Swapping Hard Drives Between Mac & PC?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by shane0mac, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. shane0mac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Location:
    alberta, canadia!
    #1
    I have a 320g external hard drive that I am trying to use between PC and my Macbook. It works fine with one exception; I cannot write or modify files on the HD from the Macbook. I understand that Mac cannot write on NTFS, however I was hoping there would be some way of getting around this without formatting to FAT32.

    Thanks
     
  2. vand0576 macrumors member

    vand0576

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    mpls, mn
    #2
    I don't know that much about the topic, but since no one has offered any help:

    FAT32 is the only format that I know of that will allow you fully functionality on both systems. Perhaps a better way to share files is to set up network access on the two systems, that is if they are sharing a router. It's easy, I just googled it and found out how to do it easily. The file transfers aren't the best speed, but it saves you the hassle of having to swap it and and out of each machine. I can easily access files on my PC from my mac and vice-versa. Very nice.

    -AJ
     
  3. tcsdoc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    #3
    I thought Samba was a program allowing Mac's to access NTFS partitions. I'm also new to Mac's but haven't tried to hook an external PC hard drive yet. Also, I believe there is a Hybrid partition or some scheme to allow mutual sharing.
     
  4. shane0mac thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 12, 2006
    Location:
    alberta, canadia!
    #4
    yea, i was hoping to possible format half of the harddrive as fat32 and the other half as ntfs.

    Does anyone know if that is possible???
     
  5. ddekker macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Michigan
    #5
    NTFS - mac

    maybe read this little blurb on NTFS and Mac...

    DD
     
  6. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #6
    Samba allows you to access SMB-shared NTFS partitions residing on a Windows computer. It doesn't work for local drives.

    It certainly is. I don't know whether it's possible to set it up on the Mac side, but you can create two partitions in Windows using Disk Administrator (I have a feeling that the name has changed in XP, but I can't think what it's called now).
     
  7. shane0mac thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Location:
    alberta, canadia!
    #7
    i have heard that FAT32 is much less stable than NTFS, resulting in read errors ect. Does anyone have any experience with the stability(or instability) of FAT32?
     
  8. ddekker macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Michigan
    #8
    fat32

    I purchased a maxtor "one touch" hard drive... has been awesome, fat32 as far as I know only has trouble if you shut down in the middle of something, I know its not known to be stabel, but I in my many years have never had a problem... then again besides the one touch I haven't used it since 98... I did a little write up on my site about NTFS so take a read (don't feel bad to click on an adsense while your at it...lol... sorry ) but I have never had a problem with a file system... hard drives have died, but never had a file system fail... you?

    DD
     
  9. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #9
    FAT32's directory structure is less robust than NTFS... significantly less robust. It also has maximum file size limitations (4Gb). However it's the only reliable way you'll be able to share local drives between Mac & Win.

    You can buy a (Windows) program called Partitionmagic to re-jig partitions on the fly if what you're asking is if it is possible to shrink the NTFS partition to half of the drives size and add in a FAT32 partition. If you don't mind losing the data on the drive, then create an NTFS partition in Windows half the drive's size and add in a MS-DOS partition on the Mac (Windows cannot format FAT32 partitions over 32Gb in size).
     
  10. rani macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    #10
    I am having the same issue

    I have the same issue!
    File systems are all explained here:
    http://guides.macrumors.com/Drives_and_Filesystems
    The best way to have a drive that can be read by both is by using FAT32.

    You can use disk utility for formatting the disk to FAT32.
    I tried doing that but disk utility gets stuck for hours.
    I am looking for other tools but can not find any.
    The problem is that the drive can not be accessed by Windows anymore!
     
  11. rani macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    #12
    Solved it

    I used partition Magic on windows to format the drive to FAT32.
    I know that people say FAT 32 is less stable, but I need something that can always be shared.

    My advice is to stick to FAT32 .
     

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