Same External HD for Windows & Mac

Discussion in 'macOS' started by archdelux, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. archdelux macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    #1
    It seems like this is simply not possible, but I thought I would ask here - is it every possible to use the same harddrive for windows and mac?

    I am trying to configure my external HD to be used as a backup drive with which I can access my files using either windows or mac. Is this possible?

    I am pretty sure there are software options for windows out there that might allow me to open mac files, but not sure if it will recognize a mac-formatted drive..
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    Any external hard drive will work with PCs or Macs, as long as the connectors are there (Firewire, USB, etc.) It doesn't matter how the drive is formatted out of the box, since you can re-format any way you like. Formatting in HFS (Mac OS Extended) or FAT32 or NTFS-3G can be done with the Mac OS X Disk Utility.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
    • Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    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: Install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free)
    • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx 33USD).
    • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard, 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
    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended)
    • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
    • Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner backups of Mac internal hard drive.
    • To Read/Write HFS+ from Windows, Install MacDrive
    • To Read HFS+ (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
    • Maximum file size: 8EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 8EiB
    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • exFAT partitions created with OS X 10.6.5 are inaccessible from Windows 7
    • 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
     
  3. archdelux thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    #3
    Thanks for your response. So, if I am to understand correctly, the only way to access Timemachine files on a windows machine would be to install 'MacDrive" on the windows machine..is this correct?

    Thanks again
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    If you read the information I posted, it tells you how you can do exactly that. Look at the HFS format.
     
  5. archdelux thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    #5
    yes sorry - I edited my post above a few seconds after I posted it (you're quick!)..so I guess MacDrive is the only option then.

    Thanks
     
  6. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #6
    HFSexplorer should give you access to the files MacDrive is only needed if you also want to write to the drive from Windows. (NOTE: You can install the Boot Camp HFS+ drivers on a PC, even though that's unlicensed use).

    B
     
  7. archdelux thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    #7
    Thanks for your input.

    What is the advantage of installing the Boot Camp HFS+ drivers on a PC versus simply installing HFSExplorer (will it allow me to write to the drive as well (while being free like HFSExplorer?))

    If so, how does one do that?
     
  8. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #8
    The Apple drivers integrate the Mac drive into Windows Explorer and assigns drive letters to the drives it accesses, while HFSExplorer provides its own Explorer alternative and will not assign a drive letter to the drive (so you can't access files on the drive from within other apps if you use HFSExplorer).

    You can't write with either though.

    B
     
  9. archdelux thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    #9
    I see - thanks for the help.

    Alternatively, are there any Time machine or CCC alternatives that utilize FAT32 formatting (which would allow me to access/read/write the files on windows and mac natively)?
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #10
    No, you can't back up your HFS+-formatted internal drive to FAT32. Time Machine and CCC require HFS+.
     
  11. archdelux thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    #11
    I see. thanks for your help.

    So it looks like I will be setting up my drive normally with Timemachine and using HFSExplorer to copy files from the drive on a WIndows PC.

    My only question now is: obviously within the time machine interface, finding files is easy, but is it easy enough to do from finder (actually, the HFS-equivalent of finder / windows explorer)
     
  12. aldo818 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Location:
    South of France
    #12
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    Can i make 2 partitions on 1 hard drive like one for time machine hfs+ and on the other partition Fat32 in order to exchange data read / write also from a pc as backup for some files.
    If it s possible how can i do it ?
     
  13. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
  14. Filipek macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    #14
    Hiii,

    I have a NTFS external hdd which I always used with my Windows laptop (Iomega). I also have some Ripped DVD movies on the hdd which are bigger than 4 gig. If I would like to make the HDD read/write compatible with my Mac, I understand I would have to format it in FAT32.
    I have two concerns though.

    - If I do that, and if I understand your post correctly, I won't be able to safe my dvd movies anymore on this external HD because of the size of them. Is this correct? If yes, do you have a solution for this?

    - Can I " transform " my HDD without formatting it first? Because I don't have any other external HDD, so I can not make a back up of my back up first.

    Thanks in advance
     
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #15
    That's not true. If you read my post that you quoted, you will see how to read/write to NTFS drives from Mac OS X, without having to reformat the drive.
     
  16. Filipek macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    #16
    I'm sorry, I indeed didn't read properly, but still the fact that I won't be able to save my movies on my harddisk is a pity
     
  17. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #17
    You can save your movies (over 4GB) on a drive that's formatted any way except FAT32.
     

Share This Page