External hard drive file backup: Mac and PC?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by psymac, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. psymac macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2002
    Wondering how to go about setting up an external HD to archive files for both Mac and PC. I have a Maxtor Onetouch plus 4, 500gb (price $130).

    I have two Mac Minis (Leopard), an Ibook G4 (Tiger), and two PCs (XP). Not sure how to go about formatting, should I use FAT32 and then just do a manual archiving of files for all these computers, or setup partitions and then (I hope) use some backup software? Is this the best drive for this purpose?
  2. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    Mac OS X and Windows can read/write to FAT32 but there is a 4GB file limit per write. Windows can read HFS+ if MacDrive is installed & Mac OS X can read NTFS if Mac Fuse of NTFS for Mac OS X is installed.

    if your not dealing with big files over 4GB then i would recommend formatting to FAT32. otherwise your can format to HFS+ or NTFS. though i would recommend formatting to HFS+ as you have more macs. you could also make a HFS+ partition and NTFS partition within disk util. make the first HFS+ and the second MS-DOS (FAT) then format the second to NTFS in Windows.
  3. ethernet76 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2003
    I would do a partition for Windows and one for Mac.

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