External Hard Drive: Format to exFAT or keep NTFS and use program?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by WhyJay, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. WhyJay macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2012
    I got my hands on a new ADATA HD710, 1TB external hard drive.

    Now, I'm in limbo as to the format I should have on this drive. I'm be using this hard drive for both my Mac and Windows rigs. Should I reformat this drive to exFAT or just keep it as NTFS and install a program like Tuxera or Paragon on my MacBook?
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Either way will work.

    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)
      • 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. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    For multi platform fie sharing exFAT is great. IMHO a NAS is a better solution.
  4. StevenB14 macrumors regular


    May 23, 2012
    I just for my first MacBook yesterday and I really like the look of Paragon. The latest version of this seems to be for Mac OS X 9.5.

    Does this work on the latest build of Lion (10.7.4)?
  5. Ultimawar macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2012
    I've lost quite a few files using Paragon on Lion. Half the time everything gets mislabelled causing me to delete my important files and sometimes the files just disappear in bad sectors. This has happened on over 30 hard drives, all different brands including Seagate. This has been my experience, just giving you guys a heads up.
  6. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Dec 14, 2010
    Remember exFAT wont work on Windows XP without a Windows update to apply the exFAT patch.
    On MAC and Windows 7 it'll be fine.
  7. tninety macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2010
    exFAT is NOT journaled unlike HFS+ or NTFS, making data loss more likely in the event of sudden power loss ;)

    Both NTFS and HFS are ancient technologies. I wish both Windows and OS X would support ext4 ;)
  8. evangw macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2008
    I've been using NTFS for the last several years on all my portable drives with no troubles. My TV reads them, everyone's computer reads them, and only I (and people with PCs) can write to them, so it's perfect for what I want.

    I've been using Paragon NTFS and never had a problem, but I don't write to these drives on a common basis, they're just manual backups.

    ^^^^^ also I agree completely, HFS is garbage. At least FAT is (finally) essentially dead now.
  9. jason2811 macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2006
    How is exFAT otherwise besides power loss? I'm debating between formatting my external drive as OS Extended Journaled or exFat.
  10. tninety macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2010
    If you're concerned about performance, use HFS+, since exFAT is slower.
  11. Nanukbcn macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2012

    Hello everyone!!

    I have a well working hackintosh with two SDD, one for MAC and the other for Windows. And then i have one internal HD wich was formater in NTSF, but I wanted to make it usefull for both OS. So I made a partition in which I set one part in NTSF (for windows and Mac read only) and another partition in exFat (for Mac and sharing files in between systems). Everything seemed to be perfect, both the problem came when rebooting. Now I can't start, not even get to BIOS.

    I noticed that when unplugging the HD everything works again, so the problem is in the format (don't know if the exFat or the partition or whatever). But I can't get acces to the HD to reformat again even if plugging it after starting the computer... won't read it.

    Any idea of how to fix it??? I'd save all my info in the HD so it won't be a problem to clean it. Unfortunately I can't get Windows or Mac to read it to reformat.

    Please help!!
  12. DavoteK macrumors 6502

    Jan 5, 2012
    Paragon NTFS all the way.

    Pretty much all my friends have Windows computers, if I copy any files between computers via external hard drive, being able to do that on what is pretty much standard for hard drives (NTFS), saves time and hassle.

    Well worth the $15 or $20 I spent on it. Big thanks to GGJstudios for mentioning it in one of his posts.
  13. vchase macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2015
    Avoid ExFAT if your drive is large, because...

    In my experience, using a 1TB ExFAT drive with Parallels I sometimes get a dirty bit error. This happens if the drive is not dismounted properly and easily happens when upgrading Parallels, closing Parallels or shutting down the mac. Not always but there is a wrong way to shut down and it happens often enough to be a problem. It then takes at least 10 hours to clear the dirty bit via diskutil. If your drive is large avoid ExFAT unless you think an unexpected 10 hour delay is OK.

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