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Old Aug 20, 2011, 03:13 PM   #1
clutchm3
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How to make external hard drive work on both Mac and PC? Good idea?

Hey guys first I want to know if it is even a good idea to use an external har drive on both mac and PC. What are the downsides of doing this? Is speed slower? Is it true that on a mac you will only be able to read files and not write them if it is formatted for both mac and PC?

How do I go about making an external hard drive work on both Mac and PC?

Thank you!
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 03:14 PM   #2
MrCheeto
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Go into Disk Utility and format the external drive to FAT.

No issues. No problems. Just do it.
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 03:15 PM   #3
2hvy4grvty
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4gb size limit for isos/movies are annoying.
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 03:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by MrCheeto View Post
Go into Disk Utility and format the external drive to FAT.

No issues. No problems. Just do it.
So it won't be a format issue?

A recent thread seemed to indicate it would be.

If not, great
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 03:16 PM   #5
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As long as you format the drive in right format, there won't be any issues. FAT32 can be natively accessed by both OSs, which makes it the best option. The downside is 4GB file size limit so for big files it's a no-go. However, exFAT is an option if you have Windows 7.

Other than FAT, there is NTFS which is Windows' file system and readable by OS X. Write support can be added via 3rd party software such as NTFS-3G.
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 03:21 PM   #6
Taz Mangus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clutchm3 View Post
Hey guys first I want to know if it is even a good idea to use an external har drive on both mac and PC. What are the downsides of doing this? Is speed slower? Is it true that on a mac you will only be able to read files and not write them if it is formatted for both mac and PC?

How do I go about making an external hard drive work on both Mac and PC?

Thank you!
You would have to format the hard drive under windows as NTFS format and download MacFuse for the Mac. As I understand it, using MacFuse to write to the NTFS hard drive is a bit slower then using HFS+.
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 03:24 PM   #7
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As long as you format the drive in right format, there won't be any issues. FAT32 can be natively accessed by both OSs, which makes it the best option. The downside is 4GB file size limit so for big files it's a no-go. However, exFAT is an option if you have Windows 7.

Other than FAT, there is NTFS which is Windows' file system and readable by OS X. Write support can be added via 3rd party software such as NTFS-3G.
Will stuff that OS X writes to an NTFS drive using NTFS-3G be readable and usable by a Windows machine?
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 03:32 PM   #8
HandySam
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I would use exFAT. It's native in both. (at least since 10.6.5 and Windows Vista but you can download a hot fix from Microsoft for exFAT in XP I think)
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 03:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danpass View Post
Will stuff that OS X writes to an NTFS drive using NTFS-3G be readable and usable by a Windows machine?
Of course. Once the format is accessible by the OS, all of the files are too (as long as there is an app to open the file. E.g. .exe won't work in OS X without 3rd party tools).
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 04:11 PM   #10
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4gb size limit for isos/movies are annoying.
Then go with exFAT
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 05:19 PM   #11
2hvy4grvty
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Lack of support is more annoying.
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 05:21 PM   #12
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Lack of support is more annoying.
Seriously. Somebody tell Microsoft to get with it, already.
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 08:29 PM   #13
Tutorer
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Lack of support for exFAT? I see plenty.
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 08:55 PM   #14
2hvy4grvty
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Yeah man, it only lacks support for the unpopular stuff, you know, like Ubuntu. Who uses that, right?
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Old Aug 21, 2011, 06:04 AM   #15
Wiejeben
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Format it into 2 partitions.
One that works with Mac OS X, where you can make your backups on etc.
One that works with Windows.
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