Hard Drive Formatting Question

Macnificant

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 26, 2008
531
95
I have a WD Passport Ultra 1TB and have been using it on my iMac fine.

I tried it at work on a PC but it did does work.

What do I have to do to ge it to work on both?

I dont really want to have to format it because I dont have a place to store the 800GB on the drive while formatting it.

Help please


Cheers
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,360
701
I have a WD Passport Ultra 1TB and have been using it on my iMac fine.

I tried it at work on a PC but it did does work.

What do I have to do to ge it to work on both?

I dont really want to have to format it because I dont have a place to store the 800GB on the drive while formatting it.
How is it currently formatted?
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,360
701
Sorry

Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
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 and later)
    • 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.
 

poiihy

macrumors 68020
Aug 22, 2014
2,273
40
There is no way to reformat it without erasing it. You need to transfer your data to something else, then format it as ExFAT (or MS-DOS FAT32 if using it with Windows XP).
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,360
701
There is no way to reformat it without erasing it. You need to transfer your data to something else, then format it as ExFAT (or MS-DOS FAT32 if using it with Windows XP).
... or simply install MacDrive on the Windows computer to read/write HFS+ drives.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,216
5,558
OP:

I'd like to make a suggestion. What follows in my opinion and mine only.
Others will disagree, some vehemently.

DO NOT "cross-format" a drive on which you store important (I mean IMPORTANT) Mac data.
By "cross-formatting", I mean use Fat32 or another cross-platform format that works on both the Mac and Windows.

I've seen numerous posts from folks who -were- using a cross-formatted drive, and then did something (usually while using the PC), and when they tried to re-connect to the Mac, the data went....... "POOF!" As in.... gone.

If you need a drive to share data between the Mac and your PC, use something like a cross-formatted USB3 flashdrive, created specifically for that purpose. They work well for that.

But again -- if you have important data on your Mac that you need to store on an external drive, keep it a "Mac-formatted" drive.

Again, my opinion only.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,360
701
OP:

I'd like to make a suggestion. What follows in my opinion and mine only.
Others will disagree, some vehemently.

DO NOT "cross-format" a drive on which you store important (I mean IMPORTANT) Mac data.
By "cross-formatting", I mean use Fat32 or another cross-platform format that works on both the Mac and Windows.

I've seen numerous posts from folks who -were- using a cross-formatted drive, and then did something (usually while using the PC), and when they tried to re-connect to the Mac, the data went....... "POOF!" As in.... gone.

If you need a drive to share data between the Mac and your PC, use something like a cross-formatted USB3 flashdrive. They work well for that.

But again -- if you have important data on your Mac that you need to store on an external drive, keep it a "Mac-formatted" drive.

Again, my opinion only.
I completely agree!
 

glenthompson

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2011
1,929
128
Florida
I have a WD Passport Ultra 1TB and have been using it on my iMac fine.

I tried it at work on a PC but it did does work.

What do I have to do to ge it to work on both?

I dont really want to have to format it because I dont have a place to store the 800GB on the drive while formatting it.

Help please


Cheers
If you don't have a place to put the data, that indicates that you don't have a backup copy of the data. What were you planning to do with it when the drive died as they all do?

As others have said, don't use one of the FAT variants for long term storage. It should only be used for transferring data between systems.
 

poiihy

macrumors 68020
Aug 22, 2014
2,273
40
OP:

I'd like to make a suggestion. What follows in my opinion and mine only.
Others will disagree, some vehemently.

DO NOT "cross-format" a drive on which you store important (I mean IMPORTANT) Mac data.
By "cross-formatting", I mean use Fat32 or another cross-platform format that works on both the Mac and Windows.

I've seen numerous posts from folks who -were- using a cross-formatted drive, and then did something (usually while using the PC), and when they tried to re-connect to the Mac, the data went....... "POOF!" As in.... gone.

If you need a drive to share data between the Mac and your PC, use something like a cross-formatted USB3 flashdrive, created specifically for that purpose. They work well for that.

But again -- if you have important data on your Mac that you need to store on an external drive, keep it a "Mac-formatted" drive.

Again, my opinion only.
Oh right, FAT32 and ExFAT are crap and unstable and if you unplug the drive while transferring files then you may corrupt the drive and it wouldn't mount anymore. HFS is more secure and the journaling helps it fix what went wrong.