how should i format my external hardrive?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by andrewface, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. andrewface macrumors regular


    May 17, 2006
    i just bought a 320gb external HD for my mac book...should i format the disk as MACos file sytem or should i keep it as the default msdos? keep in mind im also using windows on my mac. what is there difference between the two types of formatting?...will the mac os one be more compatible or quicker?
  2. DougTheImpaler macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2006
    Central Illinois
    For it to be visible in Windows, it must be one of two things:

    Formatted in a Windows-compatible format (which MSDOS is, though I believe the partition size will be somewhat less than the max)

    Or you'll need MacDrive installed, so you can see Mac partitions in Windows.
  3. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    It should work with a partition of 320GB, but I got kernel panics on my Mac with a 250GB FAT32 partition, I've had none since i split it into 2 smaller volumes.
  4. andrewface thread starter macrumors regular


    May 17, 2006
    so really theres no difference just preference?
  5. pianoman macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2006
    no. there is a difference. a drive formatted for MacOS only will not work in Windows (read/write). if you need it to be Windows-readable/writable, you should break it into smaller FAT32 partitions or leave it as MSDOS.
  6. andrewface thread starter macrumors regular


    May 17, 2006
    yes...because mac can write to msdos correct? so this would be helpful in swapping files from windows to mac correct?
  7. darkcurse macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2005
    Exactly. OSX can read/write to FAT32 partitions, read from NTFS partitions. Windows XP however cannot read OSX partitions.
  8. ddekker macrumors regular

    Sep 23, 2006
    external drive

    well, I have been around the block on this one... I bought an external drive that I used between my winows box and my apples, it came stock formated 250 gig FAT32, worked great, both platforms could read and write, I lent it to a buddy who used it on a mac, berfore returning it reformated it as Mac file system, so the PC wouldn't read it, well I use both so I looked and looked for a way to get it formated back FAT32, but I can't for the life of me find out how to get the thing to format mre than like 32 gig with fat32, I made it NTFS so windows can read and write, and mac OS can read... but not write, to write mac files to it I leave it plugged in the PC and transfer the files through the network... rumor has it the next version of OS X will read and write NTFS... check my Blog for updates on what I find out for a fix


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