Any way to partition one external drive with both NTFS and HFS+

Discussion in 'macOS' started by AquaVita, May 20, 2007.

  1. AquaVita macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2007
    Is there any way to do this? I have a 400GB drive that I want to use on both windows and OS X and it would be really great if I was able to do that.
  2. enda1 macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2006
    How bout FAt32? If thats not an option...

    I did this before but had to use a PC for some reason. There was some program for disk management. Basicly split HD into two partitions. Formatted one as NTFS then other as FAT32. Attached to MAC then formatted FAT32 as HFS+. Think it was something like that anyway.

    Not much use but hey.
  3. Sean7512 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2005
    Yeah, just format it as a FAT 32 drive, and you will be able to READ and WRITE on both Windows and Mac. Connect the drive, open Disk Utility, go to the "Erase" tab, select the "MS-DOS" for the file system, then name it, and then just apply it. Your drive will then work on both. Hope this helps. :D
  4. ethernet76 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2003
    Fat32 isn't good for large hard drives. It also isn't as fast as HFS or NTFS.

    I believe you can use fdisk in windows to get the NTFS partition then use disk utility to get the remainder in HFS.

    Or you could do it the other way around. If you do format it using Disk Utility first make sure to click the options button and select Master Boot Record. Also fat32 can't have files larger than 4gb.
  5. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    Just create 2 FAT32 partitions. Format one in OSX as HFS and the other in Windows as NTFS
  6. 1dterbeest macrumors regular

    Feb 14, 2006
    Waupun, WI
    Or you can just make the whole drive Fat32. It WILL work with larger hard drives but it won't take files larger than 4gb. If you are storing huge raw video files or large disc-image backups, then this isn't for you. For me and for most users however, Fat32 is the best solution. Windows itself won't make partitions larger than 32gb in fat32, but you can get a separate app to do it. I use Swiss Knife. My 200GB external drive is in fat32. You don't lose much speed compared to NTFS, plus you can operate on just one partition rather than two. You can transfer files between mac and windows that way really easily.

    Just don't partition it. you don't have to. ESPECIALLY don't do one NTFS and one HFS+ if you want to send files back and forth between the two machines. Mac won't read NTFS and Windows won't read HFS+, so you can never see both drives at once! Do a 32gb partition in Fat32 and the rest in HFS+ if you use Mac more, or the rest in NTFS if you use Windows more.

    Otherwise, if you don't care about money and you crave high performance, format the whole thing as HFS+ on your Mac and buy MacDisk software. Once installed in Windows, you can access HFS+disks in Windows without worrying about special workarounds. You can also save large files for access by both computers. You can download a trial, but after a while it is disabled and you have to pay for it.
  7. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Feb 23, 2006
    Split the drive using disk utility, format each half to your liking. Use OS X to format the HFS part, and a windows box to format the NTFS.

  8. nplima macrumors 6502a

    Apr 26, 2006
  9. janey macrumors 603


    Dec 20, 2002
    sunny los angeles
    either format the drive hfs+ and use MacDrive on Windows, or use MacFUSE on Mac OS X for better NTFS support.

    Um. No. Mac OS X has experimental NTFS write support, but Mac OS X is fully capable of reading NTFS formatted volumes. Like I said above, use MacFUSE and NTFS or use MacDrive and HFS+. Separate partitions are a waste of time.

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