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Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Chaz72, Oct 14, 2010.
So I just got a 2TB external hard drive and I want to format it to fat32, how do I do it?
You can format it with Disk Utility, in your Applications/Utilities folder. You may want to think about using FAT32, however, and consider the alternatives.
FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
Maximum file size: 4GB.
Maximum volume size: 2TB
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: Install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free)
Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx 33USD).
Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard, but is not advisable, due to instability.
Maximum file size: 16 TB
Maximum volume size: 256TB
HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended)
Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner backups of Mac internal hard drive.
To Read/Write HFS+ from Windows, Install MacDrive
To Read HFS+ (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
Maximum file size: 8EiB
Maximum volume size: 8EiB
As GGJstudios already noted, there are alternatives and limitations to FAT32.
Format Your Hard Drive Using Disk Utility
Partition Your Hard Drive With Disk Utility
Maybe you can partition your HDD with several (2+) partitions, one in FAT32 and the other in HFS+, but make sure to select Master Boot Record in the Options under the partition map.
If you want to share your external drive between Windows and Mac, then format it as NTFS. There is no reason to format your drive as FAT32. Virtually every PC sold in the last decade can read and write NTFS. With the installation of NTFS-3G or one of its commercial alternatives, so too can virtually every Mac.
I'm trying to partition my drive but I don't even see NTFS as an option...I only have the Mac options and the FAT option. Am I looking in the wrong place?
See my post #2 in this thread for enabling NTFS.