Bootcamping windows partition: FAT32 or NTFS?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by dudeitsjay, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. dudeitsjay macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2009
    Anyone have experience with this and what to prefer for the MBA HDD?
  2. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    I find FAT32 sometimes don't work well so you probably want to do NTFS.
  3. jbernie macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Not using bootcamp etc (I use Virtual PC) I don't know if you have any limitations there, and it will depend on which Windows you are installing too.

    Absolute basic answer:

    FAT32 = security free
    NTFS = security & generally better

    The only thing I could think of and from a non Mac user stand point I don't know the impact, running FAT32 might also allow you to share the drive easier?
  4. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    If you want to write to it from the Mac side without convoluted third-party solutions, then go Fat32.

    If you don't need to write to it, or have single files several GB in size - NTFS is for you.
  5. dudeitsjay thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2009
    Also, checking it out some more, and given the bootcamp option to split the hdd in half or giving the windows partition 30gigs, I read that fat32 is much better utilized for hd sizes below 32gigs.

    For now, I've tried NTFS and will see if I can live with handicapped transferability. I've partitioned it to 30gigs and am using windows 32bit professional...
  6. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    It's important to note that Vista and Win7 require NTFS.
  7. Ti_Poussin macrumors regular


    May 6, 2005
    Use NTFS, it's no the panacea but it work good.

    To be able to write to it under Mac OS X, just use MacFuse with the NTFS plugin.
  8. rtheb macrumors 6502

    Jul 21, 2008
    The only advantage FAT32 provides is the ability of OSX to write to the FAT32 Drive without a third party add-on, but the file size limits will drive you crazy.

    Better to use NTFS and install NTFS for Mac® OS X 7.0 for the best of both worlds.
  9. dudeitsjay thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2009
    The 120gig already makes me go crazy. Its ok, I managed to live off a 36.7gig raptor harddrive for a while.

    Update. So I'm running windows xp 32 professional, and it runs surprisingly smoothly, if not better, than the os. So what the people have been saying about windows on bootcamp is sorta true. However, since the install, my osx has become a bit laggier and video stuttering like during the super hot pre-thermal paste days are back. I'm going to look into defragging. iDefrag isn't free =[. I've already tried using mainmenu and ran everything on the batch task from repathing and renewing permissions...
  10. n0de macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2005
    If you think you might ever want to move your BC partition to another machine (new) then definitely use NTFS.

    There is an app called WinClone which can back the partition up and if you use FAT when you restore this backup to a new machine you are stuck with the original partition size (no larger no smaller). If you use NTFS you can move the BC to either a larger or smaller partition in the future without issues.
  11. dudeitsjay thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2009
    After a couple weeks of installing bootcamp win32 pro, I've got some things to share.

    immediately after installing the partition, my OSX partition slowed significantly in terms of read times, such as opening up safari to homepage, or applications etc. It's just very clearly evident that my osx partition is lagging in terms of opening apps and beginning to view videos and pictures.

    My wireless has become a bit more jumpy and buggy, going on and off every now and then in places where I've always used it with no problems. At first I thought it was the wifi, but my roommate wasn't having any anomalies. Often times, I wouldn't be able to open when my roommate on the same wireless on his macbook would get it running fine. At first I thought it was a DCHP issue, but nah that isn't the case. Till today, I still can't figure out why sometimes google takes 50x longer to load than yahoo and any other websites. I hate yahoo... =[

    I'm tempted to just reformat and keep with only osx, since the difference is apparent to me.

Share This Page