external HDD usage

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jmfel1926, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. jmfel1926 macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2012
    hello , i am a first time mac owner for about 3 weeks so i don't know much for OS X . i have two computers, a 2012 Macbook Air and a desktop with Windows 7. I am moving in Sweden for a Masters Programme and i want to buy and External Hard Drive. I have heard that the hard drive will not work with OS X and windows 7 at the same time due to different format. Is there a way to make the Ex HDD usable for both systems or i will have to select with which i want to use ?
  2. MagicThief83 macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2012
    Using Disk Utility, create two partitions, one Mac OS Extended Journaled and the other Ex FAT, then format the Ex FAT partition in Windows as NTFS. You can change the size of each partition to your liking. This is what I did with my 4TB external hard drive.
  3. jmfel1926 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2012
    if i do that i will not be able to transfer files from the OS X partition into the windows pc , is that correct ? and the opposite to transfer files from the NTFS partition to my macbook air . ???
  4. asting macrumors 6502

    Jun 10, 2012
    I have no clue what magictheif is talking about. Perhaps he thinks you'll just split the drive in half and use half for windows, and half for OS X.

    This is not what I do though. I have a 1TB external, and I have 2 partitions on it for different reasons. The first is a 200GB recovery partition that I back up my Time Machine too. Disabling local copies saves even more space on my internal SSD. The second partition i use is partitioned as exFAT. This is very similar to NTFS, and can be read and written to by both my MacBook Air and my Windows 7 Desktop. If you don't want to bother with External Time machine stuff you can always just do 1 large ExFat partition. I formatted both partitions with the Disk Utility on OSX, but I'm sure you can do it under windows also either with the included utilities or through a different third party program.

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