how should i format my external hardrive?

andrewface

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 17, 2006
279
65
i just bought a 320gb external HD for my mac book...should i format the disk as MACos file sytem or should i keep it as the default msdos? keep in mind im also using windows on my mac. what is there difference between the two types of formatting?...will the mac os one be more compatible or quicker?
 

DougTheImpaler

macrumors 6502a
Feb 28, 2006
558
49
Central Illinois
For it to be visible in Windows, it must be one of two things:

Formatted in a Windows-compatible format (which MSDOS is, though I believe the partition size will be somewhat less than the max)

Or you'll need MacDrive installed, so you can see Mac partitions in Windows.
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,300
10,444
UK
DougTheImpaler said:
For it to be visible in Windows, it must be one of two things:

Formatted in a Windows-compatible format (which MSDOS is, though I believe the partition size will be somewhat less than the max)

Or you'll need MacDrive installed, so you can see Mac partitions in Windows.
It should work with a partition of 320GB, but I got kernel panics on my Mac with a 250GB FAT32 partition, I've had none since i split it into 2 smaller volumes.
 

pianoman

macrumors 68000
May 31, 2006
1,962
0
andrewface said:
so really theres no difference just preference?
no. there is a difference. a drive formatted for MacOS only will not work in Windows (read/write). if you need it to be Windows-readable/writable, you should break it into smaller FAT32 partitions or leave it as MSDOS.
 

andrewface

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 17, 2006
279
65
pianoman said:
no. there is a difference. a drive formatted for MacOS only will not work in Windows (read/write). if you need it to be Windows-readable/writable, you should break it into smaller FAT32 partitions or leave it as MSDOS.
yes...because mac can write to msdos correct? so this would be helpful in swapping files from windows to mac correct?
 

darkcurse

macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2005
538
0
Sydney
Exactly. OSX can read/write to FAT32 partitions, read from NTFS partitions. Windows XP however cannot read OSX partitions.
 

ddekker

macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2006
223
0
Michigan
external drive

well, I have been around the block on this one... I bought an external drive that I used between my winows box and my apples, it came stock formated 250 gig FAT32, worked great, both platforms could read and write, I lent it to a buddy who used it on a mac, berfore returning it reformated it as Mac file system, so the PC wouldn't read it, well I use both so I looked and looked for a way to get it formated back FAT32, but I can't for the life of me find out how to get the thing to format mre than like 32 gig with fat32, I made it NTFS so windows can read and write, and mac OS can read... but not write, to write mac files to it I leave it plugged in the PC and transfer the files through the network... rumor has it the next version of OS X will read and write NTFS... check my Blog for updates on what I find out for a fix

DD