Partitionin and Sharing an External Drive

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Winter Charm, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. Winter Charm macrumors 6502a

    Winter Charm

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    #1
    Here's a two part problem.

    Is there any way to take my External Western Digital 500GB hard drive, partition it, Format one partition as HFS+ and the other partition as NTFS, and THEN share these partitions on my network. OSX doesnt need to worry about reading or writing to the NTFS and windows doesnt need to worry about writing to the HFS+ file system.

    Tonight i am going to the apple store to get my Mac Mini as a replacement for my windows desktop which bit the dust 2 days ago. Since it will be my main desktop, will i be able to hook up said 500GB hard drive and share the NTFS partition with the windows PC's on my network, and share the HFS+ partition with the Macs on my network?

    We have 3 windows PC's and 2 Macs. -- we are in the middle of slowly replacing everything with :apple:

    All help is appreciated :)
     
  2. mfram macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego, CA USA
    #2
    This question doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Why do you want to partition this drive? It can only be plugged into one computer at a time. When sharing the drive over the network, the filesystem on the drive isn't relevant. The filesystem only matters to the machine you plug the drive into.

    Since you are moving to Mac, format the drive HFS+, plug it into a Mac, and share the drive over the network. Windows will be able to write to it (over the network) as well as the Mac.
     
  3. MacManiac76 macrumors 65816

    MacManiac76

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Location:
    Arizona
    #3
    You can do all the formatting and partitioning in Disk Utility. For the NTFS partition, you will need to install NTFS-3G which will allow you to read/write/format using the NTFS format. You really don't need to go through all that trouble though if you are only accessing the drives over the network. Over the network it doesn't matter what format the drives are in as long as they are shared properly. If you want to be able to connect the drives directly to certain machines also though, then the formatting will matter depending on the local operating system.
     
  4. Winter Charm thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Winter Charm

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    #4
    Well, i want to attach the drive to my mac mini, because it was previously attached to my (deceased) windows machine.
    The reason i want to partition it is because i want to keep windows backups and my time machine files separate. To be able to back up on windows machines, i want the mac to be able to share the NTFS partition over the network. I also want it to be able to share the HFS+ partition over the network so my sister can back up her mac.
     
  5. Winter Charm thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Winter Charm

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    #5
    The reasons i have concerns about the sharing, is because im not sure if Mac OSX will let me share the NTFS partitions. It is VITAL that i be able to share those partitions. My father needs the files on that drive.
     
  6. MacManiac76 macrumors 65816

    MacManiac76

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Location:
    Arizona
    #6
    Honestly I'm not sure about the NTFS sharing thing since I've never tried it myself under OS X. I don't see why it wouldn't work though.

    But to be honest, having all of your backups on the same drive really isn't a good idea. If that drive fails, then you lose all the backups for all machines you backup to it. Personally if it was me, I would have a separate backup drive for each computer, not just a separate partition. It will cost a little more money to do it this way, but you will be glad you did if the drive you have now ever fails.
     
  7. mfram macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego, CA USA
    #7
    Using partitions to keep Time Machine in check seems like a good reason. But why are you bringing NTFS into the picture? If the drive will be plugged into a Mac, format both partitions HFS+. There's no reason to use NTFS at all. If the drive is shared over the network, the Windows machine won't know what the filesystem on the drive is anyway. The only machine that sees the filesystem is the Mac. Just because you are sharing to a Windows machine doesn't mean the drive has to be NTFS. Once you share over the network, the filesystem on the drive isn't relevant to the remote machine.

    The only reason you might want to use NTFS is if you're going to plug the drive directly into the Windows machine. But if you do that, you won't be able to write to the NTFS on the Mac without getting third-party software.
     
  8. Winter Charm thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Winter Charm

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    #8
    So, what you're saying is if the drive is physically plugged into the mac, then i can leave both partitions in HFS+ and it won't cause problems when i use windows machines to write to the windows partitions through my network? If that's the case, then i'll give it a go.
     
  9. Winter Charm thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Winter Charm

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    #9
    I understand that, but at the moment (right after spending on a mac) i'll hold off for a while. Also, i know its possible a drive might fail, but its unlikely that it will fail at exactly the same time that one of my PC's or macs will fail. For those reasons, i'll hold off for the moment, However, i do plan on setting that up later. :D
     
  10. mfram macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego, CA USA
    #10
    Absolutely. Think of it as the Mac writing to the hard drive on behalf of the Windows box. The Windows box says "write this data to file Blah.txt". The Mac is the one actually writing the file onto the filesystem. The remote machine doesn't know anything about the filesystem in question. It sends higher-level requests over the network. That's how it work with Windows file sharing.

    If you're only plugging the external drive into the Mac, use journaled HFS+.
     

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