NTFS or FAT32?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jwboothe03, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. jwboothe03 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2006
    #1
    Hi,
    I am a current PC user soon to switch to Mac. I have a backup HDD being delivered and am wondering how I should format (NTFS or FAT32) the HDD. I intend to backup all the stuff on my PC, then use the drive to transfer/backup a new iMac.

    Great forum!
    Thanks,
    Chris
     
  2. bearbo macrumors 68000

    bearbo

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    #2
    if you want to use it in OS X, you have to have it formatted as FAT32... to be able to use it conveniently
     
  3. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #3
    Wrong. You need it FAT32 to be able to WRITE to it. OS X can READ both NTFS and FAT32 just fine.
     
  4. bearbo macrumors 68000

    bearbo

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    #4
    he wants to use it to backup, and backup require write, so for his purpose, write is a requirement to use.

    if you are picking on my "to read it conveniently".. well, picky.
     
  5. Stridder44 macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #5
    So anyway, in summary (the short answer), FAT32 is what you want.
     
  6. NJuul macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Location:
    Boston
    #6
    One thing though, Windows will only allow you to create a FAT32 partition of 32 GB, so you will have to partition your drive if you want it to use FAT32.
     
  7. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #7
    If you have files bigger than 4Gb, then NTFS of course. If not, FAT32.
     
  8. jwboothe03 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2006
    #8
    thanks

    Thank you all for the timely response!
     
  9. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    #9
    Assuming there are no files larger than 4GB. :)
     
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #10
    Your best plan is to format the drive as NTFS, write your files to it. Then connect the drive to the Mac, read all the files and then use the Mac to reformat the drive to "HFS+ (journaled)"

    This assumes you never want to use the drive on a PC again. If you need both a PC and a Mac to both be able to write to the drive then you are stuck using FAT. But FAT does not preserve file ownership and other file attributes. FAT can become corrupted if unplugged at the wrong time, is slow and needs periodic defraggging. It's only use if if you need to use the same drive with both PCs and Macs.

    Macs can read NTFS but can't write to it. Macs can read and write FAT. The best file system for the Mac is "journaled HFS".

    Blame Microsoft for all of this. They purposefully used some bogus patented technology inside NTFS just so no one else could write NTFS format.
     

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