External Hard Drive File Formats

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Dr McKay, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. Dr McKay macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Location:
    Kirkland
    #1
    I have a 500GB external USB hard drive, and I want Windows 7 and Snow Leopard/Lion to be able to read AND write on it,

    Is there a file format that isn't FAT32 that I can format it in?
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #2
    You could use exFAT, which removes the small file limitation, or you could format in HFS+ and get MacDrive for windows, or use one of the tricks to get a Mac to write NTFS. Easiest way is probably exFAT
     
  3. Dr McKay thread starter macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Location:
    Kirkland
    #3
    Snow Leopard and 7 can Read + Write to exFAT? And theres no file limitation?
    Do you know of any 'Cons' of this file format?
     
  4. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #4
    It will work with both, for pros and cons, check this out
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #5
    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
    • Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    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: Install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free)
    • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx 33USD).
    • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard, 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
    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended)
    • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
    • Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner backups of Mac internal hard drive.
    • To Read/Write HFS+ from Windows, Install MacDrive
    • To Read HFS+ (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
    • Maximum file size: 8EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 8EiB
    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • exFAT partitions created with OS X 10.6.5 are inaccessible from Windows 7
    • 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
     
  6. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    I would recommend that you install the freeware NTFS-3G driver which will allow your Mac to read, write, and format NTFS. I would recommend against exFAT because currently only one release version of MacOS X can read it--MacOS X 10.6.6. Installations of older versions of Windows may not have the required update to support exFAT.
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #7
    I agree with your recommendation, due to incompatibility with many OS versions. One very minor correction:
     
  8. Dr McKay thread starter macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Location:
    Kirkland
    #8
    The only cross platform sharing I want is between My laptop running Windows 7, and my friends MBP running Lion/Snow Leopard.
     

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