several questions for prospective mac buyer

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by ElDogman, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. ElDogman macrumors 6502


    Aug 8, 2008
    i've been holding out for a while mostly because I currently enjoy using windows. However I'm interested in developing apps for the iphone and need a smaller notebook than my current one so I'm considering a macbook/mbp. I still plan on using windows via bootcamp because I have to use arcGIS, which currently has only windows versions.

    however I have some questions:

    if I install Windows 7 via bootcamp, I imagine there will be two different partitions and both will be formatted differently right? is it difficult to transfer files from one partition to the other? say I save a video file while in windows 7, but want to open it up on the mac osx side.

    if i buy an external drive for it, what should it be formatted in?

    thanks for your time.
  2. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Boot camp 3.1 partitions the drive as HFS+ for Mac OS and FAT33 for Windows that gets replaced with NTFS during the Windows install. It also provides drivers to read NTFS from the Mac side and HFS+ from the Windows side. So you can always read files on the "other" partition. By default you can't write to the other native format. In the example you suggested, playing a movie from the other OS works fine, but not editing one.

    There is third party software that enables writing, for example Paragon NTFS for Mac and Mediafour MacDrive, but as these are not native drivers they can potentially cause corruption on the drive being written.

    As to your external, you could keep it as FAT32 if you don't need support for large >4GB files or you could even partition it much like the internal... It all depends on your needs.

  3. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030


    Jul 7, 2009
    NTFS-3G also works on OSX to read/write NTFS file systems. I haven't had any issues with it, works great.

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