External HD boot disk/Windows data disk

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jmort, Nov 5, 2005.

  1. jmort macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Location:
    Southern CA
    #1
    I just went out and bought a Lacie 160GB external HD (firewire 400). My intent was to have a drive that I could boot from in the event of any troubles, and also use as a data/backup drive. The catch is I have a PC, and I wanted to be able to transfer data to and from the PC as well. My understanding is that the drive must be formatted to FAT32 to be recognized be both mac and pc, but when I try to install OS X on a fat32 partition, it won't recognize it, and disk utility won't let me format one partition in FAT and the other in HFS. Is there a way to make a bootable partition and another partition that will play with Windows? I want to have my cake and eat it too, please help!!
     
  2. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Location:
    My house!
    #2
    Someone just posted the same question about this yesterday....

    Next time search a little before posting please...it gets tiring going through the same thing over and over again...

    Here is what you'll need to do...

    You'll need to partition the HD. You can do that in Disk Utility, which is inside the Utilities folder.

    The reason why you'll have to partition it is because PCs won't even begin to read an HFS+ formatted HD, which is what you'll need in order to make an external HD partition that your Mac will boot from.

    On the other partition...


    If you want to make a partition that both the Mac and PC can read, you'll need to make it a FAT32 partition. Macs can read/write to FAT32 but NOT NTFS!!! Macs can only read NTFS, but NOT write. So if you make a FAT32 as the 2nd partition, you can have a partition that you can read/write with both Macs and PCs.
     
  3. jmort thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Location:
    Southern CA
    #3
    I did do some searching, and nothing I found seemed to fit my circumstances. Here's the problem though, I don't seem to be able to format each partition seperately. Am I wrong on this? It seems that I must apply either PC or Mac formatting to the whole drive, and can't change that among partitions

    ?
     

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