External Drive Format Question

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by MDPLS, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. MDPLS macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2015
    Hopefully this is an okay place to post this question. I will shortly be getting my first mac. I have a lot to learn about this OS, but was wondering if you may be able to help me out? I have many pictures stored on a Toshiba external hard drive formatted in NTFS. Before I purchase the mac, should I copy all of the pictures back to the Windows PC and reformat the hard drive to FAT32 or some other format and move them back to the external? Is this the best format for mac OS to just be able to plug the drive in and have everything work? Sorry for the questions, but I really have no idea what would be best. Thanks for any help in advance.
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    OS X can read NTFS drives natively. You only need to consider if you want to write to NTFS drives.

    Format A Hard Drive Using Disk Utility (which is in your /Applications/Utilities folder)
    Choose the appropriate format:
    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive) NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X [*]To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
      • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion and later)
      • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
      • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
      • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.
    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
    • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.
    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X. [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.
  3. MDPLS thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2015
    Thank you for the quick response... Lots to learn. :)
  4. Toltepeceno Suspended


    Jul 17, 2012
    SMT, Edo MX, MX
    Just chiming in that I have been using Tuxera with yosemite and it's been working perfectly.

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