HFS+ or FAT32

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by darbsrewop, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. darbsrewop macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2006
    I've got a 300 GB external hard drive that I'm going to use with my mac mini and I have boot camp installed. I will be using Mac OS X primarily but there will be sometimes that I will boot into windows and need to view files on my external hard drive. Should I format the drive in HFS+ rather than Fat32 and use Mac Drive to access from Windows? Will I get better perfomance if I format to HFS+ ?
  2. yankeefan24 macrumors 65816


    Dec 24, 2005
    HFS + has an unlimited file size max (or close to it), and FAT32 has 3.9 GB (?)

    if you are storing movies, go with HFS +. If not, FAT32 should be fine.

    Other's may know more about it though.
  3. gman71882 macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2005
    Houston, Tx
    You must mean NTFS. OSX can only be formated as HFS+
    If you format as NTFS You wont be able to access the Data from OS X
    If you format As Fat32 you will be able to Read and Write to the Data on the Windows Partition.
    Fat32 is more prone to viruses and malware though.
    Here's a great article explaining it

    There is this Third Party Option That lets you access Any Partion Format
    49.99 weather HFS+, NTFS, etc...
  4. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    FAT has a partition size limit, I think it's 127 GB. Therefore you'll have to either use HFS+ (read/write in OS X and Windows, with MacDrive) or NTFS (read/write in Windows, read-only in OS X), or set up multiple partitions.
  5. andysmith macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2004
    West Mids, UK
    OS X can't format it as NTFS, but can certainly read it.
    Never heard that one before :confused:

    FAT32 generally has a 124gb limit on partition size, with a maximum file size of 4gb - a pain if you're editing DV.
  6. Lollypop macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2004
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    When I use to dual boot between windows XP and BeOS I had a dedicated share partition formatted to fat32. If I knew it was a file that I wanted to edit between the two operatng systems I would use that partition. That way I had the best of both worlds, XP ran on NTFS and could use all the advantages, and the BeOS used BFS and all its advantages.

    My advice is to partition the external drive, one big part for HFS+, and a smaller dedicated share partition for both Mac and XP, so when you have to reboot to XP just copy the file over to the share partition and reboot. That way the Mac OS has all its pros and windows doesnt have yet another utility making it even slower! :D

Share This Page