Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 13, 2012
I have a Seagate Free Agent Go Flex 1.5TB External Hard Drive. It comes with a driver installed to allow it to work with both Windows and Mac OSX. I have searched and read multiple threads here and elsewhere regarding this topic.

I'd like to partition the drive so I can keep my media files (including videos over 4 GB, so not FAT32) on it and share it between a Windows laptop and my MacBook Air. The second partition would be for Time Machine backups.

In the setup instructions for the drive online it says once I plug it in I have to decide how to set it up.

"If you want to use the drive under Windows and MacOS, simply leave the drive in the NTFS format that it has when shipped from the factory (say No to "Do you want to use this drive with Time Machine?", if prompted). Install the included software which has a special driver that will allow the NTFS partition to be read and written under MacOS

When using the NTFS driver, the Memeo software (included with the GoFlex products) and Time Machine will not work. However, you will be able to drag files to the drive, then transport them to a Windows computer."

I'm new to OSX, so I'm not really familiar with Disk Utility. Is it possible to partition the drive and format only the added partition, leaving the other partition as is? Would doing this allow me to maintain the out of the box format and ability to read / write in both OSX and Windows? Then format the other partition to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) for Time Machine?

Stooby Mcdoobie

macrumors 6502a
Jun 26, 2012
You could just use the method the user above me posted - however, if you don't want to download MacDrive, here's an alternative and is the setup I've been using for a while:

-Format partition 1 to HFS+ (OS Extended, Journaled) - this will be used for Time Machine
-Format partition 2 to exFAT in *Windows - this will be used for your other files

*Note: You have the option to format exFAT in OS X, but sometimes Windows has trouble reading from exFAT drives formatted by OS X. OS X should have no trouble with exFAT drives formatted by Windows.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 13, 2012
Thank you Satcomer and Stooby Mcdoobie for the advice.

I think I am going to try to add a partition in Windows Vista using Disk Management. That should allow me to keep the drive formatted with NTFS and keep the software that allows the Mac to read and write to that partition intact. Then on the other partition I'm going to try to format to FAT32. It will be readable on the Mac and I can try to use Disk Utility to format it to HFS+ for use with Time Machine. Would Disk Utility be able to do this?



macrumors G3
Feb 19, 2008
The Finger Lakes Region
Disk Utility will only support to FAT32. You can thank Microsoft for not licensing the NTFS to other manufactures. So when you want to make a BootCamp partition it makes in only to FAT32. You then have to use the Windows Install to reformat the FAT32 partition to NTFS to install Windows 7.

There are 'hacks' written in OS X freeware/shareware here. Just make sure the program works in 10.8.x.

Now since Mac OS Extended in open sourced in the the OS X kernal in the Darwin project. Hence the at Mediafour can make a program like MacDrive for Windows so good.
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.