Pros and Cons of MBR vs APM when formatting an external HDD?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by diskmini, May 6, 2007.

  1. diskmini macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2007

    I've just bought a 160gb external HDD and am intending to use it primarily to move and access data on my G4 Powerbook. However, I'd like to be able to put some files from my PC laptop on it as well. Am wondering if i should go with -

    Option 1: Partition the disk as half FAT32 and half HFS+ --> Disadvantage: HFS+ partition will be invisible to PCs (i.e. data inaccessible on PCs unless i purchase macdrive:( )
    Option 2: Format it fully as FAT32 (and have all subsequent partitions as FAT32 as well) --> Disadvantage: Have read that OSX has inefficiency issues with FAT32? (know about 4gb filesize limit but this doesn't affect me so much).

    Am tempted to go with Option 2 at this point but would like to find out the extent to which performance (data handling efficiency, access speed and data stability) will be impaired on OSX... (as compared to HFS+) :( Can anyone please advise on this?

    If I were to go with Option 1, however, would I be right in saying that in order for the disk to be recognized by a PC, it would need to first be formatted as FAT32 before you can go on to subsequently specify individual partition formats?

    P.S.: Have tried to look up this (and other) forums with regards to FAT32 vs HFS+ and have included some of the more relevant links below... but as I'm a techdummy, I'm not sure if I'm reading all this information correctly, hence the posting!!! :eek: <-- contradicted by the next thread....
  2. fairnymph macrumors 6502


    Mar 12, 2007
    Chapel Hill, NC
    How about NTFS and use MacFuse and ntfs-3g to make the drive fully read/write in OS X?

    I took out a Windows ntfs formatted drive ( 75% full of data) from a pc, put in an enclosure, and have been using it with my powerbook g4. So far, so good. I have had no problems reading, writing, or deleting. In fact I take HD video files from my DVR and they are 6-7 gigs apiece and copy to the drive, play from the drive, etc all without problems.

    It took about 16 minutes for a 6.8 gig .m2t file to copy to the drive. So not that fast (sadly, my buying a firewire 800 capable enclosure was wasted!), but not unreasonable.

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