Best file system for thumb drive

Discussion in 'macOS' started by rockinrocker, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. rockinrocker macrumors 65816

    rockinrocker

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    #1
    Hola-

    Just got a new 32 gig thumb drive.

    While I use Macs, I need to trade files with others on Windows machines.

    It came formatted in FAT32, which I understand is read/write for both OSX and Windows.

    I'll be exchanging some rather large video/audio files though, so I'm concerned about the upper limit to file sizes that FAT32 has.

    Is there another good option?

    Thanks.
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    exFAT, as FAT32 has a file size limit of 4 GB.


    ____________________________________________________________

    Overview of the four major file systems (called "Formats" in Mac OS X) used on Windows and Mac OS X, compiled by GGJstudios. You can use Disk Utility to format any HDD to your liking.

    Any external hard drive will work with PCs or Macs, as long as the connectors are there (Firewire, USB, etc.) It doesn't matter how the drive is formatted out of the box, since you can re-format any way you like. Formatting can be done with the Mac OS X Disk Utility, found in the /Applications/Utilities folder. Here are your formatting options:

    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)

    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
    • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.

    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
    • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.
    ____________________________________________________________
     
  3. stchman macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #3
    I would choose exFAT as you can use it on all 3 OS (OS X, Linux, and Windows).

    I installed the packages in Ubuntu to read/write to exFAT partitions.
     
  4. maril1111 macrumors 68000

    maril1111

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Location:
    Denmark
    #4

    Yes either exFAT or stay with 32... the other aren't either multiplatform (HTF's) or need extra software (NTFS)
     
  5. rockinrocker thread starter macrumors 65816

    rockinrocker

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    #5
    Hmmm... exFAT sounds good. My studio machine (MP '08) is still on Snow Leopard so it sounds like that'll cover all my bases.
     
  6. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #6
    If you go exFAT, best use Windows' Disk Management or Windows Explorer to do so, as drives formatted by Mac OS X using exFAT have been reported as problematic.
     
  7. rockinrocker thread starter macrumors 65816

    rockinrocker

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    #7
    Duly noted.

    Also, is there any way to test for bad sectors and stuff? Something like what memtest does for RAM?
     

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