Mac Book Air 120SSD + 1TB WD My Passport [3 Partitions] ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by bhairav23, May 10, 2012.

  1. bhairav23 macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2012
    Hey there.

    I am a proud owner of a Macbook Air 120GB SSD.

    I am planning on buying a 1TB WD My Passport external Hard drive.

    I was wondering if I can divide the external drive into 3 parts.
    1st Partition for Time Machine
    2nd Partition for Mac Storage
    3rd Partition for Windows Storage

    I have done my research and understand they all have to be in different formats. But I am confused as to what each format should be and which tool I should use to make them in the correct formats and partitions.

    The primary use of the Hard drive will be for storing some files from my mac and for time machine (on two different partitions ofcourse). I also own a Windows machine and would like this partition for some random time so that I can transfer files from my mac to my windows and vv with the hard drive.

    I was wondering if someone can help me make the partitions and give me some more information.

    Thank you.

  2. Oli3000 macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2009
    Yes you can, it can all be done through Disk Utility and Time Machine.

    The Time Machine set up will create the partition in its own format and you don't have to worry about that.

    PC format is ExFat, and Mac is Mac OS Extended. Its quite simple really. Open up the Disk Utility tool and have a play around.

    I think if you want a portion that you can use to edit from both it would have to be in FAT32. But this is less stable and so only use it for a small partition and for transferring, not storing. (This is what memory sticks use)

    Mac OS will be able to READ from the PC ExFat section (good if you use it for storing films), but not edit.
  3. bhairav23 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2012
    Thanks buddy, I will give it a whirl with my old hard drive and see how it works before diving into the new one. I might be posting more questions, hope u can give me a hand.

    Thanks again.
  4. mopatops macrumors regular


    Jul 21, 2011
    What you are suggesting will work fine but it might be a good idea to look at a separate drive for the Time Machine backups. If you have both your data and your backup on the same drive, you REALLY don't want that drive to fail! ;)

    Hard drive failures are relatively rare these days but that's the whole point of a backup.
    I'd suggest either:

    - Buy a second external hard drive to be used solely for Time Machine.
    - Use your current setup but without the Time Machine partition as it isn't offering you any protection.

    I'd recommend the first suggestion! :)

    EDIT: I see you were going to test on your old drive. Does that mean you have a second external? If so, it saves you the cost of another hard drive! :D
  5. jinesh macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2011
    Rather than have two partitions for Mac & Windows, what I've done is format the entire drive as NTFS & use Paragon Software's 'NTFS for Mac' to be able to write to it.

    I prefer NTFS since FAT32 (another Windows filesystem) has a size limit so files above 4GB can't be copied to it.

    How about buying two 500GB drives instead :) use one solely for time machine backups.

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