How partition a flash drive?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by 5300cs, Mar 15, 2005.

  1. macrumors 68000

    5300cs

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    japan
    #1
    At work I use my Mac, but the office uses windows peecees so I use a flash disk to transfer my files to print. The problem is that windows doesn't read OS X formatted disks, so I have to use MSDOS format for the flash disk :rolleyes:

    To get to the point, I want to partition the disk (it's 512mb) into 1 big OS X partition, and a small FAT32 or MSDOS partition. I used Disk Utility to partition it, but when I stuck in my wife's peecee at home, XP automatically formatted the whole thing without giving my any other options. :mad: My question is, is there a disk formatting utility for OS X that will let me do FAT32 or MSDOS format?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. FYA
    macrumors member

    FYA

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    #2
    my 2c'

    not sure if this will help or it just might be a waste of time...

    Is it possible to partition the flash drive on the PC and then try and format one of the partitions with Disk Utility?

    Same thing you did but switch the order of computers used.

    probably a wasted post but you never know.
     
  3. macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #3
    No.

    I'm stuck in the same boat you are, 5300cs. OS X can partition it but then WinXP (actually all versions of Windows that I've tried, including 98 and 2000) just wipe the thing and don't tell me about it. What if I had data on there? :mad:
     
  4. macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    #4
    let windows format it and then use it on your mac, or atleast mine works well that way for me.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Location:
    Huntington, Utah
    #5
    OS/X will read any windows formatted volume
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    dsharits

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Location:
    The People's Republic of America
    #6
    Not true. OS X will not read NTFS.
    Probably the easiest thing to do would be to start your Mac with a 10.2 install disk, and partition the flash drive with Disk Utility on the installation disk. I am 99% sure that the Jaguar version of Disk Utility was the last version to format to MS-DOS. If it wasn't Jaguar, it was Puma (10.1), but I'm almost positive it was Jag.
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    #7
    For 512MB I see no reason why not to just use one big FAT32. I think that may even be what an iPod shuffle uses.
     
  8. macrumors 68020

    DavidLeblond

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #8
    You should never have to format a flash disk in the first place.

    Format it FAT32, don't partition it. If you partition it then you'll be stuck with 1/2 the space for a particular OS which totally defeats the purpose of having a large flash disk.
     
  9. macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #9
    Panther still can make MS-DOS (FAT32) partitions. I've done it before.

    And I'd like to partition it so that I can have a segment for Linux (FAT32), segment for file transfer (FAT32) and a segment that is HFS+ for the ease of Mac->Mac transfers. (To keep

    Crazy? Yeah. Worthy cause? Yeah.

    Impossible? Yes.... :(
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Location:
    Huntington, Utah
    #10
    oh yeah i forgot about NTFS.. sorry about that, im just not a fan of NTFS cause I have only had problems with it so i havent used it for years
     
  11. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    Wollongong, Australia
    #11

    Correction, OSX doesnt write to NTFS at least from 10.3.x. However it does read NTFS drives fine.

    Is there a specific reason you need to have a NTFS USB Drive? I mean, besides security and a few minor quirks (and teh fact that your work might be using *quivers* nt4) windows xp/2000 read FAT32 Drives as well as NTFS. If there isnt a specific reason other than the fact that you want NTFS, just format it to FAT32 and it'll save you alot of headaches. MACOSX reads and writes FAT32 fine.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors 68000

    5300cs

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    japan
    #12
    I want to use the OS X filesystem because I want encrypt some files and take advantage of file permissions: I cannot do that with MSDOS. Also if my flashdisk ever gets lost or stolen, someone can just pop it in their peecee and read/open whatever they want.

    That is why I want to do this.
     
  13. macrumors 65816

    GodBless

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    #13
    Yes, Disk Utility will do the job if you want Mac OS Extended or MS-DOS File System. It is in the Utilities folder of the Applications folder and built into Mac OS X.

    However, if you want to do a Windows and a Mac partition on the same hard drive (or flash drive in your case) you will need to go for 3rd party software such as Symantec PartitionMagic http://sea.symantec.com/content/product.cfm?productid=1 which will do the trick.

    I am hoping that the disk utility in Tiger will let you partition your hard drive to do both Mac and Windows on the same hard drive. I could use this feature when needing to do file transfers on New Technology File System (NTFS) and MS-DOS File System Windows machines. I agree with the rest of you about NTFS and am in hope that NTFS is more supported in Tiger.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors 68000

    5300cs

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    japan
    #14
    I could have sworn that the last time I tried the MSDOS option wasn't there. I must be seeing things now... :rolleyes:

    Thanks for pointing that out! :D

    Funny how they called it "new" technology when most of it wasn't really new but inspired by VAX. That's a story for another day though :D
     
  15. Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #15
    Not true. Panther will read NTFS.

    Panther (post 10.3.5) has "limited" write capabilities to NTFS. Take that for what it's worth..
     
  16. macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #16
    Its like playing roulette in Russia. Sometimes it works, but then other times.... :rolleyes:

    OK it isn't that bad. You plug it in and you can read it and if you try to write to it you have a chance of it working, a chance of it not working, and a very small chance of b0rking the hard drive. I've never hit the 3rd option.... but the 1st and 2nd ones I've run up against.
     
  17. thread starter macrumors 68000

    5300cs

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    japan
    #17
    I tried Disk Utility today and it didn't work. I made 2 partitions but it would not let me choose MSDOS as a filesystem, only OS X, UNIX or free space. When I did free space and put it in an XP box, it wanted to format the whole thing again :mad: :mad:
     
  18. macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #18
    Yup. You can either have a MS-DOS disk (the one on top) or not at all. Can't have a MS-DOS volume (indented on bottom) dirtying up the HFS+ volumes on the same disk.

    And I know what you're going through...
     

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