Partitioning Eternal Drive

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Trekker24689, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Trekker24689 macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2012
    Hi there

    Firstly If i put this in the wrong forum then can someone put it in the correct one. Thanks


    I just recently bought an IMAC which i am thoroughly pleased with. I am just getting to grips with it.

    I have an external 2TB drive which i used for my sony Vaio as a backup drive and has a lot of videos and pics and a lot of other backed up stuff. I just heard of time machine and was going to use that drive for time machine but i think it is formatted in NTFS so i think the mac can read the drive but not write to it.

    Can someone let me know if i can partition the drive without losing the data (or backing it up) so i can have part of it for the time machine for the mac to use and the other i can still use on my vaio.

    I was going to use the Disk Utility on the mac but was not sure about that.

    many thanks in advance.

  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You may be able to partition the drive without losing data, but I wouldn't try it. I'd prefer to move the data off the drive, partition and format it, then move the data back.

    Format A Hard Drive Using Disk Utility (which is in your /Applications/Utilities folder)

    Choose the appropriate format:

    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)

    NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
      [*]To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
      • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
      • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
      • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
      • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.

    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
    • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.
  3. Trekker24689 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2012
    Thanks for the reply GGJStudios.

    Think that will be the way to go. Should be ok if i copy off the stuff onto my mac while i am out or away from it. The Mac can read the drive so ok for that.

    Just so i know the correct way.

    1. WIll have to copy all the data off (don't need to but best just in case)
    2. format the whole drive but which format? (will want to use windows and mac on it on 2 partitions or more)
    3. Partition the drive into 2 or more partitions 1 for mac and the others for what i want. The best format for the mac partition looks to be HFS+.
    4. create a partition for windows in NTFS.

  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    For use only with Mac OS X, including backups of your internal drive, use HFS+ format. For sharing between Mac and Windows, use either NTFS or exFAT.
  5. Trekker24689 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2012
    Thank you for clearing that up. Wil have a go when i have time. Am not wanting to lose the stuff i have on it so will make a backup first.


  6. Trekker24689 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2012

    Just an update:

    I backed up all my stuff on my external drive to my mac and then formatted it using the Disk utilities to 2 partitions (1 MAC journal and 1 FAT32 I think) for mac and windows and works fine but it deleted my data.

    I have a 1Tb hd on my mac and formated the partitions 1.25 Mac journal (for Tima machine) and the other (.75) to store data and other things on for mac and iwndows.

    So seems sorted.

    Cheers for all the help


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