • What partition will see Windows (I know Windows only see one partition on pendrives)
  • Will it corrupt things?
  • 6
    If you want to hide your private files from prying eyes, you should encrypt them or the block device they're on. An obfuscated/unsupported file system doesn't do the job. – David Foerster Sep 29 '13 at 21:16
  • 1
    Or not hand devices with private information on them to other people. (Read: Use two pen drives). – Hennes Sep 30 '13 at 5:09

What file system I should use for second partition (ext2/ext3/ext4) ?

There is not one best answer for that. And there are many more useable filesystems than just the three you mentioned. (Some even especially designed for flash storage)

What partition will see Windows (I know Win only see one partition on pen drives)

Windows will see all partitions.

Windows will only mount volumes for partitions formatted with a filesystem which it recognizes.

Will it corrupt things?

No. This is perfectly normal usage and nothing will get corrupted.

  • I have actually had Windows be unable to see (or at least not mount by default) the second partition even on a drive where both are formatted with windows-friendly filesystems (e.g. one FAT and one NTFS) – Random832 Sep 30 '13 at 3:24
  • I just got aware of [this] one modern windows 7 systems. superuser.com/questions/400560/… and superuser.com/questions/391176/…. So it seems I am wrong on the second part of the question. At least when you use a modern windows OS. Windows is doing something inherently weird to some USB disks when it detect it is of type flash. I will do some more testing, adjust the answer later today. – Hennes Sep 30 '13 at 6:10

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