Best HDD format

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by iamwilliamcwl, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. iamwilliamcwl macrumors member

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    #1
    My question is what's the best format for external hard drive to run on Window & Mac? Thank you very much :D
     
  2. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #2
    For sharing data files larger than 4.0Gb an exFAT shared partition is the best option, supported by both OSX and out of the box Vista SP2 and newer. A hotfix for support is available for XP too.

    If >4Gb is not applicable then FAT will be fine and works out of the box with pretty much any type of OS.
     
  3. iamwilliamcwl thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    Thank you for replying Gav Mack

    I have another question, whats the best allocation unit size for exFAT format?
     
  4. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #4
    It's never a question of what allocation size I normally use Windows to format it and use the default. All depends on the size of the partition. Perhaps if you are creating zillions of small files though instead of huge perhaps FAT is the more sensible option as iirc the unit sizes are smaller.
     
  5. IA64 macrumors 6502

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    Nov 8, 2013
    #5
    I am still using HFS+ on my 2TB Lacie external drive. MacDrive on Windows 8.1.

    I am not sure if I can convert the HFS+ to exFAT without losing data. I don't have another storage for backup.
     
  6. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

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    #6
    1024 and be sure to format the drive from within Windows. OS X can have problems with data corruption on exFAT drives if you either use a different allocation size or create the partition from within OS X.
     
  7. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #7
    No you can't I'm afraid you'll need another disc, though you could resize the HFS+ part to accomodate an exfat partition by resizing in Disk Utility and formatting in 8.1. I used to use Macdrive but like NTFS+ for Mac I found it buggy, slow and occasionally very troublesome with big OS updates on both platforms. Now with exFAT I quite like having a middle ground to share information and the two formats stay mutually read only. Great for cleaning malware off NTFS format drives, eg with hidden files in the ADS for example. Copying to exFAT or even to HFS+ then back again cleanses all the files and folders with any attributes, permissions and hidden nasties lol. Really comes in handy having Mac's for some aspects of my work!
     
  8. IA64 macrumors 6502

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    #8
    It's also worth mentioning that Time Machine will not accept ExFat
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #9
    Nor will hosting an Aperture library.

    Depending on your needs, you could go with HFS+ and then buy MacDrive to give your windows system HFS+ access.
     
  10. iamwilliamcwl thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 5, 2013
    #10
    Thank you :D

    And also thank you everyone putting more information into this post
     

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