External HDD formating?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by sopp, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. sopp macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2006
    Hi everyone,

    I need you advice. I bought 250gb LaCie external Seagate hdd. I'm using powerbook. I'm going to use that external drive, mainly for my backups, files ( large (~4,5gb) dmg), music, videos, photo, storage etc. This drive will be mainly connected to my powerbook. Of course sometimes I need it to connect to some M$ Windows pcs.

    Now, here's what advice I need from you: what type of partition do I suppose to use? I think of fat32/ntfs/hfs(mac).
    What I'm thinking about:

    FAT32 - I have heard that there are some problems with storing large files. And I'm going to store 4gb-8gb or larger files. So have I heard true?

    NTFS - Well I know only good things with it, except that it wont work on windows machines which are formatted fat32? I heard that mac's can only read ntfs partitions. Is that true?

    HFS+ - Mac OS Extended (Journaled) partition. I would like to use this partitioning. I think it's best for my purpose. It don't have problems with large files, its fast, its safe? (I heard that viruses don't work on HFS+ partitions) Is that true?! Thats my consideration, because sometimes I'm going to connect my external hdd to window$ PS, so I don't want to get viruses into my backup disk. I know that windows don't see HFS+ partitions. On windows PC I'm going to use MacDrive (don't know yet, because I heard that macDrive sometimes causes some hdd/partition, leading in buying new hdd. I don't want that. Also MacDrive mount HFS+ to windows "My computer", so viruses can easily spread into my external hdd.) I prefer TransMac application, because it uses its own interface to go into your hard drive, so viruses won't (?) spread so easily. I'll connect external hdd to windows pc, very occasionally...

    Thank you of any kind of advice!

    P.S.: Sorry for my bad english :(
  2. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    Never be too sure about Windows when it comes to viruses.

    As long as Windows can write to the hard drive, regardless of drive format, it can get viruses. But they won't affect your Mac when you plug your hard drive in. Just keep your antivirus software updated and don't open attachments from people you don't know, etc, and you'll be fine.

    As far as formatting, your only option is using HFS and MacDrive or something like that. FAT32 limits files to 4 gigs. OSX can't write to NTFS. It seems like HFS is your only option
  3. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Nov 17, 2004
    The Msp
    Yeah, you're pretty much spot-on. With FAT32 there are file size restrictions, so that won't do for you. With NTFS, you won't be able to write to it, but you'll be able to read.

    So, I would go with HFS+. It's really the Mac standard, so I don't see that you'll have any problems.
  4. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO

    Yeah, but not the Windows standard. I'm not sure how well MacDrive and the other HFS readers for Windows out there work.

    There really needs to be a better cross platform standard. FAT was great when no one had a 4 gig hard drive, let alone a 4 gig file. But MS either needs to adopt full HFS capabilities or Apple needs to adopt full NTFS capabilities, or an entire new format needs to be developed that both will support.
  5. spinne1 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2005
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    Or Apple needs to scrap OS X and preload XP on all the computers it sells, or Microsoft needs to quit selling XP so that all the PC hardware makers will be able to convince Apple to put OS X on PCs. (wink)
  6. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Feb 12, 2005
    Options are extremely limited and the only one which would work to your liking would be to use HFS and software that allows Windows PCs to use HFS partitions. But then of course you would need to install the software on every PC that you use with your drive. If there are only a select few, then maybe that'll work for you.
  7. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    Well the other option is to create to partitions one in HFS and another in fat32. This way you can store you dmg files(which can't be opened on windows anyway) and you can transfer files between PC and windows too. :eek:
  8. sopp thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2006
    Thank you for you help. I think I've made up my mind. I'll use HFS+ and if I'll need to connect to PC I'll use TransMac.

    Thank you :)

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