Ext Hard Drive - Need to use on Leopard and XP

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by puremagic, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. puremagic macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2007
    I have a Maxtor basics external HD.

    It is formated Mac OS Extended. This works fine but it is not seem when I plug into my windows XP laptop or boot to xp on my macbook.

    Which format do I need to use to make the drive usual in both. I have an old external which is Fat32 and it seems fine on both.

    How do I format to Fat32 when my xp machine doesn't see the drive?


  2. blodwyn macrumors 65816

    Jul 28, 2004
    Portland, Oregon
    Use the Apple Disk Utility (In Applications/Utilities) to format the disk with FAT32. Click on the drive in the left pane, click on the "Erase" tab, and choose Volume Format "MS-DOS (FAT)"
  3. puremagic thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2007

    I will do this now.

    Many Thanks for your help.
  4. masterapple04 macrumors regular

    May 26, 2004
    Massachusetts, USA
    You also have two other options if you're looking for a slightly more modern file system on the HD. (FAT32 can only hold files up to 4GB in size, a major limitation for me personally.)

    The first is to install this in Leopard: http://www.paragon-software.com/home/ntfs-mac/, which adds full read/write NTFS support. I have it and it works flawlessly.

    The second is to install this in XP: http://www.mediafour.com/products/macdrive/, which adds full read/write HFS+ support to Windows. This is very useful if you have Boot Camp set up. I also use this software and it too works perfectly.

    I realize that FAT32 is the only free option, ignoring MacFUSE, which can be flaky sometimes, but does also add NTFS support in Leopard. If you can live with ALL CAPS drive names and files < 4GB in size, then ignore everything I've said.

    Good luck!

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