Ext.Backup drive file system- readable by PC's ?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by qveda, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. qveda macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2008
    I'm considering using dedicated internal drive for TimeMachine backups and an external drive for an additional backup of photos, videos.

    Wondering if there is an option for formating an external drive with a file system that could be read by a PC so that I could transfer images or videos by simply plugging the external drive into the PC

    suggestions ?
  2. gugucom macrumors 68020


    May 21, 2009
    Munich, Germany
    You basically have two options.
    • FAT32
    • NTFS

    FAT32 reads and writes from Macs and PCs but has a limit on 4 GB file size. It is also quite antiquated and not particularly stable compared to journaled and supervised file systems like HSF+ or even NTFS.

    NTFS has the disadvantage that Apple doesn't support it by write driver. You can only read from OS X. There are two options for 3rd party drivers though. Paragon makes a very fine driver which costs 29$ for the registered version. For one time use you can also use the limited test version. If you use any of those versions you will find that there is a small but annoying bug in system preferences. You will not be able to select a Windows partition as the boot drive.

    The other option is a free version made by NTFS 3G. That one also requires another free bit of software called Fusion. You will have to google yourself trough the maze to find those bits.

    There is a much easier way to do what you want by using a network and a Time Capsule. The TC server runs on Linux and translates the file formats in such a way that Macs and PCs can write and read from the disk. All you have to do is loading the TC install disk in the respective machine and load the driver. It installs in OS X and Windows because it is a hybrid disk like the Leopard install disk for Bootcamp drivers.

    Another option is to build yourself a NAS that works with both Mac and PCs.
  3. qveda thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2008
    Thanks . I just found an option that I think will work best for me. Install MacDrive ($49) on my Windows machine. and leave everything in Mac OS Extended file format on the Mac drives (and external drive)


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