Swapping Hard Drives Between Mac & PC?

shane0mac

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 12, 2006
32
0
alberta, canadia!
I have a 320g external hard drive that I am trying to use between PC and my Macbook. It works fine with one exception; I cannot write or modify files on the HD from the Macbook. I understand that Mac cannot write on NTFS, however I was hoping there would be some way of getting around this without formatting to FAT32.

Thanks
 

vand0576

macrumors member
Aug 11, 2006
61
0
saint paul, mn
shane0mac said:
I have a 320g external hard drive that I am trying to use between PC and my Macbook. It works fine with one exception; I cannot write or modify files on the HD from the Macbook. I understand that Mac cannot write on NTFS, however I was hoping there would be some way of getting around this without formatting to FAT32.

Thanks
I don't know that much about the topic, but since no one has offered any help:

FAT32 is the only format that I know of that will allow you fully functionality on both systems. Perhaps a better way to share files is to set up network access on the two systems, that is if they are sharing a router. It's easy, I just googled it and found out how to do it easily. The file transfers aren't the best speed, but it saves you the hassle of having to swap it and and out of each machine. I can easily access files on my PC from my mac and vice-versa. Very nice.

-AJ
 

tcsdoc

macrumors newbie
Oct 12, 2006
7
0
I thought Samba was a program allowing Mac's to access NTFS partitions. I'm also new to Mac's but haven't tried to hook an external PC hard drive yet. Also, I believe there is a Hybrid partition or some scheme to allow mutual sharing.
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,869
1,344
New Zealand
tcsdoc said:
I thought Samba was a program allowing Mac's to access NTFS partitions.
Samba allows you to access SMB-shared NTFS partitions residing on a Windows computer. It doesn't work for local drives.

shane0mac said:
yea, i was hoping to possible format half of the harddrive as fat32 and the other half as ntfs.

Does anyone know if that is possible???
It certainly is. I don't know whether it's possible to set it up on the Mac side, but you can create two partitions in Windows using Disk Administrator (I have a feeling that the name has changed in XP, but I can't think what it's called now).
 

shane0mac

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 12, 2006
32
0
alberta, canadia!
i have heard that FAT32 is much less stable than NTFS, resulting in read errors ect. Does anyone have any experience with the stability(or instability) of FAT32?
 

ddekker

macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2006
222
0
Michigan
fat32

I purchased a maxtor "one touch" hard drive... has been awesome, fat32 as far as I know only has trouble if you shut down in the middle of something, I know its not known to be stabel, but I in my many years have never had a problem... then again besides the one touch I haven't used it since 98... I did a little write up on my site about NTFS so take a read (don't feel bad to click on an adsense while your at it...lol... sorry ) but I have never had a problem with a file system... hard drives have died, but never had a file system fail... you?

DD
 

Sesshi

macrumors G3
Jun 3, 2006
8,113
1
One Nation Under Gordon
FAT32's directory structure is less robust than NTFS... significantly less robust. It also has maximum file size limitations (4Gb). However it's the only reliable way you'll be able to share local drives between Mac & Win.

You can buy a (Windows) program called Partitionmagic to re-jig partitions on the fly if what you're asking is if it is possible to shrink the NTFS partition to half of the drives size and add in a FAT32 partition. If you don't mind losing the data on the drive, then create an NTFS partition in Windows half the drive's size and add in a MS-DOS partition on the Mac (Windows cannot format FAT32 partitions over 32Gb in size).
 

rani

macrumors newbie
Oct 14, 2006
3
0
I am having the same issue

I have the same issue!
File systems are all explained here:
http://guides.macrumors.com/Drives_and_Filesystems
The best way to have a drive that can be read by both is by using FAT32.

You can use disk utility for formatting the disk to FAT32.
I tried doing that but disk utility gets stuck for hours.
I am looking for other tools but can not find any.
The problem is that the drive can not be accessed by Windows anymore!
 

rani

macrumors newbie
Oct 14, 2006
3
0
Solved it

I used partition Magic on windows to format the drive to FAT32.
I know that people say FAT 32 is less stable, but I need something that can always be shared.

My advice is to stick to FAT32 .
 
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