A common media partition for OS X and Windows?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by macflurry, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. macflurry macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2007
    I was wondering if its possible through bootcamp (or any other way) to have a third partition on a given boot camped hard drive that I could store music and documents and the like so that both OSX and XP could both see? Thanks for any help.
  2. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Jun 3, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    hmm...the only way i would know is to get a program that allows you to find other HDD's on your mac from the windows side (they are out there, i just don't know any)...the mac side can already read files from any HDD on the system

    although i fear this won't work for iTunes as it copies it's files to it's own folder

    hope that helps:)
  3. timswim78 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 8, 2006
    Baltimore, MD
    You can add a FAT32 partition. Both Windows and OS X can read and write to FAT32. There are some limitations to FAT32, such as a maximum file size of under 4GB.

    Gengis Khan, you can tell iTunes where to store files. Just tell it to point to the FAT32 partition.
  4. macflurry thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2007
    I knew the stuff about FAT32, probably should've mentioned my knowledge of that in the first post (and this is exactly what I want to do). But can you make an empty FAT32 partition with bootcamp for use with Mac OSX and XP or do you have to use third party software or is it just really simple to do period?
  5. ct2193 macrumors newbie


    Jan 15, 2009
    Common Media

    I do this all the time for not only Windows and Mac to share, but also for multiple installations of Mac OS X (Tiger, Leopard, Client and Server).

    For Mac and Windows to play together, you will either need to make a FAT32 partition, as both can natively read and write to it. Note that the Mac (out of the box) can only read NTFS. Through programs like "NTFS-3G", the Mac can be enabled to also write to NTFS partitions. (As of today, I'd not waste the money for Paragon, as it does not seem to offer any real differentiation other than a fee.)

    Note that applications such as NTFS-3G can introduce annoyances to the Mac that you'd otherwise not have, such as littering NTFS partitions with .DS_Store files (though this will also happen to any writable partition that you explore from the Mac, including FAT32)

    As for iTunes sharing the same set of files, that's simple. Just set the library location settings in iTunes to the said common partition, preferably in a designated folder rather than strewn throughout a raw partition.

    NOTE: The iTunes library setting is also how you can easily set multiple user accounts to utilize the same set of data, rather than having separate iTunes libraries - all assuming you want a single source of music, that is.

    FAT32 offers a reasonable set of options for small sized files. If for example, you wanted to copy a 4gb ISO, FAT32 is NOT the way to go. Keep this in mind if you are doing any audio or video recording or if you are using uncompressed formats such as WAV or AIF.

    NOTE: On the Mac side, this common partition is useful for allowing multiple OS installations to share common files, such as user data and applications (assuming they are both supported in the OS and can be installed or happily moved somewhere other than the Applications folder). I have had some instances where I had to install in 10.4, archive or remove the portion of the install that was installed to the common partition, and then go into 10.5 to perform an installation the same way. Some application must be installed, rather than copied and this was the most direct way to address it for me. Sometimes settings are shared in the application folder, so beware of your settings.
  6. Codeseven macrumors 6502a

    Dec 31, 2008

    Can you partition the Bootcamp Windows partition? Maybe with a Windows partition software program (without screwing things up that is). It would be nice to have the Windows OS on a seperate partition in case it fails (imagine that :).
  7. WIN2MAC2WIN macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2010
    I been having problems with this all afternoon as its something i been wanting to do, recap i want to use my whole itunes library on both BOOTCAMP partition and OSX partition of an FAT32 partition(3rd).

    made FAT32 partition 50GIG went in to my itunes library and moved it to the shared partition. pointed the osx itunes to it... no go, pointed windows itunes to it no go.... :( any suggestions? it picks up the play lists but not the media...

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