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Old Dec 10, 2012, 11:41 AM   #1
kaelell
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Question About Drive Formats

Just had a quick question about external Drive formats,
previously I have always used FAT32 for my external drives but I understand from Apples FAQs that in order to have Time machine backup data from other external drives, those drives need to be HFS+ formatted.

I just wanted to know if HFS+ is compatible with windows, i.e would I still have read access at least on my other Windows machine in case of a problem with my Mac.


thanks
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 11:51 AM   #2
simsaladimbamba
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You need additional software to read or write to HFS+ formatted volumes.

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Overview of the four major file systems (called "Formats" in Mac OS X) used on Windows and Mac OS X, compiled by GGJstudios. You can use Disk Utility to format any HDD to your liking.

Any external hard drive will work with PCs or Macs, as long as the connectors are there (Firewire, USB, etc.) It doesn't matter how the drive is formatted out of the box, since you can re-format any way you like. Formatting can be done with the Mac OS X Disk Utility, found in the /Applications/Utilities folder. Here are your formatting options:

HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)
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, here are some alternatives:
    • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
    • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
    • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
    • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
    • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, 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
  • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.

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 use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.

FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
  • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
  • Maximum file size: 4GB.
  • Maximum volume size: 2TB
  • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 12:07 PM   #3
kaelell
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great. thanks
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:53 PM   #4
kaelell
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A further query about this, If I format my external drive to HFS+ (journaled), from what I understand it takes hit on performance because of the "journaled"
Considering I want to use this external drive as a scratch disk for video editing, does anyone have experience with this? would that hit even be noticeable or is it a non-issue?

many thanks!!
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:55 PM   #5
simsaladimbamba
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaelell View Post
A further query about this, If I format my external drive to HFS+ (journaled), from what I understand it takes hit on performance because of the "journaled"
Considering I want to use this external drive as a scratch disk for video editing, does anyone have experience with this? would that hit even be noticeable or is it a non-issue?

many thanks!!
Normally it is a non issue, but for scratch disks I also use not-journaled as file system.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 02:22 PM   #6
Adam552
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I don't understand but... why does Windows 7 on my Macbook Pro have the ability to read data off my HFS drives (including my external HDD and my OS X partition)? I don't have any programs installed to do this.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 02:30 PM   #7
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So say I have a media harddrive that I plug into my tv to play movies. I want to be able to pull movies off my windows and mac machine. I am guessing I would want to go fat32 and just have to keep the movie files under 4gb each?
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 02:55 PM   #8
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So say I have a media harddrive that I plug into my tv to play movies. I want to be able to pull movies off my windows and mac machine. I am guessing I would want to go fat32 and just have to keep the movie files under 4gb each?
Yep,that's what I do for this kind of usage.Works fine.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 04:33 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by SWPROX View Post
Yep,that's what I do for this kind of usage.Works fine.
sweet thanks!
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