Need advice regarding what hard drive format, and where to store my music & photos.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Xonnie316, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. Xonnie316 macrumors member

    Oct 14, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hey Mac Rumours forum members,

    I'm new here, and I'm very new to the Mac world. I just bought my new iMac 24" 2.93Ghz 4Gbs Ram computer last weekend.

    I have a western digital mybook 500 Gb external hard drive in which I used to store my music and my photos on to.

    Well its in NTFS format, so I copied everything on to my iMac hard drive. So I was thinking of copying back on to my western digital mybook hard drive.

    So I have to change the hard drive format which is NTFS. Could I do it through iDisk Utility, and how can I do that ?

    And which format do you suggest ?

    Does Mac read FAT32 ?

    Coz I was thinking of having it in a storage format that it would be readable for Windows & Mac.

    I also need another suggestion, regarding storing my music & photos.

    Should I have it on the external hard drive, so I leave my iMac free? Then link iTunes to my external hard drive. And could I change my iPhoto to link to my external hard drive ?

    My iMac hard drive by the way is 640 Gbs.

    So what do you all suggest people for me to do. I really wish advice before I settle down with all my files in place in my iMac.

    Thanks to anyone that helps me out !
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC

    You don't have to. As it sounds like you've discovered, Mac OS X has native read-only support for NTFS. You can use third-party drivers (install both MacFUSE and NTFS-3G) to add read/write support.

    Not everything Apple is preceded by an i, you know. ;)

    If you're only going to use the drive with your Mac, the best option is Mac OS Extended (Journaled). You can reformat a drive from Disk Utility, yes. Select the drive in the list on the left side of the window, click the Erase tab, and go from there.

    Yes, Mac OS X has native read/write support for FAT32. However, it is still subject to the limitations of the format: maximum 4 GB per file, and fragmentation problems. There is no defrag tool in Mac OS X because HFS+ (the short name for Mac OS X Extended) doesn't require defragmenting.

    That depends how you're planning to use it. As I mentioned above, you can add NTFS support to a Mac by installing MacFUSE and NTFS-3G. There's also a product called MacDrive which provides HFS+ drivers for Windows.

    So, I suggest:

    Mac only: HFS+
    PC only: NTFS
    One Mac/one PC: NTFS (with MacFUSE/NTFS-3G on the Mac)
    One Mac/several PCs: NTFS (with MacFUSE/NTFS-3G on the Mac)
    Several Macs/one PC: HFS+ (with MacDrive on the PC)
    Several Macs/several PCs: FAT32

    That's up to you. You can put anything anywhere you want, even applications. Before I upgraded my iMac to 1.5 TB, I had all of my games, Mac and Windows, installed on my NTFS-formatted external drive. Some applications do have to be installed to the running OS X partition, though.

    If you have room, I would suggest putting everything on your internal drive and reserving your external drive for backups, though.
  3. Xonnie316 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 14, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    BlueRevolution I would like to say thanks so so much for this nice and detailed reply. This is the response I was waiting to hear :)

    Cheers mate !

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