exFAT? I want FAT32... Help!!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Jon12345, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. Jon12345 macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2011
    Hi Jon new here to the forum. I have a MBP. I also just bought a 3TB G drive. I used to be a PC person, now I mostly use MAC but still have a need to access my files- all 2-3 TB of them- on the PC. I am a professional photographer and I have a couple of TB on G drive externals that are formatted for Macs. I want my new 3TB G Drive to have all the files that are on my G Drive externals formatted for Mac.

    At the risk of being redundant, my goal is to use my new 3TB G drive in this way: hook it up to my MBP, format it in FAT32 and transfer all the files from "old" my G drive (which is formatted for Mac) to this new 3TB G Drive. I will then hook up the 3 TB G drive up to my PC as it will have all of the files that are on the Mac-formatted G drive.

    The G Drive manual says to go to disk utility on the MPB, go to "erase", and then format it to FAT32. Problem is, when I open disc utility on the MBP, and I go to "erase" I am not given an option to format it in FAT32, which I have been told is what I need that 3TB drive to be so that it can work on both the Mac and PC. The only options I get are a bunch of Mac-OS ones (4 including Mac-OS, Mac -OS extended, case sensitive, etc), and then exFAT. What is this exFAT?

    How do I make it to FAT32? My understanding is that FAT32 is the format I will need to do cross-operating system work, not exFAT.
    I have done a little bit of research and my concern is that if I format it in exFAT my PC, which operates on Windows XP, won't be able to work with it. Plus who knows, in the future I may be using a different PC operating system and I am worried the exFAT won't work.
    Any help appreciated.
  2. springerj macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2004
    Portland, OR
    Google is your friend:

    Looks like you can't format a big drive with FAT32. exFAT is introduced with Vista, and there's an add-in to read it with XP SP3.
  3. locust76 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 23, 2009
    According to this very website, OSX supports exFAT as of 10.6.5

    Formatting in FAT32 would be horribly inefficient, as FAT32 supports a maximum of 32GB per partition under Windows XP. There are ways to format using larger partition sizes, but it's still inefficient. exFAT or NTFS are your best bets. There's a non-free NTFS driver for Mac if you use Google.

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