Mac / Windows and Hard Drive Formats

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by register, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. register macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    #1
    hey, I just got my 17" C2D... so far so good.
    I'm gonna be installing XP on there. I hope to be using the computer going to and from XP / OS X, and I want to reformat my hard drive to work with both. I'm working mostly with audio, and I'll be using the drive for audio capture. I'm thinking to partition the drive to FAT32, as both operating systems will read it. Is there any disadvantage in FAT32 for audio capture? I know it has a limited file size of around 4.2 GB, but none of my audio files will exceed that (they'd have to be huge!)
    I know OS X extended is the standard capture formatting for OS X, but provided my files don't exceed 4.2 GB, will I experience any differences?
    thanks
    tom
     
  2. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    You cannot run OS X from a FAT32 format. If that is what your intention is.

    Which it may not be.. It sounds like you're talking about an external HD, but you NEVER mention an external HD, so one has to assume that you mean the internal HD on the MBP or iMac.. which is also not clear.
     
  3. register thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    #3
    I don't want to put the operating system on the FAT32, but store the bulk of my files / work there. I'm pretty sure FAT32 can read and write both mac and windows systems. I have a western digital 500GB drive and I'm pretty sure it came formated as FAT32, and worked with both. Now I want to use both operating system and I have a seperate drive for video file work on OS X, formated as OS X extended.
     
  4. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    Err...

    slight clarification, I tihnk you mean you're sure that OS X and Windows can read/write to FAT32, not the other way around. And that is correct.

    However, it should be noted that if you purchase MacDrive, you can read/write to HFS+ from the Windows install, and OS X can read NTFS. Simply as alternate solutions.

    Otherwise, I don't think you'll notice any appreciable differences between FAT32 and HFS+ as it's much more dependant upon the disk RPM and cache size than format. Also note that if you are planning on using your internal and creating 3 partitions (ostensibly) for OS X / audio / Windows, that you'll be taking a performance hit when audio recording, as a partition is just a separation of a logical whole (the disk), and the OS and disk has to work harder to do OS things from the OS install partition, and then "simultaneously" read/write to a Audio partition.
     
  5. fall3n macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    #5
    A FAT32 partition cannot exceed 32GB therefore you 500GB HD cannot be FAT32
     
  6. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    That is totally false.

    It was crippled in Windows 2000 and XP by design. They won't format a drive larger than FAT32, simply because Microsoft wanted people to move to NTFS as the defacto file system. It was entirely a software limitation.

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/184006/en-us

    However, volumes can easily be FAT32 and very large. Say 8 TiB large. OS X, for example, can format huge volumes as FAT32.

    Specifically:

     
  7. register thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    #7
    really? It looks to me like I already have a 100GB partition on the drive- which I've been using to transfer to PC. Where am I going wrong here?
     
  8. fall3n macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    #8
    ah, thats a typical microsoft thing to do
     
  9. register thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    #9
    so here's pretty much the same drive as mine:
    http://www.pcauthority.com.au/review.aspx?CIaRID=3149
    and as it says, it comes formatted FAT32. But aside from the limitations of file size, is there any dissadvantages to running a FAT32 drive. Is read / write speeds the same? just as reliable?
    thanks
    tom
     
  10. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #10
    As I said earlier, this is almost entirely dependant upon the speed of the disk and the cache size of the disk. File format has almost no impact upon this.

    Since you might not be reading earlier posts:

     
  11. register thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    #11
    my bad, didn't see that... that's what I needed to know, thanks for your help
    tom
     

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