Hard Drive Format: Mac and PC?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by FunkyMonkey, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. FunkyMonkey macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I've got a 250 GB Hp pocket drive and I don't know what format it needs to be in. I need to be able to read and write to it on my mac. But I only need to read it on a PC. What is the best format for this situation?
     
  2. Fonzijr1964 macrumors 68000

    Fonzijr1964

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    #3
    just go mac it will still work with a pc
     
  3. skorpien macrumors 68020

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    Jan 14, 2008
    #4
    Whuh? AFAIK Windows can't read HFS+ formatted drives. The OP would NEED to format it FAT32. Use Disk Utility to format it with the FAT setting and you'll be fine.
     
  4. FunkyMonkey thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Thanks guys for the info and I think I will reformat to FAT32. One more thing, I need to use this drive with iTunes. Can iTunes read and write with FAT32?
     
  5. skorpien macrumors 68020

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    Jan 14, 2008
    #6
    Should be able to but I think you might be limited to 4GB for file size. I haven't tried this myself but it's just a known limitation of the FAT32 file system.

    Edit: That link that FunkyMonkey provided has a great summary table of the advantages/disadvantages of each file system.
     
  6. Fonzijr1964 macrumors 68000

    Fonzijr1964

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    #7
    to tell u the truth i dont remember what mine was formated to i have a WD My book studio 1tb thats for time machine but a 100GB pocket drive that i dont remember what i set it too but it works on both
     
  7. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #8
    If you feel like stumping up the $40 for Paragon, then you can format in NTFS - which is on balance the best format for data interchange.

    There are HFS utilities for Windows like Transmac, but there are good reasons to pick NTFS as an exchange disk format than HFS. Personally, I prefer to burden my less-used Macs with potential problemware instead of my more frequently used Windows machines :p

    Having said that, I haven't have any deal-killer problems at all with either Transmac or Paragon. While I have little need for Transmac on a regular basis, I use Paragon all the time.
     
  8. tmoney468 macrumors 6502

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    Mar 13, 2007
    #9
    If you do go the Mac format route, you can get a program called MacDrive:

    http://www.mediafour.com/products/macdrive

    Basically it will show your external Mac-formatted drive in Windows Explorer just like any other HD. I've used it and it seems to work great.
     
  9. LTX macrumors regular

    LTX

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    Dec 25, 2008
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    #10
    If you want to access it from both the Mac and Windows sides, I strongly recommend formatting it as NTFS, then installing MacFUSE and NTFS-3g for Mac so Leopard will be able to access it. No cost whatsoever.

    It will be a bit slower on the Mac side to read/write from/to it, since NTFS is not the Mac's native format. If you want it to be as fast as possible, you will need to format it as HFS+ (Mac format), and purchase a program like MacDrive for Windows to allow you to access the partition from Windows.
     
  10. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

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    Feb 4, 2008
    #11
    Yes, iTunes can do all of that. But just be wary about the 4GB limit. If you ever have an uncompressed video that you need to store there, you're screwed.
     
  11. FunkyMonkey thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Thanks everyone for the help.

    @LTX: I was using that before and had the program you were talking about. But when I would try to write on it with iTunes, it said blah blah blah cannot be written to. That is why I reformatted in the first place.

    The drive is now in FAT32 and things are running very smoothly. Thanks again for the help.
     

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