Need Hard Drive advice when using Windows & Mac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Bghead8che, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. Bghead8che macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2015
    I am going to order a new 27 inch iMac with a 512GB SSD. I will be installing Windows 10 on Bootcamp.

    As I am new to Mac I have a few questions.

    How much space would you recommend allotting for the Windows 10 partition? I assume you need to allow enough space for the system, software, and files, correct? Currently I have 200MB on my Windows machine and I anticipate needing roughly this amount when my iMac arrives.

    I plan on adding an external drive at some point, something like an EVO 850 1TB. I would assume that when the external drive is plugged in it will show as an additional 1TB drive under Mac OS X, correct? Or can I access it through both operating systems? How would you guys recommend I set up Windows and my hard drives (512 SSD internal and 1TB external)? I would assume one obvious issue is anything set up on the external drive will be much slower than anything set up on the internal SSD drive.

    I would greatly appreciate any advice or suggestions. For those of you that actively use both operating systems on one Mac how do you handle the storage?


  2. iemcj, Nov 18, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015

    iemcj macrumors 6502


    Oct 31, 2015
    I have 150gig on my windows partition and the rest of the 512 ssd on osx. After installing antivirus, updating all the programs, getting itunes on there, downloading steam, orgin, vlc, flash, java, winzip, all the little things one needs to live, and installing one game, I have only 40 gigs left. You need 15 gigs just for the operating system alone.

    External storage is SO CHEAP, just buy one harddrive for windows stuff and one for osx. Windows and mac use different formatting and don't play together nicely, if you format your drive to FAT32, you're going to be unhappy with slow speeds. It'll make stuff readable by both operating systems but just clunky overall.

    OH and when in windows you can't read harddrives through the thunderbolt port so plan on getting something with usb3.
  3. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Did you mean 200 GB?

    I run Windows on a mid-2011 27" iMac. I use virtual box to run Windows at the same time as Mac OSX. This way I don't have to reboot every time I need to change the OS. Also, something I didn't know until my hdd crashed recently, but time machine back ups will back up Windows as well when running like this.
  4. desmond2046 macrumors regular


    Jun 2, 2015
    Columbus, OH, United States
    1. I recommend at least 128Gb for non-game software and at least 256Gb for gaming.
    2. You cannot access the same logical partition from both OS X and Windows since they use different file systems (NTFS for Windows and HFS+ for OS X). But you can create two logical partitions on one physical drive and format them into NTFS and HFS+ respectively. In this way you will not need to buy two SSDs.
    3. I share files between two operating systems using Dropbox...
  5. v.i.p.e.r macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2012
    My plan is to use the internal 256SSD for OS X only and add a external SSD for windows.
  6. Bghead8che thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2015
    I'm really wondering if I should just go with the 1TB internal SSD drive instead of the 512GB internal drive. That way I could just divide the drive up say 300GB Windows and 700GB Mac which would be plenty for now. The only thing holding me back is the $500 cost. Hopefully if I use an external Windows HDD it won't be too slow compared to the internal SSD. I do a lot of web design and photography and speed is an issue.

    To be clear if I use an external drive I will need to either format it as Windows or Mac, correct?

    Keep the advice coming.


  7. Ledgem macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    OS X can read NTFS drives, and if you purchase certain programs (like Paragon) you can write natively to NTFS, as well. It looks like you can alter a system file to allow you to write to NTFS even without buying anything extra.

    Similarly, there are drivers you can download or purchase (Paragon again) for Windows to provide HFS+ support.

    Yet another solution is to go with an OS-neutral file system. I think everyone recognizes the FAT32 file system, and also knows that it's pretty limited (can't work with files over 4 GB in size; gets dicey when trying to format very large drives). What many people may not know about is its successor, exFAT (aka "FAT64"). OS X versions since 10.6.5 support exFAT, and Windows versions XP SP2, Vista SP1, 7, and onward, support it as well. It may be something worth considering.
  8. dwig macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2015
    Key West FL
    FAT32 will limit you to <4gb file sizes. Not a problem for most stuff, but a bit of a limiting factor for video files. exFAT is the better solution for a cross platform volume as its file size limit is massive.

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7 November 18, 2015