USB 2.0 Hard Drive - Best File System?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Wolf River, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. Wolf River macrumors newbie

    Wolf River

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Location:
    UK (Unfortunately)
    #1
    Hi,

    I have a 40GB USB 2.0 USB drive that I would like to now use with my Mac. My concerns are that I have access to many PCs, so as it will mainly be used as a backup drive I would be stupid to restrict myself to an Apple only file system (I only have access to one - mine so if it fails I have no access to the data).

    So what system would be best, I noticed that NTFS is read only on OS X, would FAT32 be OK for this application (read and write on both XP and OS X)?

    Many thanks in advance ;)
     
  2. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Location:
    Denmark
    #2
    FAT32 seems to be best suited for your needs, especially if you use both Windows and Mac based systems.
     
  3. oober_freak macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #3
    Yep, FAT32 will be fine unless you have single files with size>4 GB.
     
  4. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #4
    I didn't quite get the gist of your needs. If you need to use your external drive on both machines but not necessarily the same file system you could partition the drive in half then format one half with Mac OS file system and the other half for Windows.

    I did this about a year ago and it worked fine. I used the same drive on a Mac and a PC for backups and never experienced a glitch. The enclosure was a Venus DS-3 usb/fw400 with a WD drive.

    I prefer fw400 over usb2. There are technical differences between the two.
     
  5. Wolf River thread starter macrumors newbie

    Wolf River

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Location:
    UK (Unfortunately)
    #5
    Thanks for the info, my drive enclosure is fairly old and is USB 2.0 so not much scope for change on that. As for my needs, well my main concern is that all files can be accessible by both file systems - so should my Mac happen to die everything that I stored on the drive during backup could be accessed by a PC.

    Many thanks for all the help folks, from what you've said it will be being formatted to FAT32 :)
     

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