Sharing External HDD with MBP and Windows

applesith

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 11, 2007
2,659
1,070
Manhattan
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!
 

JHacker

macrumors 6502
Aug 27, 2006
342
1
East Coast
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!

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

BlueArctos

macrumors member
Jun 17, 2007
89
0
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!
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!
 

applesith

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 11, 2007
2,659
1,070
Manhattan
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.
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,530
32
Singapore
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..
 

WirelessInn

macrumors regular
Jun 20, 2007
107
0
New Mexico
Sharing External HDD with MBP and Windows

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?
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
 

WirelessInn

macrumors regular
Jun 20, 2007
107
0
New Mexico
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
 

dizbjosh

macrumors newbie
Jul 20, 2007
25
0
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?
 

WirelessInn

macrumors regular
Jun 20, 2007
107
0
New Mexico
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
 

Zel

macrumors regular
Jul 7, 2007
172
0
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.
 

Maccleduff

macrumors regular
Jun 26, 2007
247
0
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?
 

WirelessInn

macrumors regular
Jun 20, 2007
107
0
New Mexico
Sharing External HDD with MBP and Windows

There is NOT a size limit on FAT32.

I have a FAT32 250GB hard drive hooked up to my airport.

Use this utility to format it:
http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/index.htm?fat32format.htm

The only limit is that I believe you can't have an individual file be more than 4 GB.
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
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,530
32
Singapore
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
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
 

BlueArctos

macrumors member
Jun 17, 2007
89
0
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.
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.

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?
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.

Well, Knolly, you hit it "right on the head"

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!
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:

Microsoft.com said:
The following table compares disk and file sizes possible with each file system.

  • NTFS
  • Recommended minimum volume size is approximately 10 megabytes (MB).
  • Volumes much larger than 2 terabytes (TB) are possible.
  • Cannot be used on floppy disks.
  • File size limited only by size of volume.
    FAT
  • Volumes from floppy disk size up to 4 gigabytes (GB).
  • Does not support domains.
  • Maximum file size is 2 GB.
    FAT32
  • Volumes from 512 MB to 2 TB.
  • In Windows XP, you can format a FAT32 volume up to 32 GB only.
  • Does not support domains.
  • Maximum file size is 4 GB.
In 2004, someone named trevor from MaxOSXHints.com had the following to add,
trevor said:
There is no physical 32 GB limit to the size of a FAT32 partition. However, Microsoft has intentionally set that limit in their more recent formatting software because of the gross inefficiencies of FAT32 with large drive sizes. (They may also be trying to convince people to use NTFS, whether because it is a superior file system, or for marketing reasons, but that is just guessing.) In any event, it was not out of laziness.

You can format a FAT32 drive larger than 32 GB with Win 98 or Win ME. You can also use non-Microsoft formatting software such as Partition Magic--which I'm guessing is what acme.mail.order used. I believe that you can also format large >32 GB FAT32 drives in Linux, although I've never tried. Win 2000 and Win XP's built-in drive formatting won't allow FAT32 partitions larger than 32 GB.
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:
theeldergeek.com said:
  • Security
  • FAT32 provides very little security. A user with access to a drive using FAT32 has access to the files on that drive.
  • NTFS allows the use of NTFS Permissions. It's much more difficult to implement, but folder and file access can be controlled individually, down to an an extreme degree if necessary. The down side of using NTFS Permissions is the chance for error and screwing up the system is greatly magnified.
  • Windows XP Professional supports file encryption.
    Compatibility
  • NTFS volumes are not recognized by Windows 95/98/Me. This is only a concern when the system is set up for dual or multi-booting. FAT32 must be be used for any drives that must be accessed when the computer is booted from Windows 95/98 or Windows Me.
  • An additional note to the previous statement. Users on the network have access to shared folders no matter what disk format is being used or what version of Windows is installed.
  • FAT and FAT32 volumes can be converted to NTFS volumes. NTFS cannot be converted to FAT32 without reformatting.
    Space Efficiency
  • NTFS supports disk quotas, allowing you to control the amount of disk usage on a per user basis.
  • NTFS supports file compression. FAT32 does not.
  • How a volume manages data is outside the scope of this article, but once you pass the 8GB partition size, NTFS handles space management much more efficiently than FAT32. Cluster sizes play an important part in how much disk space is wasted storing files. NTFS provides smaller cluster sizes and less disk space waste than FAT32.
    Reliability
  • FAT32 drives are much more susceptible to disk errors.
  • NTFS volumes have the ability to recover from errors more readily than similar FAT32 volumes.
  • Log files are created under NTFS which can be used for automatic file system repairs.
  • NTFS supports dynamic cluster remapping for bad sectors and prevent them from being used in the future.
Hopes this clears some things up!
 

lilvenom

macrumors member
Jun 30, 2007
63
1
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?
 

BlueArctos

macrumors member
Jun 17, 2007
89
0
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?
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?
 

lilvenom

macrumors member
Jun 30, 2007
63
1
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?
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.
 

crazy.fool

macrumors newbie
Feb 13, 2007
13
0
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..
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,530
32
Singapore
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..
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.
 

lonesoul

macrumors newbie
Jun 21, 2007
16
0
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?