Boot Camp Fat32 Or Ntfs?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by babyfett, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. babyfett macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2007
    Just switched to Mac this past week an I LOVE IT! But I still need to run some of my old PC programs so I figured I'd do a Boot Camp partition and use Parallels with it. Anyway upon install it asks if I want to format the partition as either FAT32 or NTFS. I chose FAT32 so I could read and write onto the Windows partition from the Mac OS, but now I'm wondering if that means the Mac partition is now susceptible to any Windows Viruses I might inadvertently pick up using the Windows partition. Also, if I'm using Parallels and the Windows side gets a virus, will the Mac OS again become susceptible to those viruses because both operating systems are being used. Thanks!
  2. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    The Mac is not susceptible to Windows viruses, the drive formatting has nothing to do with it. It can be a "carrier" of sorts for macro viruses in Word and Excel & such, but only to pass them along to a Windows machine.

    As far as which formatting method, the choice is this: do you need easy drag 'n' drop between the platforms? If this is an absolute requirement, then FAT32 is the answer. If you need a large (>32GB) partition for Windows because of apps or tons of huge files, then NTFS is mandatory.
  3. frenly macrumors newbie


    Oct 24, 2007
    by the way are we able share file between windows n mac when using bootcamp.
    For example,i have document save in mac n when i boot it to windows am i able to view the file with windows xp
  4. byakuya macrumors 6502a


    Jul 26, 2007
    it sure is possible...
    one software that does exactly that is Macdrive (shareware)...there is something called HFS Exploere which is free (if I remember correctly).

    to your original question: both formats have their pros and cons.
    windows runs better on ntfs partitions in my opinion and if you need to store files that are bigger than 4GB then ntfs is a must. con: you can't write on ntfs partitions while under OS X without third party software.
    however there is a solution to everything and if you decide to use ntfs then macfuse and the ntfs3g driver is what you want to get. here is a short blog entry how to install it along with my little app iMountit (Link here).
  5. stuff99 macrumors 6502

    May 11, 2007
    anyone know how I can switch my current fat32 xp side to ntfs? fat32's limited 30gigs is useless and I need to add more hardrive space
  6. Amdahl macrumors 65816

    Jul 28, 2004
    NT & XP include a command CONVERT to do that. Only question: Is it compatible with Boot Camp? (Yes:

    I'm probably going to do this myself, since the NTFS-3G drivers allow OS X to write to an NTFS drive fairly reliably.
  7. sOwL macrumors 6502


    Sep 25, 2007
    Nerd Cave
    fat21 is slightly faster than ntfs. Fat32 though, cant handle files bigger than 4gb and cant handle more than 32gb in total disk space. I would suggest ntfs
  8. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    What's FAT21? Is that a new BMI? :p
  9. Winni macrumors 68030


    Oct 15, 2008
    In Vista, you won't have that question: You can only install it on an NTFS partition, and that is a good thing.

    For XP, also use NTFS.

    FAT32 is a relict of old times and only there for compatibility reasons - and for USB sticks, hmm.

    Don't use CONVERT on system volumes. It won't set the proper file permissions on system files. That's not a show stopper of any sort, but it's not proper either. CONVERT was made for non-system volumes.

    To access your Mac volumes/partitions from Windows, use MediaFour's MacDrive 7. To gain read/write access to NTFS partitions from OS X, you can try Paragon's "NTFS for Mac".

    Also, your BootCamp/Parallels setup only makes sense if you really want to use Windows in both virtualization and natively. And then, because of Windows' activation silliness, this will only work properly if you use a volume license version of Windows that does not require activation (and as the name implies, such a version can only be bought in volumes, not in a retail store). If you only need Windows in Parallels, then don't bother with the BootCamp partition at all, just let Parallels (or the better alternative: VMWare Fusion) create a disk file.
  10. sOwL macrumors 6502


    Sep 25, 2007
    Nerd Cave
    heh obviously a spelling mistake :)

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