Resolved Constantly repairing ExFat drive on OSX

davidwellens

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 23, 2016
11
1
Belgium
Hi,

I don't know if this is the right place to ask, but I think it kind of is? Any way, please let me know if it isn't.
We use an ExFat drive for editing and we constantly need to repair its files and permissions before we can mount it on OSX again. The reason it's ExFat formatted is because a someone else on a Windows station also uses it and because we definitely use files that are bigger than 4GB (so no FAT32).

I always use this command:

sudo fsck_exfat -d disk2s2

It works fine and the drive mounts right after, but after a few days/weeks I have to do it all over again.
Does anyone know what the cause is that this happens in the first place, why it keeps happening over and over again and, more importantly, if there's a permanent fix for it?

Most of all I'd love to just reformat it to HFS+ but with the other editor working on Windows that's not an option...
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,302
10,026
California
ExFAT drives can become corrupted if you don't eject them properly before you unplug them. If that is not your issue, I'd say you likely have a failing drive.
 
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davidwellens

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 23, 2016
11
1
Belgium
ExFAT drives can become corrupted if you don't eject them properly before you unplug them. If that is not your issue, I'd say you likely have a failing drive.
Hi weaselboy, thank you for your reply. Yes, I've seen your similar content in another thread, so that's what I suggested as well. Although the problem is in this case the (Windows) person using this drive works from home, so there's no real way to tell, let alone check up on it and make sure it never happens. Would you agree that formatting the drive to NTFS is a better alternative in general/for the future? We'd get Paragon for our Mac users so they would still be able to use the drive as well.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,302
10,026
California
Hi weaselboy, thank you for your reply. Yes, I've seen your similar content in another thread, so that's what I suggested as well. Although the problem is in this case the (Windows) person using this drive works from home, so there's no real way to tell, let alone check up on it and make sure it never happens. Would you agree that formatting the drive to NTFS is a better alternative in general/for the future? We'd get Paragon for our Mac users so they would still be able to use the drive as well.
Yes definitely. NTFS is more immune to this sort of thing and should help, assuming it is not a failing disk.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,512
6,772
I have used exFAT extensively in both OS X and Windows on the same computer, switching between the two operating systems. It was nice to have a read/write drive available to both operating systems without running any third party software. Unfortunately, initial OS support for exFAT was pretty bad on both sides, maybe beta quality at best. Same as you, I had corruption issues about once every two or three weeks.

When this happened, Windows would switch to read-only mode for the exFAT drive, I assume out of fear for making things worse. OS X just merrily kept using the drive, resulting in all manner of weird problems. In OS X, Disk Utility refused to repair exFAT drives, although I could drop to the command line and fix it there. Windows CHKDSK could usually, but not always, repair the drive. I never lost a file though.

However, today it is a completely different story. Same drive, same computer, but newer versions of OS X and Windows. It works very reliably now. I assume that a newer version of one or the other OS had improve exFAT support. Are you using an older version of Windows or OS X?
 

davidwellens

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 23, 2016
11
1
Belgium
I have used exFAT extensively in both OS X and Windows on the same computer, switching between the two operating systems. It was nice to have a read/write drive available to both operating systems without running any third party software. Unfortunately, initial OS support for exFAT was pretty bad on both sides, maybe beta quality at best. Same as you, I had corruption issues about once every two or three weeks.

When this happened, Windows would switch to read-only mode for the exFAT drive, I assume out of fear for making things worse. OS X just merrily kept using the drive, resulting in all manner of weird problems. In OS X, Disk Utility refused to repair exFAT drives, although I could drop to the command line and fix it there. Windows CHKDSK could usually, but not always, repair the drive. I never lost a file though.

However, today it is a completely different story. Same drive, same computer, but newer versions of OS X and Windows. It works very reliably now. I assume that a newer version of one or the other OS had improve exFAT support. Are you using an older version of Windows or OS X?
Thanks for the detailed post ActionableMango. OSX is running a spank new 10.11.6, but since the Windows guy is not part of our staff and works from his own home, I have no idea as to what he's running. I can only assume he doesn't have any problems at all since ExFat is indeed the (older) Windows file system.

One thing we noticed is that the drive malfunctioned again yesterday (as in wouldn't mount) after the Mac Pro was shut down the evening before without first ejecting the disk. Normally the OS would take care of this for you, but I guess that didn't happen, or not properly at least.

In any case, we've decided to move away from ExFat as soon as we can. Only thing we need to do is get Paragon first.

EDIT: I've tagged this thread as solved since, as far as I'm concerned now, NTFS is the better option.
Thanks for the help to both of you ActionableMango and Weaselboy.
 
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rynnfm

macrumors newbie
Dec 25, 2018
1
0
I just found the "solution".
Everything I have read was no use and with losing data.
So.
I took a 80GB HDD, installed 10.8 OS X, boot.

Then I go to Disk Util , see that the hdd isn´t saw as it should, and all I did was "Repair" and "Verify".
They did their "things", and it was ok (in 10.8.5).

Restarted in El Capitan and all was ok. No data loss, no errors.

I hope it helps.

Merry Christmas
 
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