External HardDrive formatting and partitioning opinions required

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Aneef, Jul 26, 2015.

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Which formatting scheme do you prefer on your External Storage devices?

  1. NTFS

  2. FAT32

  3. exFAT

  4. HFS+ (Mac OS Extended)

  5. One partition with HFS+ and other with NTFS

  6. One partition with HFS+ and other with FAT32

  7. One partition with HFS+ and other with exFAT

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  1. Aneef macrumors regular

    Aneef

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2015
    Location:
    Lahore, Pakistan
    #1
    Hello all,
    I am thinking of buying a 2 TB WD My Passport Ultra External Hard drive and I'll be using it with both OS X and Windows. I am planning to use this drive for my Time Machine data backup after creating additional partitions in the external HD. I will also be storing a large number of files of Music, Videos, VMs(>4GB) and software setups.

    I know the limitations of Fat32 that it can't be used to copy files that are greater than 4 GB and of exFAT that it is prone to data corruption and chkdsk errors. I am confused on how many partitions should I make and what should be the formatting scheme on each partition? Also I want to know how much space should I leave on external HD for Time Machine Backup? I'll be backing up data only after a month or two, and my MacBook Pro has 256 GB SSD out of which around 220 GB is in use. Any help/opinions would be appreciated.
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #2
    I would do HFS+ at 500GB for Time Machine (that gives you 2X for versioning), then the rest in either exFAT or NTFS. OS X can read, but not write to NTFS, so that may be all you need. Like you mentioned, NTFS is more reliable than exFAT. You could get a third party utility like Paragon NTFS so you could read/write NTFS form the Mac.
     
  3. Aneef, Jul 26, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2015

    Aneef thread starter macrumors regular

    Aneef

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2015
    Location:
    Lahore, Pakistan
    #3
    Is there any transfer speed difference that the user experiences after using these third party softwares? As OS X itself doesn't itself allow write to NTFS partitions.
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #4
    The comparisons I have seen show the same speeds as native Windows NTFS.
     
  5. TechpumpkinWD macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2014
    #5
    Hi there,


    Since you want to use the drive for Time Machine backups you'll have to HFS+ for it. So at least one of the partitions will be HFS+. OS x can read NTFS but if you want your data partition to be writable on both Mac and PC you will have to use exFAT or a third party utility that will enable OS x to write NTFS or Windows to read and write HFS+.

    The choice will depend on which is your primary OS. If you are going to use HDD mostly on MAC then format the whole HDD in HFS+ and install software that will enable Windows to read it. If you use primarily Windows format the second partition in NTFS and use software on the Mac to make it write HFS+.

    Good luck.
     

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