Best format for a Mac/PC flash drive?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by illegalprelude, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. illegalprelude macrumors 68000

    illegalprelude

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    #1
    Hey everyone. I was recently trying to put a file on a 16GB flash drive that is formatted via FAT32. The file being bigger than 4GB would not go on it, seeing how FAT32 can't handle it.

    So that brings me, what's the best format to have your flash drive, if you will be using it back and forth between Mac and PC units.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    It depends on which Mac and PC OSs are involved, but generally speaking, NTFS or exFAT.


    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, 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
    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 or SuperDuper! 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.
    • 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
     
  3. illegalprelude thread starter macrumors 68000

    illegalprelude

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    #3
    Oh wow. What a wonderful post. Thank you so much for all that information. Sad to see though that by now, there still isn't one simple format between both OS, let alone when you start talking about external devices like your television and PS3.
     
  4. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #4
    Best Format

    If you want to be able to transfer files between Windows and Mac is FAT32....It's not great for space and cluster management, but gives you the ability to port files between the 2 Operating systems. I use it to copy stuff for friends who remain stuck in the Windows PC regime.
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #5
    As the OP already stated, FAT32 won't work, because of the 4GB file size limitation.
     
  6. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #6
    A NAS like QNAP or Synolgy will work with all those devices (PS3 / XBOX via DLNA)
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #7
    Those are devices, not file formats. The thread is about file formats, specifically for a flash drive.
     
  8. jackrv macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    #8
    ExFat will work if your windows machines are XP or later. Vista and Win7 support it natively, and XP does through an update.

    I use an exfat drive to shuttle files between work and home daily, many of which are video source files above 6GB.
     
  9. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    Millis, Massachusetts
    #9
    I have Tuxera NTFS installed on my Mac. That allows OSX to read / write to NTFS formatted media.
    Also allows disk utility to format a hard drive or flash drive as NTFS file system.

    Works great on the latest 10.7.x
     
  10. LeandrodaFL macrumors 6502a

    LeandrodaFL

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    #10
    Can someone explain better to me whats exfat? I tought fat32 was the most advanced fat


    BTW, I woud recomend NTFS, cause Mac can read from it, and even write with 3rd party support. I have a 64GB dual formated FAT32 and NTSF
     
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #11
    FAT32 isn't the most advanced. Read the information in the 2nd post in this thread, including the links.
     

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