Windows 10: How to delete contents of a Linux formatted external disk?

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  1.    17 Mar 2018 #11

    BTW I also tried with Ubuntu, but it hanged at the start.
    A good working solution :
    Linux File Systems for Windows by Paragon Software

    It worked flawlessly, even within VMware Workstation.

    Actually it is a fully functional version and free to use for 10 days, but then again, the price is very low.
    One minor drawback: there is no USB thumbdrive version, i.e. it can't be installed on an USB thumbdrive.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    17 Mar 2018 #12

    I have always had a problem with synthetic drivers. Read access is always OK but writing always causes a problem.

    I run MacOS, Windows and Linux and have tried various drivers to do read/write on the others file systems and they are uniformly crap. Paragon are generally better than the alternatives but be aware there are lots of threads about ExtFS corrupting drives and making them unreadable. The same goes for NTFS-3G and all the others I've tried from the other side.

    Your best bet is to find a shared file system that you can read/write to natively but even this causes problems. For example MacOS will format and use a disk in ExFAT but it will be corrupted if you use it with Windows. If you format it in Windows MacOS will use it fine forever.

    For a drive you want to use on a TV box you want to go for the lowest common denominator which is FAT32. This is free for manufacturers to use (which is why it is included) and as long as your individual files are less than 4GB would be the best solution. You don't have the bells and whistles of a modern FS (error correction, authority etc) but it will definitely work.

    Note that you can keep using Paragon ExtFS after 10 days just the transfer rate drops to 5Mb/s (basically useless for transfer but may work for deleting things as you are only deleting the partition table entry which is tiny).
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    17 Mar 2018 #13

    tfwul said: View Post
    I have this USB disk that is formatted using Linux system (I believe it is ext2 or ext3).
    It is used to save TV-recordings. I use Linux Reader to copy these recordings onto my Windows pc.

    Am looking for a portable tool, similar to Linux Reader, that can also delete the contents of this external drive.

    Right now, I only know of 1 method: from USB using Paragon Harddisk Manager and format the external drive.

    Any alternatives ?

    I assume you want to delete the entire HDD and use in Windows

    in Windows CMD (elevated)

    simply DISPART
    LIST DISK get list of HDD's you can see the one with Linux system on it

    then type DISK nn where nn is Disk nr selected from List Disk

    create partition primary
    format fs=ntfs quick

    Job done

    Another way if you have access to a Linux system is to simply delete the contents but that will still leave a Linux fs on the HDD. If the HDD is on a NAS you can simply delete from Windows if the HDD is shared.

    The simplest way is just use the command line in windows like I've described.

    Now if you want to use the HDD again on a Linux system just create a new fs on it with a command like mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdx or wherever it's mounted (that will create an EXT4 fs but you can create XFS or whatever).

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    17 Mar 2018 #14

    I just want to delete the files only. The Linux filesystem to remain in place (EXT3). Just wanted to free up space. It is a simple 750GB WD external drive, nothing with NAS or what.
    Am aware of the 10 days limitation of the Paragon software, then again, in case of need, the 20 dollar for the 'full' (no limit) version,
    well, that definitely is too much to ask.
    Note that ExtFS has been followed up by Linux File Systems for Windows.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    18 Mar 2018 #15

    Is it possible to make this HDD part of your home network (networked TV set)? My HDD, ext4 formatted and connected to the Raspberry Pi, is accessible with my Windows PC and I can transfer and delete files on it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    18 Mar 2018 #16

    Another possibility is formatting the disk (all data disappear!) twice. First, inserting the disk in the PC, Windows asks for formatting. After formatting, you have access to the disk. Then use Minitool Partition Manager (free). With this program you can also format in ext2, 3 or 4.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    18 Mar 2018 #17

    Hi there


    just download a "LIVE CD" version of any Linux -- use RUFUS to make the iso bootable on a USB stick.

    I'd go for this CENTOS version of LIVE CD (job's already done so you don't need to create a live CD from a standard Distro).

    Index of /rolling/7/isos/x86_64

    there's a longish list but choose this one : CENTOS-7_x86_64-LiveKDE.iso

    Use RUFUS to create a bootable USB from the .iso file and boot it.

    When it boots (won't need any user ID or anything else) simply insert your Linux Disk into a spare USB port .

    Run File manager from the GUI screen (KDE) - program called dolphin = works pretty much like Windows file explorer / manager and delete your files. KDE is almost Windows like so you should have no trouble in using it.

    If you do need to re-format your Linux disk then run the command from console (terminal) program :
    mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdx where sdx is the Linux disk you inserted.

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  8. slicendice's Avatar
    Posts : 3,540
    Windows 10 Pro x64 v1809 Build 17763.104 (Branch: RS5 Release Preview)
       18 Mar 2018 #18

    Com'on guys!

    Don't you guys read through the threads BEFORE you reply? ...obviously NOT!

    This thread seems to be filled with double posts, talking same topics over and over. The OP already declared the Linux on a stick (he actually tried it and it failed with not having root permissions and is beyond the OPs skill level) and formatting the drive non options as solutions for his issue (which by the way has already been suggested a few times). :)
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  9. slicendice's Avatar
    Posts : 3,540
    Windows 10 Pro x64 v1809 Build 17763.104 (Branch: RS5 Release Preview)
       19 Mar 2018 #19

    PiKo said: View Post
    Is it possible to make this HDD part of your home network (networked TV set)?
    I wanted to emphasize this!

    Since constantly unplugging and re-plugging the drive is generally a bad idea in the long run, we should take a look at other viable options.

    If the device can be networked, then it would solve all the issues in one go.
    1. No need to plug and un-plug the drive
    2. You could transfer the recordings over the local network to/from any device in the same network
    3. You could delete the files, that are already backed up, from the HDD over the network
    4. Networking would solve the root permission issue, since the recorder is the owner of the files and filesystem.

    Please let us know if it is possible to network connect the device and if you want to try this route also.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  10.    19 Mar 2018 #20

    @jimbo45 - thanks for the Rufus solution. I tried that as well now.
    Linux started alright and I could launch the Explorer (Dolphin).
    However, same as with 'LinuxLive USB Creator', using Linux Mint, see a little earlier in the thread, I had no access rights.
    Delete was impossible.

    Ownership: user and group: 'root.
    Vainly tried to figure out how I could change that.
    (screenshot is a part of a photo I made, horrible quality, I admit)

    'Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SnagIt-19032018 090139.png 
Views:	1 
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      My ComputerSystem Spec

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