File system for the external HDD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MacMan988, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. MacMan988 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    #1
    Hi, I have two USB HDDs and both are 1TB in size. One has to be accessed by both a windows computer and my mac. The other one will be only used with my mac. What are the best file systems I should use to format the two HDDs ?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. MacMan988 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    #3
    exFAT for the one to be shared between mac and windows? if then whats the best format for the HDD thats gonna be used only by the mac?
     
  3. flatfoot macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    #4
    hfs+
     
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #5

    ____________________________________________________________

    Overview of the four major file systems (called "Formats" in Mac OS X) used on Windows and Mac OS X, compiled by GGJstudios. You can use Disk Utility to format any HDD to your liking.

    Any external hard drive will work with PCs or Macs, as long as the connectors are there (Firewire, USB, etc.) It doesn't matter how the drive is formatted out of the box, since you can re-format any way you like. Formatting can be done with the Mac OS X Disk Utility, found in the /Applications/Utilities folder. Here are your formatting options:

    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)

    NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
      [*]To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
      • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
      • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
      • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
      • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.

    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
    • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.
    ____________________________________________________________
     
  5. theSeb, Jul 7, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2012

    theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #6
    Yes, exFAT for the sharing and HFS+, as stated above, for the Mac.

    You can read more in the very informative post created by GGJ.
     
  6. MacMan988 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    #7
    Thanks for all answers and the valuable information you have posted. I'm gonna format the two HDDs as you have suggested :)
     

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