Hard Drive Help

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by birdiemacshow, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. birdiemacshow macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2009
    I have my old external hard drive for my windows computer. I just got a mac and I am going to use the same hard drive. Do i have to format my hard drive for a mac or is it fine if i dont? Also do i loose any features or compatibility if i dont format it?
  2. -tWv- macrumors 68000


    May 11, 2009
    If you are going to use time machine, it will have to be formatted in HFS+. HFS+ is not readable by windows machines though so you will not be able to access any of your files without using a third party applications like MacDrive on your windows machine. If you are just going to be doing miscellaneous backups, and you want both machines to be able to read and write to the drive, Format the drive as FAT32.

    Note: FAT32 cannot handle transfers on single files over 4GB. So if you want to be able to transfer single files over 4GB you would have to format the drive as NTFS. To be able to get full read/write support you would have to install ntfs-3g on the mac.

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