Sharing External HDD with MBP and Windows

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by applesith, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. applesith macrumors 68020

    applesith

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Manhattan
    #1
    I have looked through the forums and could not find the answer to my question/scenario. If already answered, i am sorry. Here it is:


    I want to be able to use my external hard drives on both my MacBook Pro (2.4GHz, newest release) and Windows XP Pro desktop computer. All my externals were set up via the Windows PC. Whenever I plug them into my MB Pro, I can only copy from the external, not write to it. Is there a way that I can share my externals between mac and windows?

    I want to get this device, but not sure if I will be able to use it across mac and windows:

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2443662&sku=D700-5386


    Also, one last thing. I know wth Windows you cannot move files around externals that are larger than i think 4GB. Is there a size limit to the files that you can move when using Mac OS ?

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. JHacker macrumors 6502

    JHacker

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
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    East Coast
    #2

    It needs to be formatted as FAT32. I think there is a 4gb limit on this.
     
  3. BlueArctos macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    #3
    The external hard drives you currently own are most likely formatted in the NTFS file system. Mac OS X does not natively provide write support for NTFS, however it can be added with the help of MacFUSE.

    The D-Link DNS323 is supported on Mac OSX. A quick setup guide is available here.
    This device cannot be formatted to FAT32 or NTFS. Your choices are EXT2 or EXT3.

    If your external drives are indeed formatted to NTFS, there is no such 4 GB file-size limit. This limit does exist, though, for FAT32 formatted drives. Mac OS X does provide native read/write support for FAT32 disks.

    More information on FAT32 versus NTFS (click image for larger version).
    filesystem.gif

    Good luck!
     
  4. applesith thread starter macrumors 68020

    applesith

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Manhattan
    #4
    Thanks for your help!

    I am having trouble copying a 4.3GB file from a NTFS HDD to a FAT32 HDD. Bot drives are external. I am making the copy on my MacBook Pro. Any ideas?

    Thanks.
     
  5. Aea macrumors 6502a

    Aea

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    May 23, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    #5
    4GB limit on FAT32, as others have mentioned :)
     
  6. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Location:
    Singapore
    #6
    if you have a spare bit of cash you could purchase macdrive http://www.mediafour.com/ ($50), format your harddrive as macox extended (journaled) and with macdrive both your pc and mac will be able to read it. and the maximum file size is pretty much unlimited..
     
  7. applesith thread starter macrumors 68020

    applesith

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
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    Manhattan
    #7
    I will look into this. Thanks so much!
     
  8. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #8
    no probs always looking to help a friend in need lol :cool:
     
  9. WirelessInn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Location:
    New Mexico
    #9
    Sharing External HDD with MBP and Windows

    Applesith,
    Also mind the fact that if your external(s) are connected to a Win machine on a network including your Mac, the Mac can READ FROM and WRITE to such drives (as well as networked Win machines' own internal drives), regardless of their formatting (NTFS or FAT); at this point, acces to the external(s) is controlled thru the network. Quite useful indeed. Likewise, at that point, Win machines can also read/write to the Mac internal drive. Connecting a Win formatted drive to the Mac comes with configuration choices (NTFS, FAT allowing for different levels of access by the Mac). Of course, MacDrive, MacFuse and such solutions alleviate such issues.

    - Roger T
     
  10. WirelessInn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Location:
    New Mexico
    #10
    Sharing External HDD with MBP and Windows

    [QUOTE=DoFoT9;3935529]if you have a spare bit of cash you could purchase macdrive http://www.mediafour.com/ ($50), format your harddrive as macox extended (journaled) and with macdrive both your pc and mac will be able to read it. and the maximum file size is pretty much unlimited..[/QUOTE]

    DoFoT9,
    You seem to have experience with addressing external drives involving access needed by BOTH Mac and in machines.
    The MacDrive utility installs from Mac machines, and allows Win machines to access (R/W) Mac (HFS) formatted drives. Correct me if I am wrong (I am new Mac owner!).

    I have a tricky follow up question:
    1. Of course, MacDrive allows Win (R/W) access to a Mac formatted external drive
    2. BUT, can/does MacDrive ALSO allow Windows, within a BootCamp/Win installation, to access the Mac partition on the Mac internal drive? Normally of course, the Win and Mac partitions within a BootCamp installation are NOT fully cross-accessible. As I understand it in this case, Mac can fully (R/W) address the BootCamp/Win partition if the latter if FAT formatted, but Windows installed via BootCamp cannot at all access the Mac partition. Right?
    So... does MacDrive - a very useful utility indeed! - incur any access speed penalty when installed on a Mac system?

    Thanks, all of you ladies & gents for being here for new users like us!

    - Roger T
     
  11. dizbjosh macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    #11
    i will also be getting a external hdd
    a mybook

    and i think that comes with FAT32
    so would that work with both my windows desktop and mbp?
     
  12. WirelessInn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Location:
    New Mexico
    #12
    Sharing External HDD with MBP and Windows

    dizbjosh,
    The drive should work on the Mac. Of course, also on Win.
    But of course, that brings up another question. The mybook drive you are looking at is probably several gb in capacity. SO, since FAT allows only 32gb size formatted space, how is it possible to have a larger drive FAT formatted? Or is it??
    That's a question for especially the many expert folks here!
    - Roger T
     
  13. Knolly macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 22, 2007
    #13
  14. Zel macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    #14
    I'm in the same situation, my external is NTFS, and my MBP cannot write to it directly. I may try this MacFUSE, but ive tried something called FUSE before on linux to access NTFS and it was a pain in the butt.

    What I do do now is open up my Windows virtual machine, assign it usage of the usb harddrive and drag n drop files from my mac desktop through vmware into the external. It's slow, because there are a few intermediary translations, but it works, and that's what counts.
     
  15. Maccleduff macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    #15
    One option is to format some of the drive into HFS+ and some of it into NTFS.

    Apart from the 4gb limit on FAT32 whats the other disadavntages of it. Is it slower?
     
  16. WirelessInn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Location:
    New Mexico
    #16
    Sharing External HDD with MBP and Windows



    Well, Knolly, you hit it "right on the head"
    According to the link kindly provided above by Blue Arctos:

    http://att.macrumors.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=79781&d=1184786558

    A FAT formatted drive or partition cannot be over 32gb. So you brought up a good point which I (and perhaps others) will need to be cleared up! Unless i am missing something, WHICH WAY IS IT?

    Thanks everyone for all the assistance!


    - Roger T
     
  17. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #17


    That's correct. The FILE size limit is 4GB.
     
  18. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #18
    gday roger. i may have confused you a tad in my wording. macdrive is a pc program (installed directly onto the pc) which gives R/W access to macintosh drives. i think the reason this program was made was for bootcamp situations where users needed to write to their OSX partitions.

    i think this answers both your questions...sorry for the confusion
     
  19. BlueArctos macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    #19
    Good point! This works if you're looking for network access. High speed external drives won't be able to function fully via a network, though.

    Yes! MacDrive installed on the Windows partition will allow you to access your HFS/HFS+ partition. You'll want to visit this link for more information.

    A little side note - I recommend against installing Windows XP on a FAT32 formatted drive.

    Apologies! Because I surf Windows and Mac forums simultaneously, sometimes I get my basic OS rules confused. I also blindly used an old Windows knowledge base article to provide justification for my explanation. (Wasn't thinking about the Mac, oops!)

    The FAT32 file system does indeed support formatting of drives over 32 GB. However, Windows XP does not provide a utility to conduct this format. Everybody else (namely Mac OS X and Linux) does provide support for formatting over 32 GB.

    Here's a PROPER Microsoft article outlining FAT32 limitations. Most importantly, note the following:

    In 2004, someone named trevor from MaxOSXHints.com had the following to add,
    Below is a little guide stolen from another website outlining some of the advantages and disadvantages of each file system (I'd choose NTFS for the fault tolerance alone). Most of the points are made from the perspective of someone running NTFS as their OS's filesystem, making the pros/cons certainly debatable when it comes to external storage:
    Hopes this clears some things up!
     
  20. lilvenom macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #20
    i've got a western digital mybook premium 500 gb external hdd.

    would i get better performance formatting it to mac instead of keeping it at Fat 32?
     
  21. BlueArctos macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    #21
    What will you be using your WD MyBook for? Performance aside, you should consider the following:

    • Will you be using the drive to store and/or transfer files over 4 GB?
    • Do you have any other computers? What operating systems do they use?
    • Will this drive be used as a production drive or a backup drive?
     
  22. lilvenom macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #22
    i might be using it to edit videos, probably will not use it with my PC much, if at all, and i'll also probably store most of my iTunes library on it.
     
  23. crazy.fool macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    #23
    the 4gb file size limit with fat32 say for instance my itunes library is 15gb but each individual file within the folder is smaller than 4gb i could write this to a fat32 formatted drive

    true or false?

    i think ive got my self confused with files and folders thanks..
     
  24. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #24
    no this is wrong, you can copy your musik folder onto it... understand that it is only the FILE that has the 4gb limit, not folders.... i have 20gb of movies, if none ofthose moives are over 4gb i can easily copy those files over.. if one ofthose movies is GREATER THAN 4gb it will not copy!

    yea only files, not folders.
     
  25. lonesoul macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    #25
    I dont like the FAT32 format cause of the 4GB limit, since im doing video editting the RAW/uncompressed videos files can exceed 10GB per file.

    So what's the solution for me? Since mac cant read from NTFS shall i just format it to HFS+ and use MacDrive on the windows machine?
     

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