Just got a new external harddrive -- how to format?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Ryvius, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. Ryvius macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2004
    #1
    I am the proud new owner of a small little Seagate 100G external HD.

    The problem: Its pre-formatted in Fat32. It mounted great in OSX. Transfered some files fine. In theory, it should be recognized by my Windows Xp machine too.

    Swapping them inbetween computers would be great. But the manual says its very dangerous for data quality.

    I was thinking of just formatting it using Extended Journaled mode like my Powerbook's internal HD is. Or making multiple partitions.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. pknz macrumors 68020

    pknz

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2005
    Location:
    NZ
    #2
    I had my external HDD as Fat32 and didn't have any problems between Mac and PC.

    However I then changed it to Mac OS Extended as I needed to stick files bigger than 4GB on it.

    Depends what you need/use it for. General use should be okay with Fat32
     
  3. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Location:
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    #3
    Fat32 should be fine for smaller sized files as the previous poster had stated. Many people activate disk mode on ipods with FAT32 in order to take advantage of high speed copies like you can with this drive.

    An other option you could consider, is partitioning the drive into 2 partitions. ,Say 60 Gig for HFS Journalized, and 40 GIG for Fat32. That way you get the best of both worlds. The Macintosh would have 2 partitions to work with, and the Windows system gets one.


    [​IMG]
     
  4. fayans macrumors 6502a

    fayans

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
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    MacRumors: Forums
    #4
    What's the significant difference between HFS Journalized and FAT32?
     
  5. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Location:
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    #5
    This is a complex topic to explain, but simply FAT tends to waste more space, and you cannot have files larger then 5GB (as the previous poster said).

    OS X is not optimized to use FAT in general (has a harder time with file fragments, and scanning disks for errors), so you may run into problems with applications, files, or otherwise if you attempt to use the drive for anything other then normal smaller files.

    EX, If you were working on an iMovie or iDVD project and it grew past 4gb (which they quite easily do) you would not be able to save to that disk, or continue.

    Also, if you wanted to use that drive as a boot disk in an emergency situation, OS X nor classic can boot from a FAT partition. (at least I have never hear do of this working)

    [​IMG]
     
  6. fayans macrumors 6502a

    fayans

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
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    MacRumors: Forums

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