Just bought an iMac - Bootcamp Question

Discussion in 'iMac' started by scofal, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. scofal macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2012

    I'm finally upgrading my 6 year Dell with a new 27" iMac.

    This is my first Apple desktop, but I will use bootcamp to have the ability to boot into windows (since I still use windows for work and still have a lot of windows programs I use)

    My question is related to an external harddrive.

    I'd like to have one external drive with all of my media type files (music, videos...etc) and share the drive between to the Mac and Windows bootcamp partitions.

    Can anyone let me know what is best way to format the drive so it can read/write on both Mac and Windows?

    Fat32 probably would work because I don't think I have any files larger than 4GB, but what about the ExFat format. Is this my best option.

    I figure I'd ask the experts so I don't have to reformat the drive multiple times.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

  2. SR20DETDOG macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2011
    Queensland Australia
    A basic rundown of formats goes like this,

    -Will read & write with both Windows and OS X
    -Limited to 4GB files

    -Will read and right with both Windows and OSX, but not with older versions before Windows XP or OS X Snow leopard, just keep that in mind.
    -Essentially no limit with sizes up to 16EiB

    -Will read & write to OS X but not Windows (3rd part software can be used for Windows)
    -Essentially no limit with sizes up to 8EB

    -Will write only to Windows but can be read from both windows and OS X (3rd party software can be used for OS X)
    -Essentially no limit with sizes up to 16EiB

    So your options are either,
    ExFAT for Windows an OS X, IF, they are fairly recent versions.
    HFS+ or NTFS with some additional software. Not a good choice if you'll be using the drive on other people's computers who don't have the software.
  3. scofal, Jun 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013

    scofal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2012
    Perfect. That's exactly what I needed to know.

    I think ExFat will work out because I have a copy of Windows 7 and the iMac will be new.

  4. snapdragonx macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2012
    ExFat is great - been using it for the last year or so between Windows and OS X
  5. daviesaz macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2003
    Tempe, AZ
    I wouldn't bother with Bootcamp. The free virtualizer, VirtualBox, is awesome, and doesn't require you to reformat your drive. And, better, you can run MacOS and Windows at the same time instead of booting between them. If you don't care about the money, Parallels and Fusion may be even better.
  6. Cisco_Kid macrumors 6502


    Apr 24, 2005
    British Columbia
  7. scofal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2012
    ok I received the external drive today...

    It's a Seagate Backup plus.

    Right now it's formatted to NTFS but it comes (or I just had to download) an app called NTFS_for_Mac_with_restart which they say allows me to to write NTFS on a Mac.

    Do you think installing this software and leaving the drive in NTFS is a better solution than reformatting the drive to Exfat?

  8. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Unless you need it in NTFS format, I think exFAT will be better as it's one less piece of software to worry about (the NTFS drivers on the Mac).

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