Disk format for windows/mac compatibility?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by gpspad, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. gpspad macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2014
    I have an old windows 7 machine I'm keeping around for some cad software and just to have a windows machine around for when I need it. The windows machine will be on a LAN with shared drives. I wanted to format an internal 2tb SATA drive for windows 7 and wasn't sure what disk format to use ExFAT or NTFS?

    The computers will be on the same network and have shared drives, wasn't sure if there might be a good reason to pick one over the other in a house full of macs.
  2. Crazy Badger macrumors 65816

    Crazy Badger

    Apr 1, 2008
    I'd format an internal drive with the best format for the OS, so for Windows NTFS. If it was external, and you were planning on moving between machines, that's a bit more tricky!

    SMB sharing to access from other machines over the network.
  3. gpspad thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2014
    Thanks i played with it and figuring the mac can write to the shared NTFS drive on the windows machine.

    Which format should I pick for an external drive that I want each to be able to read and write to?

    I plan on backing up to an external, and theoretically would need OSX and windows to use it.
  4. dwig macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2015
    Key West FL
    Internal drives, even when shared on a network, are best formatted with the format that is optimal for the OS. For Win7, actually XP and newer, that is NTFS. Network sharing "hides" any of the format specific tasks. The various machines simply need to "speak" the same network protocol, which for Win and Mac combinations is SMB.

    External drives that will be physically connected to various machines running different OSs should be formatted with the "best" format that is shared in common between the machines involved. For Win and MacOS, the best common format is exFAT. Windows, since Vista and some updated XP versions, and Macs, since OSX 10.6.5, can both read and write to exFAT natively.
  5. gpspad thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2014
    Thanks, I got it. Have an external hd case I'm going to use and now have a handle on how to format the extra drive.

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