External Hard drive question!

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by mitsubllue, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. mitsubllue macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2013
    #1
    I have a 1 TB drive thats been formatted into windows NTFS from my dark days of using PC. There is a ton of media on there i'd like to keep cuz i can read it at least on my mac. I'd now like to start using my Macbook to read and write files on it and clean up my Macbook a bit. Is there a way to keep the files on the ext drive, while formatting the free space to be able to use it with my mac?

    Thanks
     
  2. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Backup the data and reformat the drive to exFAT.
    That'll give you read and write on both platforms.
     
  3. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #3
    Personally I wouldn't suggest this. It has been my experience (and that of others online if you want to search around) that exFAT is only really reliable for things like thumb drives. I would never suggest using it on a 1 TB or larger drive. The format is still young and runs into a lot of permission / corruption issues when used to hold a large number of files.

    Although it's not a free option like exFAT I would suggest getting effectively format codecs. Personally I prefer to format drives for mac and install macdrive on my windows machines however if you want to keep the drive as NTFS there are mac options such as Paragon NTFS and Tuxera NTFS. Free mac options exist but haven't been stable since Lion so use at your own discretion.

    Again, this is just from personal experience as well as what we use at my work (film post production). Sometimes exFAT works great but when it doesn't you can lose everything so, IMO, it's safer to format the drive for one system or the other and go with one of the above applications.

    P.S regular FAT32 works on both systems as well but has many documented limitations such as slow speeds and a 4GB file size limit (drives can be up to 2TB mind you)
     
  4. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    One of my sites has both Mac and Windows systems so needs cross compatibility. We use exFAT external drives on that site and havent come across any issues whatsoever to be honest.
    Needless to say, there should a current backup of data in any scenario regardless of file format used.
     
  5. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #5
    From my experience some users have no issues at all with exFAT and some, like my studio, can't get it to work in a trustworthy way. I believe our problems lie in the fact that we're constantly mounting and unmounting the drives as we as switching them constantly between windows and mac; eventually the drive gets effectively confused.

    As you said, backups are always important regardless but in my personal experience I trust using macdrive on the windows machines and formatting everything for mac much more than using exFAT
     
  6. joantops macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    #6
    there should a current backup of data in any scenario regardless of file format used.[​IMG]
     

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