Is there a format all my machines can read/write to?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by SkyBell, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

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    Texas, unfortunately.
    #1
    I have a 500 GB Toshiba USB external hard drive, and what I want to do is have it formatted in a way that all of my machines can both read and write to it. The machines are as follows:

    1. Early 2011 MacBook Pro running 10.11.6
    2. eMac running 10.4.11
    3. PowerBook G4 running 10.5.8
    4. HP EliteBook running Windows 7 64-bit

    Is there such a format, or am I plain out of luck?
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #2
    FAT32.

    You could also buy Tuxera NTFS which would allow your Macs to read/write and format NTFS which your HP would also understand.
     
  3. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #3
    Also note that FAT32 has a file size limitation of 4GB. It cannot have a file larger than 4GB on it.
     
  4. SkyBell thread starter macrumors 604

    SkyBell

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    #4
    Yeah, I forgot to mention that that is a problem :/
    --- Post Merged, Oct 7, 2017 ---
    Is it a per machine license? Because $60 is a bit much for me...
     
  5. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #5
    Then you either want to buy and install Tuxera NTFS on the Macs or purchase TransMac for the HP.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 7, 2017 ---
    Not sure, you'd have to contact them.
     
  6. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #6
    You can still use the older NTFS-3G driver for your Macs. It doesn't work on 10.12 and higher unless you manually build it though.
     
  7. Dronecatcher macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    #8
    Haven't tried it but:

    https://osxfuse.github.io/

    Latest release was last month.

    I use FAT32 for my 1TB media drive but no files are larger than 3 Gb.
     
  8. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #9
    Yes, but you need additional installs for this on the Macs.

    OP was hoping to use a format that all understood natively and that is FAT32. Unfortunately, OP needs to be able to store files over 4GB so FAT32 isn't in the cards.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 7, 2017 ---
    Yeah, that's the update I think to what Intell was mentioning, NTFS-3G.
     
  9. swamprock macrumors 6502a

    swamprock

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    #10
    Dronecatcher mentioned osxfuse already, and I can confirm that it works well on my Mac Pro. I use it for NTFS read/write and EXT2 read only support.

    The only true, universal way that I've found for external drives is to network them via a file server. Mine is a simple OS X box with all of my external drives connected and shared. That way, there are no real read/write limitations.
     
  10. elemenohme, Oct 7, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
  11. opeter macrumors 68000

    opeter

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    #12
  12. AphoticD, Oct 7, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017

    AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    #13
    A little more involved and it depends on your requirement of the drive but, how about partitioning the drive as:

    1. 400GB ExFAT - Windows and El Cap supported. Read and write large files (>4GB)
    2. 100GB - Mac OS Extended - All Macs can read/write.

    If you want to make files on the exFat partition available to Tiger and Leopard, copy those select files across to the HFS+ partition using the El Cap Mac.

    You would likely use GUID as the partition map, which Tiger and Leopard can see, but cannot boot from it.

    Edit: on my Mac Pro, running El Cap, I have a 500GB internal HDD formatted as exFAT, which holds my Steam library. The library is available to both Windows 10 (Bootcamp) and Wine (Mac). I don’t make much time to play games, but I was experimenting with running the steam app and games through Wine while booted in OSX - some games worked like this, which is pretty cool.
     
  13. foxlet, Oct 7, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017

    foxlet macrumors 6502

    foxlet

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    #14
    Actually, the filesystem with an available driver across the largest amount of systems (and without a 4GB file limitation) would be UDF (ISO/IEC 13346).

    Commonly it's used as a CD/DVD data filesystem (hence why discs tend to work pretty much universally) but the spec and the drivers in Mac OS X 10.4+, Linux 2.4+, and Windows Vista+ support it just fine as a filesystem when used on locally attached disk or block device.

    If you want the best compatibility across oldest systems, you'll probably want to use UDF 2.01. There's a handy script for formatting a whole disk as UDF and adding the needed partition tables for GPT and MBR installations.

    (Edit: I might mention, you can even bring it all the way back to Mac OS 9 if you switch to the UDF 1.50 spec, but which limits the maximum partition size to 2TB due to needing 512-byte sectors.)
     
  14. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #15
    Build/buy a NAS? Then all these worries go away....
     
  15. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #16
    Or choose a Mac to fileshare the drive.
     
  16. opeter macrumors 68000

    opeter

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    #17
    The Mac has much higher power requirements if it needs to run constantly. A NAS is a better option.
     
  17. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    #18
  18. foxlet macrumors 6502

    foxlet

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    #19
    If you really wanted to pull down the least power-hungry desktop "Mac", the winner would probably be the 1st generation Apple TV, drawing a measly 19W under most loads (and maxing out at 45W). :D
     
  19. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    #20
    Nice. It was an amazing feat considering the top case gets hot enough to fry an egg.

    I installed Debian on a 1st Gen AppleTV via OSMC and ran that for a bit. One day I went to switch it on and I got nothing but a flashing orange light. No tricks of the remote or special USB sticks have been able to restore it. I have a feeling the heat from running a full OS on it caused some internal damage. I need to peel the bottom off and pull the HDD out to try manually restoring the original AppleTV firmware.
     
  20. foxlet macrumors 6502

    foxlet

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    #21
    I've ran OSMC before, but it wasn't my cup of tea at least. Debian and Mac OS X have both ran fine off USB disks though, for extended periods of time.

    Note that the Apple TV has an internal cell battery that might prevent the system from booting properly, or quite possibly an OSMC update that got pushed somehow and broke kernel boot.
     
  21. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #22
    I wasn't debating power requirements, but you are correct.

    A NAS is a much better solution if power consumption is something you are concerned about.
     

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