Help: New 500Gig External HDD, to be used on both mac n windows (What format??)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by VypeR, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. VypeR macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2007
    I just bought a new 500Gig LaCie HDD and I want to be able to use it on Both Macs and Windows computers. Mostly I have Macs (iMac / MBP / MB), but I do have to transfer content back and forth from a PC also, quite a bit..

    I have read about MacFuse and NTFS-3G and stuff, but it's only confused me more.. If this is a good choice to go for, can some one please explain to me in easy words, on how this works? Will I need to install MacFuse and NTFS-3g on all Macs, for me to be able to read and write on NTFS partition? If so, should I format this drive on a Mac or PC?

    I wouldnt mind having 2 partitions, as long as I am able to read and write on both the partitions from my iMac (I use Mac OS X ver-10.4.11, on all Macs at the moment)

    Your help would be appreciated. :)

    And sorry if this has been posted b4 a million times, but I searched to get all really weird results... Thus the last resort!
  2. iPhil macrumors 68040



    You could do 2 partitions: 320GB HFS+ partition and 140GB Fat32 partition..

    it can be done in Disk Utility..
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Both OSes can write and read FAT32. Use that as the "lowest common denominator" But really, if you just want to be able to move data between systems why can't you use a network connection? Then you just drag and drop and you don't need the disk.
  4. VypeR thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2007
    Thanks iPhil & ChrisA

    About the FAT32 partition, is it true that I can only write files less than 4 or some GB? (as in if I have a file that is more than 6GB in size, I can't transfer it on FAT32)?

    And BTW, all the machines are not on a network.. I travel a lot and I have a lot of data that I keep needing to transfer around.. Some of my project files are around 6GB big, will I be able to transfer these back n forth with what iPhil suggested?
  5. Neil321 macrumors 68040


    Nov 6, 2007
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    Yes its true if formatted FAT32 you can only transfer files no larger than 4GB's

    if you had bootcamp on one of the Macs you could format the drive(external) hfs+ and install macdrive 7
    on the windows side this would allow you to transfer files larger than 4GB to the external

    Confusing aint it
  6. darwinian macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2008
    In R4, more or less
    Also purely anecdotally, I've had trouble with FAT32 formatted drives on my Mac.

    There are also programs in win that will read HFS+, but that's not a very nice solution either.
  7. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    I found the best solution is to have a dedicated drive for transfers formatted for Fat32. I have had Windows corrupt my Mac file system when running Macdrive 7. File transfers really slow down when using FAT32 on the Mac side and that file size limitation of FAT32.

    I hope in a few years, a single filesystem is used by both Windows and Macs. That one that Sun invented that people seem to love.
  8. darwinian macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2008
    In R4, more or less
    ZFS? Yeah, I kind of agree with the crackpot genius Torvalds statements about HFS+. Especially since Leopard cannot be installed on UFS systems, though doing so for Tiger only amounted to problems.
  9. stinkey diver macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2008
    Can os x read ext2/3 volumes? If so you could format it with ext3 and download the ext3 driver for windows. Linux to the rescue.

Share This Page