Benefits of using HFS+ over exFAT?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by timothevs, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. timothevs macrumors 6502

    timothevs

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Location:
    FL
    #1
    Hey all, with 10.6.5 and the advent of exFAT for all, I am curious what are the benefits of using HFS+ for a non-boot, non-OS partition on a Mac, over exFAT. I tried the usual sources, but couldn't get a full picture.

    The way I see it, for us dual-booters, it is manna-heaven - just maintaining the OSX partition as HFS+ and converting all others to exFAT, so that data can be easily accessed from within Windows7.

    What do you guys think? Would I be giving up some key functionality by adopting exFAT over HFS+?
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
  3. timothevs thread starter macrumors 6502

    timothevs

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Location:
    FL
    #3
    Thanks for the links GGJstudios. It seems that exFAT works fine in 10.6.5, and also with Windows 7 and Vista SP1. So unless one is relying on an older Windows OS, there would be no trouble reading/writing to exFAT.

    That being said, there are a few downsides I see to exFAT - one of them being the File System Permissions - which are ACL only. HFS+ has Unix permissions, so if one relied on those, exFAT would not be a good choice. Also the attributes recorded are different from HFS+ which records access, attributes modified, backed up, contents modified, created.
     
  4. fiatlux macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #4
    There is a Microsoft update bringing ExFAT to XP as well.

    However, I've not been able to use ExFAT between my Mac and PCs so far. I formatted a USB stick in ExFAT on the Mac, but could not read on either PC I tried (both were Windows XP with the upgrade installed). The stick even became corrupted and had to be reformatted.

    I haven't tried the other way around yet (formatting on the PC and reading on the Mac).
     
  5. walshlink macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    #5
    I've used a exFAT formatted USB stick which was formatted on Winblows and it worked just fine on OS X 10.6.5. I only tried reading though...not writing.

     
  6. hachre macrumors 6502a

    hachre

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    #6
    ExFAT isn't bad. The main things it lacks are UNIX features, ACL support or even Windows Permissions support.

    You probably can't run your iPhoto Library off of a drive with ExFAT. (iPhoto doesn't even run off of AFP drives so it most likely requires specific HFS+ features)

    I'm not sure if Apple supports Time Machine on non HFS+ drives (they do support it on alien network drives, like Samba though so there might be a chance).

    Apart from that, for a simple data exchange drive it is a well suited filesystem.
     

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