External Hard Drive with Mac and Windows

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by SilverDragon89, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. SilverDragon89 macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2008
    Hi, I'm trying to get an external hard drive to work with both mac and windows, but I seem to be having trouble getting it to work. I formatted the drive with FAT32 under windows xp and it recognizes fine in there. However, on the mac, it won't show up on my desktop unless I open disk utility. Why exactly is it doing that?
  2. InkMaster macrumors 6502a

    Nov 30, 2007
    Nagoya, Japan
    Honestly... no clue why its doing that, I have the same problem, however I personally prefer using NTFS... Obviously NTFS isn't writable in OS X by default, but I found one wonderful app which lets you do write NTFS natively; http://www.paragon-software.com/home/ntfs-mac/
  3. patrickmacrumor macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2008
    I have no idea why. Try formatting it with FAT32 under OS X, and see how it goes. It should then be seen on both systems. Keep in mind that FAT32 won't allow you to save a file bigger than 4GB. You should not have any problem with that limitation in most cases. However, if you create encrypted disk images (.dmg files) greater than 4 GB to secure your data, you won't be able to save a backup copy on the FAT32 formatted drive.

    But, if you need to share the drive with both Windows and OS X, FAT32 is the way to go.


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