Hard drive formats

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by jimmy83, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. jimmy83 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Location:
    Portsmouth, UK
    #1
    Whats the best format to us? Ieally want cross compatibility with Windows...
    NTFS / FAT or HFS+ ?
     
  2. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #2
    Technically, Mac OS does not natively write to NTFS drives. For native support, you will want to use FAT; however....

    http://www.macbreaker.com/2012/02/enable-write-for-ntfs-hard-drives-on.html

    I haven't tried the above, but it should work just fine. I don't use boot camp (I use VM's for windows since I rarely ever game).
     
  3. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #3
    ExFAT for cross compatibility.
     
  4. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #4
    Are you talking about a OS X boot drive or just a shared data drive? I'm not sure NTFS or exFAT can even be used as a boot format for OS X.

    I used exFAT for a data drive, but even then it had problems so I don't recommend it any more. I couldn't find any OS X nor Windows backup software that would recognize exFAT drives. Occasionally Windows would think the drive was corrupt and would not provide write access until a chkdsk was performed. Chkdsk would then find zero errors, and write access would be restored. This cycle happened about once a week for a few months and then mysteriously stopped.

    If it's a boot drive, I'd format for HFS+ Journaled. Windows will have read access when you install the boot camp drivers. If you really need write access too you can install third party software.

    If it's a data drive, I'd format for NTFS if Windows is your main OS or HFS+ Journaled if OS X is your main OS. The "other" OS will have read access and you can install third party software for write access.
     
  5. dasx macrumors 65816

    dasx

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Location:
    Barcelona
    #5
    I'd rather go for HFS+ (Mac's default) and use a Linux partition to share it with Windows than having my drive in NTFS. One of the worst filesystems ever. DUH
     
  6. jimmy83 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Location:
    Portsmouth, UK
    #6
    Thanks guys, appreciate the advice.

    The HDD will be just for data and I will make a copy of it as a backup. It will probably have just photos on it and maybe a Time Machine backup.

    I will leave the stock HDD as it is. Long term I would like a server of sorts to house all of my HDD's. I use both OSX and Win, but won't be using Win much more as I want to switch to Mac.
     

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