Resolved Disk Format (NTFS or change)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by dinggus, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. dinggus, Dec 26, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012

    macrumors 65816

    Jan 17, 2012
    Before I start converting all my files. Does it matter if my 3TB HDD's are NTFS or Mac OS Journaled?
  2. macrumors 603

    Dec 11, 2006
    If you will be using them with Windows, NTFS.

    If you will be using them with Mac, HFS+ journaled (Mac OS Journaled) is what you want to use.

    Remember formatting will erase anything that's currently on the drives so if you have data on there, back it up first.
  3. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 17, 2012
    Okay, just make sure there wasn't an added benefit. I don't have any window computers, so I'll just make my portable HDD the NTFS just incase I need to let people get files.
  4. macrumors 68030


    May 27, 2006
    Miami, FL
    Mac OS X can't write to NTFS natively. You'll need to install NTFS-3G, as well as the software needed to use it. MacFuse or it's successor.
  5. macrumors 603


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
    You can always do FAT32, but you can't have any files >4GB. I think OSX supports exFAT now too right? Not near my computer to check...if so, that's probably your best option.
  6. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    HFS+ (Mac OS Extended) is your best bet, and if Windows users need to access that HDD, you could always use MacDrive's 7-day trial or HFSExplorer.


    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.
  7. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 17, 2012

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