NTFS or FAT???

jaxstate

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 13, 2006
542
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I'm about to load XP on my MBP, and I don't really know the difference between the two.
 

realityisterror

macrumors 65816
Aug 30, 2003
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Snellville, GA
If you don't know the difference and you're working on a Mac, choose FAT(32).

OS X can read and write FAT disks, but I believe it can only read NTFS disks because the format is protected.
 

jaxstate

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 13, 2006
542
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Thanks for the info FAT32 it is.
realityisterror said:
If you don't know the difference and you're working on a Mac, choose FAT(32).

OS X can read and write FAT disks, but I believe it can only read NTFS disks because the format is protected.
 

Abulia

macrumors 68000
Jun 22, 2004
1,786
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Kushiel's Scion
I disagree, NTFS is the way to go.

NTFS is more reliable and uses space better. Plus -- and this is the important part -- OS X can't write to NTFS. That makes the Windows partition a bit more secure, IMO. I don't want OS X writing to Windows (and vice versa), messing up my partitions.

If file sharing between OS X and Windows on the same machine is important, than FAT32 might be your best option.
 

MRU

Suspended
Aug 23, 2005
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Yeah if its Fat 32 you'll end up with .ds store files all over the bloody place. Horrid.

As Abulia says, NTFS is more secure and has been the defacto standard for windows pro users for a long time. You can always share info with a usb stick or external drive.
 

andrewface

macrumors 6502
May 17, 2006
279
65
i like fat because i can access files from the mac side which i find very helpful
 

EricNau

Moderator emeritus
Apr 27, 2005
10,648
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San Francisco, CA
It says Apple cannot write to NTFS, but can Windows write to the Mac partition?

Also, I was told that NTFS can be hard to get rid of (never got an explanation, so if it's wrong, don't shoot the messenger). ;)
 

MRU

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Aug 23, 2005
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EricNau said:
It says Apple cannot write to NTFS, but can Windows write to the Mac partition?

Also, I was told that NTFS can be hard to get rid of (never got an explanation, so if it's wrong, don't shoot the messenger). ;)
No it's not hard to get rid of. That was only back in the day with windows NT... With bootcamp, to delete windows you just click - restore my drive. It gets rid of windows without any hassle.

Yes you can write to your macdrve in windows by using an application which enables windows to see your macdrive. Funny enough its called macdrive :)

BUT!!!! If your pc can see and write to your macdrive, it's very possible should you get a virus n windows, it could infect and damage files in your mac partition/drive.

Use a usb stick, its safe and less hassle than having to re-install your entire drive.
 

dasy2k1

macrumors newbie
Jun 11, 2006
2
0
England
another big issue

FAT 32 can only handle files up to 4GB in size,
NTFS can handle much larger files, not normally a problem unless you are making DVDs, (or downloiading DVD image files)
 

ssteve

macrumors member
Jan 31, 2006
85
6
NTFS of course

NTFS is a much better file system than FAT32. The easiest way to think of it is just a tighter ship. I really do not want to write to the other partition anyway. The only advantage to being able to write to the XP partition from OSX is space issues. I just say buy an external drive if you need more space. Really the only reason I have XP installed anyway is because of kids games. Every once in awhile, I will write code for work as I use Microsoft software for my job.
 

SC68Cal

macrumors 68000
Feb 23, 2006
1,642
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I think a good idea for a hard disk is to have a HFS+, NTFS, and a FAT32 for swapping files between OS environments