Give me the ultimate answer - portable HD

sim667

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 7, 2010
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I want to buy a portable hard drive, about 1tb...... I need to move 80 gigs of stuff off my freinds PC, onto my mac.

I wanted to buy a western digital passport, but it seems they come preformatted for either mac or pc, as you choose.

Can you reformat a WD passport to work on both, without using a fat 32, which has got the a. 4gb file size issue, and b. has the 32gb partition size issue
 

EricT43

macrumors regular
Oct 5, 2011
193
1
Yes, you could get a "PC" drive and reformat it on your Mac. The pre-formatting is just a convenience, it's not a limitation.

Format with the ExFat option, and it will work on both Mac and PC.
 

cocacolakid

macrumors 65816
Dec 18, 2010
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Chicago
You can also format it as NTFS, which your Mac will read (but not write). Once you have the data off of it that you need, you can reformat it to Mac format for on-going usage.
To expand on that, Paragon NTFS is a handy program that allows Mac users to format drives as Windows friendly, including NTFS. They have a full, no limit trial last time I checked (before I bought it).

http://www.paragon-software.com/home/ntfs-mac/
 

jdechko

macrumors 601
Jul 1, 2004
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You can also format it as NTFS, which your Mac will read (but not write). Once you have the data off of it that you need, you can reformat it to Mac format for on-going usage.
To expand on that, Paragon NTFS is a handy program that allows Mac users to format drives as Windows friendly, including NTFS. They have a full, no limit trial last time I checked (before I bought it).

http://www.paragon-software.com/home/ntfs-mac/

Don't use NTFS, just don't. Use ExFAT as suggested by EricT43.
 

hallux

macrumors 68030
Apr 25, 2012
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You have to expand on that, you can't just say don't use it like that like it's evil. If it's bad and ExFAT is great, please explain so we know.

Thanks.
For one, ExFAT can be read AND written on BOTH Windows and OS X with no extra software to purchase. It also won't have the 4 GB single-file size limit of FAT32.

Here's a little reading, it took 2 seconds to search on Google.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExFAT

The OP could buy either a "for Mac" or a standard drive. I have the standard WD My Passport drive and formatted it as OS X Extended (Journaled) to use for TM. Buying a "for Mac" version is a waste of money unless the software is THAT important to the OP.
 
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jdechko

macrumors 601
Jul 1, 2004
4,087
215
You have to expand on that, you can't just say don't use it like that like it's evil. If it's bad and ExFAT is great, please explain so we know.

Thanks.
Yes, Sorry. I was in a bit of a hurry when I wrote that on Friday.

It's not that NTFS is a bad file system (In all honesty, it's probably better than HFS+), but it's far from ideal for this given application. The biggest drawback is the lack of native write capabilities on OS X. As mentioned, you can install kernel extensions to add write capabilities. I've never used Paragon NTFS, but I have had issues with NTFS-3G.

Fat32 has native read/write, but as we all know, it has trouble with larger files and larger partitions.

ExFAT (Extended Fat) is great for this usage as it has both read/write capabilities on both Mac & PC and it doesn't suffer from the same file/drive size limitations as FAT32.

Rather than formatting NTFS and having to install software on every machine with which you would use the drive, I think ExFAT is the way to go.
 

cocacolakid

macrumors 65816
Dec 18, 2010
1,108
19
Chicago
Yes, Sorry. I was in a bit of a hurry when I wrote that on Friday.

It's not that NTFS is a bad file system (In all honesty, it's probably better than HFS+), but it's far from ideal for this given application. The biggest drawback is the lack of native write capabilities on OS X. As mentioned, you can install kernel extensions to add write capabilities. I've never used Paragon NTFS, but I have had issues with NTFS-3G.

Fat32 has native read/write, but as we all know, it has trouble with larger files and larger partitions.

ExFAT (Extended Fat) is great for this usage as it has both read/write capabilities on both Mac & PC and it doesn't suffer from the same file/drive size limitations as FAT32.

Rather than formatting NTFS and having to install software on every machine with which you would use the drive, I think ExFAT is the way to go.
Thanks.