What format for 2nd HDD? mac/windows

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ljx718, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2008
    hey, I'm putting a crucial m4 as my main boot drive where the original HDD is. I'm going to be stalling both mac and windows bootcamp on there.

    now my question is, what format do i put the 2nd 500gb in the optical drive in so both mac and windows can read and write to it no problem? and in windows case, install games on there that i don't need to load up quickly? i know i can obviously do fat 32, but i have a lot of files larger than 4gb.

    would i have to partition it? if so, what format for each partition

    thanks in advance
  2. macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    Reformat your second drive into exFAT, if you're planning to use windows 7. Both osx and 7 can read and write without a problem.
  3. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
      [*]To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
      • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
      • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
      • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
      • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended)
    • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
    • Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper! backups of Mac internal hard drive.
      [*]To Read/Write HFS+ from Windows, Install MacDrive
      [*]To Read HFS+ (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
    • Maximum file size: 8EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 8EiB
    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
  4. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2008
    i did some reading on exfat and some are suggesting not to use exfat. is it safe to use? why wouldn't i want to use exfat?
  5. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Read the disadvantages in the exFAT info I posted. Other than those, no drawbacks.
  6. macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2011
    Which one will you recommend just for media storage!
  7. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    It depends on how many and which computers and OS versions need to read and/or write to the drive. Generally speaking, if you're sharing between Macs and PCs, NTFS or exFAT are your best choices.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2011
    Right now I have 750gb HDD. I will optibay the HDD and put SSD in my main bay. I will install Lion on SSD and just want to use my HDD for pictures, movies, music storage in the SSD. Can I format it HFS+ for storage?
  9. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You can use HFS+ and install MacDrive on the Windows side. Or use NTFS and install Paragon on the Mac side. Or use exFAT. All those choices are detailed in my first post.
  10. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2008
  11. macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    For backups and Media like movies and music I would use exFat. If there are small problems occur they are easily fixed.
    For a fileserver or a NAS drive I would probably use something else. Also I wouldn't use exFAT if you got working data like project files on the drive that you actually work on not just archive there.
    If your data fits the former category use exFAT it is the most trouble free solution in my experience.

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