Possible with FAT32?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by ETID, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. ETID macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    #1
    Hi my friend wants a HDD that will work with both windows and mac, am I right thinking to format it in FAT32?

    Its a 500gb WD elements drive.

    I'm aware that files larger than 8gb cannot be used in this format but can you still transfer say 30gb of smaller files?

    Thanks
     
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    Yes, FAT32 can be read and written by both, but the file size limit is 4GB, not 8.
     
  3. ETID thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
  4. dreamgood macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    #4
    if i am not wrong you cant use more than 32 GB for a fat32 partition on a mac. ( you can allot more space but you cant use that for real)

    but if you use NTFS you can assign wht ever the size and can use all the space (tho it also got few accessibility limitations )


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    Install NTFS-3G to write NTFS volumes.
     
  6. LeKiD macrumors regular

    LeKiD

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    #6
  7. TheZA macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #7
    I purchased a Western Digital My Passport and it came with the whole drive formatted in FAT32. And I've seen on Western Digital's web site that you can download a utility that will allow you to format their drives in the factory-set original FAT32 for the whole drive. Might check that out.
     
  8. jgbhardy macrumors 6502

    jgbhardy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #8
    4Gb

    +1 4Gb limit. I have 2 movie files both just over 4Gb and I can't put them on my external HDD formatted as FAT32. Sadly it's the only format I can use with Windows and OS X :(
     
  9. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #9
    Use NTFS ... just install NTFS-3G on your Mac.
     
  10. belvdr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #10
    Use NTFS-3G, and you can do it.

    EDIT: Beat me to it...
     
  11. ETID thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    #11
    The only problem with installing that though is that if someone else with a mac needs to use the drive they will have to install it also. Say in a business environment where the drive will be used its not as practical to have to do this, especially as more an more people are going mac. IS the 32gb usable space limit on a FAT32 fully true?

    thanks for the replies. very interesting what others think.
     
  12. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #12
    There's a 32 GB formatting limit for FAT32 in Windows. Maybe on Mac it doesn't exist.

    But you shouldn't use FAT32 for such large drives. It's not journaled.
     
  13. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #13
    You're right. There are advantages and disadvantages to everything. If this is the case (business shared drive), I'd probably look at a standalone NAS drive over a regular external.
     
  14. ETID thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    #14
    Sorry for my ignorance but what is journaled?

    It is not a large business by no means and it is only for one person to use with both xp and osx, however from time to time other mac or xp machines may be used.
     
  15. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #16
    If one person is going to be the primary user, just go with NTFS-3G.
     
  16. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #17
    Read my post above. I beat you both.
     

Share This Page