2 partitions on external drive, for windows and osx ?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by XPcentric, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. XPcentric macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2008
    Is it possible to use an external hard drive (WD Passport) for both osx and windows ?

    I read WD Passport has some sort of software built in, and the partition for mac and windows differs.

  2. andrewsd macrumors 6502

    Sep 27, 2008
    I think it should work. I don't have that particular external drive but at one point mine was partitioned for both.. I would also try a quick google search. Hope some one can help you a lot more then I. Maybe even call there customer service. The manual may say but I doubt it.
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Yes, you can partition for OS X and Windows, or just use a file format that both can use. You don't ever have to use any software that comes pre-installed on any HD. You can always partition and/or format any drive however you choose.
  4. dime21 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2010
    Why bother with partitions? Just use FAT32 or ExFAT and then both can read/write to it.
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    exFAT has limitations and will only work with Mac OS X 10.6.5 or later and only with certain versions of Windows.

    NTFS is a better choice for compatibility between Mac and Windows.

    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: Install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free)
    • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx 33USD).
    • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • 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 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.
    • exFAT partitions created with OS X 10.6.5 are inaccessible from Windows 7
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
  6. wirelessmacuser macrumors 68000


    Dec 20, 2009
    I concur.

    Kudos for you're excellent post. I'm sure this will be very helpful to many.

    Cheers... :)

Share This Page