NTFS or FAT Partitioning?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by zarley, May 21, 2008.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #1
    I'm going to buy XP SP2 OEM for Boot Camp and am reading the Boot Camp Installation Guide and I don't know whether to format in NTFS or FAT.

    I am ONLY using Bootcamp to be able to play games and want super security. Any suggestions?
     
  2. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #2
    I had the same question. I installed using FAT32, installed some games, and had everything working great. Then I made the mistake of converting to ntfs (fat2ntfs?) and now none of my games will work. If I install again I think I will stick with FAT32, since that at least allows you to read and write to the windows partition from within Mac OS X.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #3
    What does that mean exactly? "It allows you to read and write to the windows partition from within Mac OS X."? I'm sorry but I dont get the FAT vs NTFS thing...
     
  4. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    #4
    OS X can read and write FAT32 format Harddrives, but it can only read NTFS harddrives. XP was written mainly to use NTFS format, and so it is slightly faster and safer using NTFS. I personally formatted my XP partition to be NTFS, and then I just use parallels for me to read/write onto my NTFS partition from OS X. I also use macdrive for XP to read/write on my OS X partition.
     
  5. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #5
    Mac OS X can natively read data from a disk that is formatted as NTFS, and it can both read and write to a disk formatted as FAT32. This means that while booted into OS X you can read (NTFS) or read and write (FAT32) the Bootcamp partition of your disk. So, for example, if you wanted to download some game demoes while in OS X, you could write those games to a folder in the Bootcamp partition if it were formatted as FAT32 *and they would be available to you when you reboot into Windows), but not if formatted as NTFS. OTOH, if you have some data that you created in Windows via Bootcamp, and then rebooted to OS X, you could read the data in either case from within OS X but could only write to (or update) that data if it was formatted as FAT32.
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    #6
    You can read/write to FAT32 partitions under OS X natively, but FAT32 has limitation of 4GB max per single file (i.e. no DVD images).

    You can only read NTFS under OS X natively. You need a 3rd party driver to write to NTFS partitions, like NTFS-3G (free), or Paragon (paid). They are not very fast and stable. NTFS is also much secure than FAT32.
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    #7
    What does it mean "write"? If u use Windows 7 32bit for browsing should u just go ahead and install NTFS. Does 'write' means something like programming language?
     
  8. macrumors member

    DonCarlos

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    #8
    My vote is always use the native NTSF for windows. It was developed for the newer versions of windows. I agree it is a more secure system and I believe makes for more stable windows use and programming.

    I don't use any type of virtual program and run each OS in it's own platform, using bootcamp.

    As mentioned earlier if needed you can always get a 3rd party program to take care of any read/write issues.

    Also, I have 3 partions on an external for saving apps and programs and things ....OSX and NTFS and also a small FATS32 sandwiched in between them.
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #9
    I know people will disagree with me but i would recommend fat32. Ntfs is only negligably faster than fat32 but the incompatibilites with os x are much more of a problem. Ntfs is only more secure than fat32 because it allows encryption, but normal users dont use encryption so it's of no benefit.

    Like someone else mentioned, you cant store huge iso files on fat32 partitions but these can be saves on the mac os partition.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Yakuza

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    Lisbon, Portugal
    #10
    For some reason last week when installing Xp via Boot Camp i did it (first) in Fat32, when booting in windows it didn't work. Did it all over again BUT in NTFS and it's now working fine...so, yeahh NTFS is the way to go, at least for me lolol
     
  11. macrumors member

    DonCarlos

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    #11

    Exactly :)
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Yakuza

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    Lisbon, Portugal
    #12
    But i made it work in fat32. lolol but it was on leopard and on the MBP described above. This time was in SL on the iMac described above. is it reason enough ?
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    #13
    It means that OS X cannot write data to an NTFS formatted partition.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    #14
    The speed difference (and the slight memory overhead that NTFS has) are meaningless to most users. The reason to use NTFS is the fact that it's journaling and has better >4GB file support.


    Whereas FAT32 has universal compatibility.


    Securitywise I'd probably just use TrueCryp
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    iamrawr

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #15
    So you can't use fat32 with windows 7 I'm guessing?
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #16
    You can't install windows vista or windows 7 using fat32. You're only option is to use ntfs.

    XP allows fat32 or ntfs.
     

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