Partitioning a new external drive ( part hfs, part ntfs, part fat32 )

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by wayfaerer, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. wayfaerer macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2007
    i just got my new external drive, a lacie 1tb black box, and i'm having some problems formatting it the way i want. there's no data on it right now so keeping the current partitions intact isn't an issue.

    if possible i'd like to partition 120gb to HFS to use as a backup drive for my MBP disk, 100gb to NTFS for larger windows files i might need to move around, another 100gb as HFS for larger mac files, and have the remaining ~650gb formatted to FAT32 to use for cross platform and media.

    i've tried using disk utility, but there's no option to make NTFS partitions and even the FAT32 option disappears when i split the drive into more than 1 partition. on windows, the drive doesn't appear on the list of connected drives, even though it does recognize it's there and has the option to be safely removed. the entire drive was formatted to a single FAT32 partition and it still wouldn't show up, so i couldn't try formatting using windows.

    i'm wondering what is the best partitioning software to use to do this, or if it's even possible.

  2. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2008
    I don't know if that's possible........I think it's just one partition type or another

    If you get MacDrive for the PC, then it can read/write HFS+..

    Your Mac can write to NTFS through MacFuse and NTFS-3G
  3. BobZune macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2007
    The issue may be the partition table scheme (one level about the partition format). Under the partition tab in disk utility (DU) on OS X, you'd see options at the bottom to select one of 3 (APM, GUID, MBR). OS X can read all 3 type of schemes. msWin can do MBR only (but latest version of XP and better can work with GUID partition scheme). APM is Apple only (msWin can't see the disk, or will give behavior like you are getting).

    Use the MBR scheme with DU, make partitions you want, and format all but NTFS on with DU, move it to the msWin machine and format the NTFS (OS X can read NTFS, but see previous post for writing). Of course, MBR disk won't work for Time Machine, so the OS X backup should be using non-TM cloning. Check it all out before using in 'production' setting. Even then, I'd recommend backing up & archiving important things. (Details of valid combinations of APM/GUID/MBR partition schemes and NTFS/NFS+/FAT32 formatting are somewhat complex and change as the years go by).

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