Shared Extern Hard Drive Format?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by DerfBWH, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. DerfBWH, Aug 12, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011

    DerfBWH macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2008
    Hi all,

    I recently bought a 1TB external HDD that I'll be using between both OS X and Windows 7 partitions and computers, and I'm a bit stuck on how I should proceed to format it. My first thought was to go with FAT32, as that's natively compatible with both, but FAT32 seems to have some hefty restrictions. The other option I was considering is formatting it NTFS and installing MacFUSE to add write capabilities to OS X, but that just seems a bit "hacky".
    What would you guys recommend in this situation? Is there some other option or anything?

  2. ensjesse macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2007
    Macfuse works fine for me. I wouldn't use anything but NTFS with Windows.
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    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 $36).
    • Some have had good results with Paragon (approx $20)
    • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, 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 or SuperDuper! 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.
    • 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
  4. Quad5Ny macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2009
    New York, USA
    Another option is to have multiple partitions with a different file system on each.

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