External Hard Drive with Mac AND Windows

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by TtimeWithTy, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. TtimeWithTy macrumors member

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    Jun 24, 2008
    #1
    A friend told me that when you get an external, you must format it to what ever OS you are using, and if you tried to access the files on another OS it wont let you or something. Is this true, and can you format it so both OS's can read it and use it frequently. Reason being, i will be a video major, and want to be able to switch back and forth between the two operating systems, and access big files.
     
  2. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

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    #2
    A simple search would have answered this question.

    Using FAT32 allows access (read/write) for all OSes. Using HFS+ makes it Mac Only, NTFS makes it Windows only (both can be accessed with special utilities).

    TEG
     
  3. MojoWill macrumors 6502

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    Jun 13, 2008
    #3
    i have a maxtor USB bus powered HDD which is formatted in FAT32 and works fine in both windows and mac.

    you could actually create 2 partitions on your external drive however formatting in FAT32 will allow you to use it as you please
     
  4. areusche macrumors regular

    areusche

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    Jun 24, 2008
    #4
    I hate using FAT32. There is a 4gb copy limit which makes video editing a royal pain in the butt!

    I use NTFS on my external drive. On my MBP I have OSX and XP. I have installed on the Mac side a driver that lets me read/write to the external drive. You can look more at it here http://www.ntfs-3g.org/

    You can also use HFS+ but you will need to download MacDrive for Windows.
     
  5. TtimeWithTy thread starter macrumors member

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  6. winninganthem macrumors 6502a

    winninganthem

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    #6
    FAT32 has a 4GB file size limit.

    HFS+ and NTFS don't.
     
  7. tri3limited macrumors 6502

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    London
    #7
    Google NTFS-3G which allows you to read/write NTFS on Mac for free. The other option is purchasing MacDrive for Windows so you can read/write the (better) HFS+
     
  8. TtimeWithTy thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 24, 2008
    #8
    ok I'm looking at the NTFS-3G now.

    Say if i bought an external, plugged it into my PC put files on it, and then plugged it into my MAC, would it not work? or would i just install the NTFS-3G drivers on my mac, and then would it work? Reason being, I'm going to college in about a week, and I'm holding out for the new MBP's and don't want to have to lug my the big tower of my PC. I just want to be able to have all my files sitting on the external so when i get the Mac i can just take everything off.
     
  9. TtimeWithTy thread starter macrumors member

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  10. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

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    #10
    If you format the external drive with NTFS you can only access it as a read only drive on the Mac without the programs mentioned above.
     
  11. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #11
    Macs can READ NTFS, so you'll be able to get your files off the drive without a problem.
     
  12. Sirus2400 macrumors regular

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    Jun 25, 2008
    #12
    Theoretically, yeah. I haven't used the program, but it should. You can already READ NTFS with a mac (and copy from it), you just cant write. So if you formatted the drive to NTFS and copied all your files, you would have no problem reading it on your new mac, you just wouldn't be able to write to the drive without the NTFS-3G driver installed.

    Alternatively: If your files are smaller than 4gb, than you could use FAT32, which I know works to read/write.
     
  13. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

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    #13
    Just loaded the NTFS-3G driver and it works. Even let me format NTFS natively in Disk Util. Have no idea how stable it will be over time and whether there are any compatibility issues with other NTFS software like WinClone (which works great for cloning bootcamp partitions)

    Cheers,
     
  14. TtimeWithTy thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 24, 2008
    #14
    cool thanks, which one of these links is the one i want to download it?
    [​IMG]
     
  15. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

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    #15
    Mac OSX dmg

    You will need to have Macfuse 1.7 loaded first. A link to that is on there somewhere, I think after you click on the dmg link.

    Cheers,
     
  16. TtimeWithTy thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 24, 2008
    #16
    so i bought a Lacie 750gig external HDD. I pluged it in, copied all my stuff to it, and then restarted my computer, but when i was restarting my computer, my computer tried to boot from the external, so i turn it off, and restarted again. To my wonderful surprise, the hard drive wont turn on now. WTF! AHHHHH I'm going to go crazy
     
  17. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #17
    You mean it wont power on, or the computer wont recognize it. You are on XP with the PC in your sig, right?
     
  18. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

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    #18
    I Assume this is on your Mac since PC can't boot from external drives (except eSATA and some raid controllers).

    When you turn on your Mac just leave the external drive off. Without having it connected to the Mac, power on the external drive. If you don't get any power, you either have partially disconnected the power cord, blew a fuse in the external housing or the drive is dead.

    If the drive comes on but once you connect it to the Mac it cannot be seen, you will need to use Disk Util to format it again.

    Cheers,
     
  19. TtimeWithTy thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 24, 2008
    #19
    ok, yeah i don't know what was wrong with it, but i changed the AC Power Supply with another one i had laying around. The output is the same (12V---2A) but the input is a little different. The one that came with the external is 100-240V~50-60Hz 0.8A, and the one i had laying around is 100-240V 0.65A MAX 47-63Hz. Do you think the new one will fry the external or something bad like that?
     
  20. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

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    Kilrath
    #20
    The one you used is less amperage so less likely to fry it. This is a new drive. Just take it back to the store and exchange it. No sense in using this jury-rigged setup.

    Cheers,
     
  21. TtimeWithTy thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 24, 2008
    #21
    that's the problem, i would have to pay for postage and everything to send it back.
     
  22. kgeier82 macrumors 65816

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    Feb 18, 2008
    #22
    I have an external 200Gb 2.5" that i formatted:

    160gb osx hfs+
    40GB ntfs

    just formatted it using osx disk utility, with a "Master Boot Record" partition scheme. then just formatted the OSX side HFS+, and the windows portion i set as free space.

    Then just booted into windows, and opened up "Manage computer", and ntfs'ed the free space.

    works very well.
     

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