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Old May 20, 2011, 04:45 PM   #1
alpha752
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Please forgive this noob question. I'm new to OS X.

I have an external HD, iomega I think. It can formatted for Mac, and works great on my MBA. I want to be able to use it to transfer files between my windows machine and my MBA, along with do time machine backups.

Is there a format I can format this drive to that works on both systems? And how do I format it on OS X?

Thanks.
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Old May 20, 2011, 04:46 PM   #2
GGJstudios
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FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
  • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
  • Maximum file size: 4GB.
  • Maximum volume size: 2TB
NTFS (Windows NT File System)
  • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
  • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
  • To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X: Install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free)
  • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx 33USD).
  • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard, but is not advisable, due to instability.
  • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
  • Maximum file size: 16 TB
  • Maximum volume size: 256TB
HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended)
  • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
  • Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner backups of Mac internal hard drive.
  • To Read/Write HFS+ from Windows, Install MacDrive
  • To Read HFS+ (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
  • Maximum file size: 8EiB
  • Maximum volume size: 8EiB
exFAT (FAT64)
  • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
  • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
  • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
  • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
  • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
  • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
You can format drives in Mac OS X using Disk Utility, which came installed on your Mac, in the /Applications/Utilities folder.
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Old May 20, 2011, 05:01 PM   #3
alpha752
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Thanks for that break down.

It looks like HFS+ is the best choice, but I don't want to pay $50. I'll likely have files over 4gb so Fat is out. Looks like NTFS is my best bet? Does Time Machine support NTFS?

Is there a better choice then NTFS? The only problem with HFS+ is the cost of getting my windows machine to read it. What would you use?

Thanks a ton!
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Old May 20, 2011, 05:06 PM   #4
GGJstudios
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha752 View Post
Looks like NTFS is my best bet?
For sharing with Windows, it is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha752 View Post
Does Time Machine support NTFS?
Notice the second point under HFS+
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha752 View Post
What would you use?
If you want to use the drive both for sharing with Windows and for backups with Time Machine, you can partition the drive with Disk Utility, making one partition NTFS and the other HFS+.
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Old May 20, 2011, 06:23 PM   #5
alpha752
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Duh! I cant believe I didn't think of partitioning it out. I'm an idiot.

Thanks for the help!
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