External USB Hard Drive: 1 or more partitions?

I would like to hear opinions and/or experiences about partitions on external hard drives.

I have 4 external drives, 2 of them have 2 partitions each (NTFS and FAT32). Another is a Ext3 and then i have a last one, 1 TB, that i just bought and i have to decide. I only use linux but it might happen that i have to interface it with some windows machine. So i was thinking 700 GB Ext3 and 300 GB NTFS.

However i was told that making more than one partition on an external USB drive increases dramatically the probability of a failure.

I haven’t found this piece of information anywhere googling, but the person that told me that is a knowledgeable technician.

Does anyone know if it may be true that external drives should be partitioned in 1 only partition?
Thanks in advance for any opinion!

Rossana I can’t see any basis for the suggestion. Mostly are not such drives simply a standard HD packaged in a case. Granted they may have been made with usb interface and need additional power, but the drive is the same. In fact, if you take one apart, you would be excussed for feeling slighly miffed that inside it’s basically just any old HD.

As to the format choice, take your pick. My one external is FAT32 but when circumstances allow, I will change it to NTFS.
ext3 would be fine for me, but if other family members need to connect to it from windows - you see the dilema.

Yeah, that piece of information from your technician is rubbish. You can buy casings for external hard drives. Typically it is just a box with some electronics to interface a PATA or SATA drive to USB. As such there is no difference between internal and external drives when it comes to partitioning. However as external drives can be disconnected by just pulling out the USB plug, one should take care to mount and unmount them in the proper fashion to avoid losing data or creating inconsistencies in the disk directories that will require a repair phase at next use.

thanks so much for the replies.

The argumentation of the technician was that the USB mount and unmount was the possible point of failure for a multiple partitions drive.
I have never understood why this should be the case though, and i have never had problems with the 2 of my drives that have 2 partitions.

I think i will create 2 partitions in the new 1 TB drive too. If i have the chance to talk to that person again i’m going to ask why he thinks that… just out of curiosity!

Thanks a bunch again for your help!