PC To Mac HD Formating Type Questions

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by JB007TLD, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. JB007TLD macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2009

    I am making the switch this week from PC to mac. I have a couple of questions about different HD formating types.

    I currently have a 750GB NTSF hard drive that has all of my media files. I want to transfer that info over to a new 3TB RAID drive that I purchased for the new imac.

    first question: What is the default format for a MAC HD? Which type should I format the new RAID drive? This drive will more than likely only be hooked up to a mac, but if there is a type that can be used interchangeably (read/write) on pc and mac I dont mind using it.

    second question: After formating the new RAID mac drive, I can then transfer the data over from the NTSF drive. My understanding is that I can copy data over, but I can not write to the NTSF drive? This is fine with me. If however that is not the case, How would I go about transfering those files over to the new drive? Is there special software or drivers?

    Any tips/suggestions would be fantastic. Thanks!
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    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 ($19.95) (Best Choice for Lion and Mountain Lion)
      • For Mac OS X 10.5 and later, including Lion, FUSE for OS X
      • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36), which is an enhanced version of NTFS-3G with faster performance.
      • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and later versions, 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. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    The default format for Mac drives is HFS+ (Mac OS Extended). You will be able to read from but not write to the NTFS drive. You can buy add on software (like Paragon) for the Mac that will allow you to both read and write to NTFS if you need that ability. You can also format external drives in ExFAT and that will allow you to read and write from both Mac and Windows.

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