Dual hard drives: one SSD for os x and one for win 7 + data... help

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by dxerboy, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. dxerboy macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2007
    Hi and thanks for reading. In my new 2011 macbook pro I'm using a 180gig SSD. And loving it.

    The hardware just came in to enable me to install my stock 320 gig HD in the superdrive bay. What I was about to do to that drive was set up 100gigs or so as an NTFS Win 7 partition for office applications, and have the other 220 or so as data of all kinds--video, audio, and pictures--to be shared between os x and win 7, with by far the most use coming from the os x side. And then put it in the internal bay.

    So far with my knowledge I was thinking FAT32 for the data partition, but some searching here has alerted me to exFAT, as well as some warnings about "sharing" data between operating systems (mostly warnings about accessing a mac-formatted drive with a windows machine, but some warning about stability on drives with different formats on them).

    I'd love to hear some real-world experience here before proceeding with formatting, installs, etc.--has anyone done what I'm thinking of doing?

    Thanks :)
  2. Jaygyver macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2010
    Well, according to Apple you can install Windows on _any internal drive_, so in theory it should work. I can't imagine no ones done it yet. Have you tried a search on these or other forums on the Web?

    I don't have a Laptop but I've done basically the same thing you want to do. I have a mid '10 MP (tower) and I have Mac OS on the #1 drive and the #2 drive is split between XP (NTSF) on one half and the other half is Mac/Windows storage (Fat32).
    I put the Windows files that I get/download into the "storage" partition while I'm in the Mac side (and the same while in Windows) that way if I find anything of interest I don't have to keep rebooting into the opposite OS to get it.(NTSF is read-only from the Mac, via Boot Camp anyway). I can just access the files while in either OS at my leisure.
    I've had it set up for about 6 months now and haven't had any issues yet between either one of them.

    So it's possible to do what you want (with the OS installs) but you have to find out if you can do it on YOUR computer.
    You have nothing to lose so give it a try. Worst case scenario you might have to switch HD's and install it that way then switch them back?
  3. dxerboy thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2007
    Thanks for that!

    So you went with FAT32 and not exFAT?
  4. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8F190 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Note that as soon as you deviate from a single drive install, Boot Camp Assistant is basically useless, if not a hindrance.

    Partition manually and install manually using Alt/Option to select the install disc on boot.

  5. tomllama macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2007
    I have all my Windows files on NTFS formatted disks and simply use Tuxera NTFS to allow OSX to write to the windows disks or use MacDrive to allow Win7 to write to the Mac disks.

    I use a SSD in my MacBookPro for OSX and Win7 and then use either a USB or eSATA external drive for extra storage space when I'm away from home. My Mac Pro also has an SSD to boot either OSX or Win7 and has different internal drives for OSX files or Windows. I didn't want to lose the DVD on my MBP so I'm content to simply use a bus-powered external for more storage space.

    I've read of people who say they've heard of corruption due to use of either Tuxera or 3G NTFS or MacDrive, but after a year with my two systems I've had no problems.

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