Formatting External Drive for Boot Camp & Parallels Use

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by threeoten, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. threeoten, Jul 10, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012

    threeoten macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2012
    I have a new travel USB hard drive that I will be using on the road with my Macbook Air, mostly for storing the data/work files of many different programs.

    I've been reading up on some of the formatting options for the drive in order for Mac and Windows to both be able to read and write to it. The options seem well laid out in this article. So it seems to me that the only option is to have some sort of software, weather on the mac or PC, to be the communicator between the OS and the formatting that it can't natively read.

    A lot of my software is windows only and I'll be using it in bootcamp on my Mac, but I prefer to use Adobe Lightroom on the mac side.

    So my question is, will any of the software's mentioned in the article above allow my programs on the opposite OS (opposite to the travel drive's formatting) to read and write on the drive, or does everything have to be moved around within the software's GUI mentioned in the article? (for example: If I go with the NTFS formatting and use the software that allows the mac OS to read it, will Lightroom (installed on the mac side) be able to read all the data, photos, settings, etc. that I will work from and store on the new travel drive (formatted to NTFS)?
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Format A Hard Drive Using Disk Utility (which is in your /Applications/Utilities folder)

    Choose the appropriate format:

    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.
  3. threeoten, Jul 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2012

    threeoten thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2012
    Nice! So exFAT seems like it might be a good option for me. Reading the disadvantages i see, "Reduced file data I/O performance compared to FAT32 due to smaller cluster sizes and more complex data structures". Does that mean it's slower? How is it for stability?

    Do you guys think that exFAT might be a good option for my travel drives in my scenario? (OSX 10.7.4 on the mac side, and Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit on the PC side)

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