Mac/PC Compatible External HD

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by applekid, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. applekid macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003
    I was wondering, is it possible to partition an external hard drive to have a NTFS partition and HFS partition?

    I'm about to go out to buy a hard drive, but the way I partitioned my internal hard drive for Boot Camp is sort of limiting my space with games on the Windows side. I was wondering if I could do the same sort of partitioning on an external hard drive.

    I know I could always use FAT32 to keep it compatible without partitioning anything, but I don't have any files that need to run back and forth between Macs and PCs.
  2. yippy macrumors 68020


    Mar 14, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Yes you can, however it is a bit tricky because neither Apple's Disk Utility nor whatever is built into Windows and make both kinds of formats.

    You would have to partition the NTFS in Windows and leave the rest as an empty partition and then us Mac OS to format just the empty partition. In theory this works but I have never tried it and I hear it is hard to get it to let you do that.
  3. merc669 macrumors 6502


    Jun 7, 2006
    Southern MD, USA
    In practical theory this would be the same as preparing your internal drive to dual-boot (i.e. Mac and Bootcamp (XP)). So same is true for the external. Windoze would not recognize Mac Partition but the Mac should see but not be able to write to the NTFS partition. I would create two partitions using either XP or Mac and leave one unformatted and let the other OS build the empty unformatted one. Then let USB or FW do the rest as far as connection to either the PC or Mac.


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