external HDD (USB3) with 3 patitions?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by lightning inc., Jul 22, 2012.

  1. lightning inc. macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2011
    recently bought the new MBA 13" and WD 1T USB3 but I want to use it with different ways:
    1. my MBA has 128GB and I need to install windows but I don't want to install it on my SSD. thought I'd install it on my external HDD. is it possible?
    2. Use it as time machine.
    3. Use it as regular file storage and that will support OSX and windows. (read and write).

    can I do all these thing with one external HDD? all of the above are even possible?

    thank you:)
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    1. Bootcamp won't install Windows on an external drive, but you can use Parallels or other emulators to run a Windows virtual install from an external drive.

    2. Yes. Just make a second partition in HFS+ format (Mac OS X Extended in Disk Util) and point the Time Machine settings to that partition.

    3. Yes. Just make the third partition and format it as FAT32 (MS-DOS FAT in Disk Util) and it will read/write in both Windows and OS X.
  3. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Dec 14, 2010
    As Weaselbiy states, Wondows can't go on an external drive to my knowledge.
    Create a partition on the external drive for Time Machine (at least twice the size of the drive you are backing up). Then simply direct Time Machine to this partition to backup to, that's what I do.
    Then create another partition as you data area from both OSX and Windows. Rather then FAT32 I would personally use exFAT. It's both readable and writable on both platforms, and you do not have the drawbacks of FAT32, like the 4GB max size limit etc.
    Note that to use exFAT on windows XP you will need to download a MS update beforehand. With Win7 it works fine.
  4. lightning inc. thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2011

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