Seagate Hard Drive: FAT32 vs Mac OS - "risk of data loss"?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by superleccy, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. superleccy macrumors 6502a

    superleccy

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    That there big London
    #1
    Hi

    I have just purchaced a 100Gb Seagate USB2.0 portable hard drive - ST9100801U2-RK. Perhaps an odd choice for a Mac user, but it was a good price. I need it to exchange files between my iBook, and the multitude of Windoze PCs I can't seem to escape from at work. So naturally, my intention was to stick with it's default FAT32 format. And, it seems to work fine.... hurrah!

    But... the Seagate user guide warns Mac users of the following...

    "Do not leave your drive in its pre-formatted FAT32, single partition, condition if you intend to transfer data between Mac and Windows systems. Doing so will result in data loss."

    Gulp! Now, I know that FAT32 cannot handle the some of the advanced Mac OS filesystem permissions, and I know that I won't be able to boot from this drive (I do not want to), but actual data loss? Are Seagate being serious? Or are they just covering themselves for some reason? I thought FAT32 was "supported" by OSX... am I wrong?

    Regards
    Superleccy
     
  2. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Citizens Bank Park
    #2
    I've never heard of such a thing. I have 3 external hard drives (1 Maxtor, 1 Seagate, 1 Samsung). All are FAT32. All are used in both windows and OS X. And none have ever had data loss. I do recommend ejecting the drive before unplugging it though.

    Edit: They may be talking about permissions and other file attributes. FAT32 is not meant to hold permissions and other file attributes that HFS is meant too. I know things can get messed up when you put an OS X application on FAT32. I still don't think you'll have a problem if you are using it for storage only.
     
  3. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    #3
    FAT32 is not the best format to use...

    NTFS - Windows can write to it, and read it, and Macs can read it. Much better, unless you will be writing files to Windows.
     
  4. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Citizens Bank Park
    #4
    NTFS really limits you. If you ever do want to write a file via OS X, you are screwed. Don't do this. Stick with FAT32 when using both OSs.
     
  5. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #5
    I haven't tried, but I think you're probably wrong about that. Mac OS should be able to write NTFS.
     
  6. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Citizens Bank Park
    #6
    Nope. No writing for NTFS. I'm pretty sure they just added reading NTFS sometime during 10.3.
     
  7. superleccy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    superleccy

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    That there big London
    #7
    I like this answer, thank you! :)

    Not going to try NTFS, because I know that's definately incompatible with my parents' aged Windows ME machine. :( At some point, when I convince them to switch, I'm gonna have to transfer their data somehow...

    Since I'm only using the drive to store copies of files I've also got stored elsewhere, I think I'll be okay.

    Thanks & regards
    Superleccy
     
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #8
    Yes...what they're saying doesn't make sense. You really don't have options if you want to transfer files back and forth, except to use FAT32. Unless of course one computer is serving the disk to the other, in which case NTFS and MacHFS+ are both better options.
     

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