Use same partition on osx and windows?

lordduck

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 9, 2015
3
0
Hello all, new here. I have finally switched to a Mac. Tired of all the problems I'm having with my windows laptop. I ordered a retina macbook pro, 15inches with 1tb harddrive.

I'll mainly use this laptop for school, I'm studying computer networking (we use a lot of virtual machines). Problem is, I'll be using a lot of windows program in those classes. I'm aware of the possibility of using visualization, and while I will use those, I'd still like to have a native windows install of my laptop.

I thought of something and let me know if it's possible. I'll divide my internal hdd in 3 : 1/4 space for Mac partition, 1/4 for windows 8.1 partition and the other half would be for all my user files. Music, movies, comic books, virtual machines, downloads and such. Each system partition would be used only for installing programs used with those system, and all user files would be on the bigger of the partitions.

I know mac uses a different file system than windows, but I know it's possible to install drivers to limit that problem, paragon-ntfs for mac and macdrive hfs+ for windows.

Would it be possible to have the bigger of the 3 partition formatted as ntfs and use one of those drivers so I could read and write on that disk no problem with whichever OS I'm using?

Once I'm finished with school I'll switch to mac completely but right now I still need to use windows :/

Thanks for the help guys and sorry if some parts (or all of it) of this message didn't make sense, english isn't my main language.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,682
2,103
Just use EXfat

Hello all, new here. I have finally switched to a Mac. Tired of all the problems I'm having with my windows laptop. I ordered a retina macbook pro, 15inches with 1tb harddrive.

I'll mainly use this laptop for school, I'm studying computer networking (we use a lot of virtual machines). Problem is, I'll be using a lot of windows program in those classes. I'm aware of the possibility of using visualization, and while I will use those, I'd still like to have a native windows install of my laptop.

I thought of something and let me know if it's possible. I'll divide my internal hdd in 3 : 1/4 space for Mac partition, 1/4 for windows 8.1 partition and the other half would be for all my user files. Music, movies, comic books, virtual machines, downloads and such. Each system partition would be used only for installing programs used with those system, and all user files would be on the bigger of the partitions.

I know mac uses a different file system than windows, but I know it's possible to install drivers to limit that problem, paragon-ntfs for mac and macdrive hfs+ for windows.

Would it be possible to have the bigger of the 3 partition formatted as ntfs and use one of those drivers so I could read and write on that disk no problem with whichever OS I'm using?

Once I'm finished with school I'll switch to mac completely but right now I still need to use windows :/

Thanks for the help guys and sorry if some parts (or all of it) of this message didn't make sense, english isn't my main language.

That sounds a complete pain in the butt why not just use exfat.
 

leman

macrumors G3
Oct 14, 2008
9,963
4,550
I would certainly not recommend anything like this. You are likely to run into severe stability issues.

That sounds a complete pain in the butt why not just use exfat.
Because its just a question of time when you start losing your data.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,682
2,103
Not true

I would certainly not recommend anything like this. You are likely to run into severe stability issues.



Because its just a question of time when you start losing your data.
on modern OS's Exfat is pretty damn stable. If you were using Ubuntu you might have problems with permissions etc, but that is all built into OSX and Windows.
 

leman

macrumors G3
Oct 14, 2008
9,963
4,550
on modern OS's Exfat is pretty damn stable. If you were using Ubuntu you might have problems with permissions etc, but that is all built into OSX and Windows.
Essentially, exFAT is a very simple file system that has very little protection from corruption built in (e.g. journaling). I would certainly not use it for my data.
 

leman

macrumors G3
Oct 14, 2008
9,963
4,550
In general, if the application needs direct access to GPU (either for 3D acceleration or for GPGPU via OpenCL and friends), then I would not use it in the VM. GPU virtualisation options exist but AFAIK, they are not supported under OS X.
 

Merode

macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2013
520
332
Warszawa, Poland
OP, you can do that if I understand you well.

Partition table looks like that:
1) OS X partition - 1/4 of HD space formatted as HFS+
2) Windows partition - 1/4 of HD space formatted as NTFS
3) Shared partition - 1/2 of HD space formatted as NTFS

You might run into problems when installing Windows. It doesn't like Core Storage and other stuff. Chances are it will not agree to coexist (at least Windows 10 beta didn't for me) with OS X.

If you succed here, it will be smooth as butter. Just install NTFS drivers for OS X so it can see other partitions.

To be honest, NTFS is VASTLY superior to HFS+ which should have been retired long time ago. You're less likely to lose data and run into filesystem issues which are nothing extraordinary with HFS+.

If Windows installation succeds there's really no reason to halt you.
 

lordduck

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 9, 2015
3
0
OP, you can do that if I understand you well.

Partition table looks like that:
1) OS X partition - 1/4 of HD space formatted as HFS+
2) Windows partition - 1/4 of HD space formatted as NTFS
3) Shared partition - 1/2 of HD space formatted as NTFS

You might run into problems when installing Windows. It doesn't like Core Storage and other stuff. Chances are it will not agree to coexist (at least Windows 10 beta didn't for me) with OS X.

If you succed here, it will be smooth as butter. Just install NTFS drivers for OS X so it can see other partitions.

To be honest, NTFS is VASTLY superior to HFS+ which should have been retired long time ago. You're less likely to lose data and run into filesystem issues which are nothing extraordinary with HFS+.

If Windows installation succeds there's really no reason to halt you.

Thanks, that's what I was looking for. One question though, why would I run into problems installing windows, I thought with bootcamp it was a fairly simple process? Does it mess things up to have a 3rd partition?
 

Merode

macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2013
520
332
Warszawa, Poland
Thanks, that's what I was looking for. One question though, why would I run into problems installing windows, I thought with bootcamp it was a fairly simple process? Does it mess things up to have a 3rd partition?
It won't mess up any partitions. Last time I installed Windows via BootCamp was with Mavericks and it went smooth.

Recently I tried installing Windows 10 via BootCamp and it just hanged up when downloading BootCamp tools for Windows (drivers etc.). The install media was created though so I proceeded to install it (you can download aforementioned stuff later). Unfortunately Windows didn't want to install on specifically prepared partition formatted with NTFS in Windows installer. It was giving general error.

It might be the nature of Windows 10 beta, but I haven't heard about any issues. The other possibility is Core Storage volume manager that was enabled (or rather volumes were converted to it) to all users installing Yosemite. I don't know how Windows treats it.

Either way, try it. It simply won't install if something goes wrong. You risk nothing, but still - make backup.
 

dusk007

macrumors 68040
Dec 5, 2009
3,383
61
I don't know where some adive here comes from.

It is totally fine to split partitions in such a way and will not mess anything up. An HFS+ partition and an NTFS partition for OSX and Windows work perfectly well next to each other. Everybody has it.
VM performance is still a long way from native. You simply cannot do games in VMs (and in all honesty that is what 95% of people running Windows on Macs need it for) and everything else is also only good enough at best in a VM.
Word and simple browser also feel like you work on a 4 generation old hardware when inside a VM. You must have really low demands if a VM feel just as good. It is convenient that is all.

exFat is only a good file system if all you do is store videos and pictures. If there is work data or you may even install programs (like big games when the windows partition runs out) NTFS is a far better choice.
I always found NTFS drivers like paragons work better than trying it the otherway around. NTFS is the best choice for the data partition.

While it is easy to reroute the Windows media/data folders/libraries to the data partition. OSX's are really difficult to reroute. It can be done with symbolic links but I tried and it isn't worth the hassle. Put video and picture libraries wherever you want but don't try any of the other folders and keep documents where it is. It is easier to sync folders than to use the same.

Generally you can keep the Windows partition fairly small if you just install all big apps on the data ntfs partition. Windows has no problem with that it is very flexible. OSX throws a fit when not everything is just how it always has had it. Though some app packages can also lie externally. You can manage iphoto libraries manually with a tool like "iphoto library manager" (google it) and put the libraries wherever. Videos I only manage manually and I use Spotify so Music is easy but iTunes allows changing the folder location. Just change iTunes settings rather than changing the symbolic link of the Music folder. Tried that iTunes doesn't like it. Goes crazy. Was some hassle to get everything working again.
In Windows just change the libraries. It is really really easy and works perfectly well.
 

austinpike

macrumors 6502
Oct 5, 2008
313
44
MN
Does it mess things up to have a 3rd partition?
It doesn't mess anything up, but Apple only allows to you set up one extra partition with Bootcamp Assistant. You can of course partition it into 3 yourself with Disk Utility, but things get really picky when you start installing Windows - it has to be installed on a particular partition in the sequence, and each OS likes to create small invisible partitions which have to be counted. It has been forever since I've done it, so I have no idea what the process was (and even if you find a step-by-step online, chances are something is going to pop up that isn't covered.) It sounds like it shouldn't be that difficult, but I would be prepared for some trial and error. Fortunately reinstalling goes a lot faster these days with SSDs than with platter HDs.

Lots of Googling to be done on the topic. https://discussions.apple.com/thread/6462727

I ran my laptop like that for years with a third exFAT partition with no problems. I'm a bit non-trusting of utilities that allow you to write NTFS/HFS (justified or not, I don't know, I seem to recall having an issue awhile back and wrote them off.) Whatever you do, I'd say just have a good backup strategy.

If you are going to run the third partition as NTFS, you might be better off creating a 750GB Windows partition, and than split out the 500GB from within Windows (I think you can do that.) On the other hand, if you are doing it as NTFS, if there even any benefit to partitioning it off? Just keep your data on the Windows side.
 

cjmillsnun

macrumors 68020
Aug 28, 2009
2,399
45
That sounds a complete pain in the butt why not just use exfat.
Just. No. I've lost data to ExFAT.

OP: NTFS and Paragon seems like a good call to me. Obviously as someone doing a computer related course, then you know the importance of backups. Otherwise, I think you're golden with the choices you've made.
 

Freyqq

macrumors 601
Dec 13, 2004
4,014
166
I think everyone in the thread is aware of this. The OP was talking about using Paragon NTFS.
I am aware, but I wouldn't suggest relying on a third party for something as fundamental as file system support.

----------

Thanks, that's what I was looking for. One question though, why would I run into problems installing windows, I thought with bootcamp it was a fairly simple process? Does it mess things up to have a 3rd partition?
You are correct, this won't work. Now that I think about it, I even tried this exact setup once. The way apple did their MBR/GPT hybrid, it only allows up to 4 partitions total. OSX creates 2 and Windows creates 2, basically 1 for data and 1 for a restore partition. If you make a fifth, windows isn't recognized and you have to reinstall windows. The only way around this is to install a 3rd party bootloader, which is a huge pain.

The best solution is probably to use cloud storage to keep important data on both partitions in sync.
 

leman

macrumors G3
Oct 14, 2008
9,963
4,550
To be honest, NTFS is VASTLY superior to HFS+ which should have been retired long time ago. You're less likely to lose data and run into filesystem issues which are nothing extraordinary with HFS+.
This is simply not true. NTFS is newer, that's all. From a technical standpoint, there are not many reasons to prefer one to another. HFS+ appears to be somewhat faster in many practical cases. As far as stability goes, there is not much difference. And - there are certainly much better filesystems than those two.
 

austinpike

macrumors 6502
Oct 5, 2008
313
44
MN
You are correct, this won't work.... The only way around this is to install a 3rd party bootloader, which is a huge pain.
It works without a third party bootloader. I've done it. It took probably 2-3 tries to get the right things formatted at the right time in the process to make Windows happy, but it is possible.

Edit: to be fair, I did it under windows 7 with snow leopard, which afaik did not create a recovery partition. Apparently it is still possible but you may have to delete the recovery partition before installing windows. https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3293948?start=0. Or maybe it is all different now with windows 8, sounds like a challenge....
 
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lordduck

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 9, 2015
3
0
It works without a third party bootloader. I've done it. It took probably 2-3 tries to get the right things formatted at the right time in the process to make Windows happy, but it is possible.

Edit: to be fair, I did it under windows 7 with snow leopard, which afaik did not create a recovery partition. Apparently it is still possible but you may have to delete the recovery partition before installing windows. https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3293948?start=0. Or maybe it is all different now with windows 8, sounds like a challenge....

Thanks everyone for the suggestions and help, I really appreciate it.

Since this will be a new computer with no personal files on it, I don't mind trying this setup a couple times, if I have to reinstall OSX then I don't lose anything except a bit of time. If it works, great, if it doesn't well at least I tried and I'll put everthing on an external disk and be done with it.

And yes, I will be doing backups daily.

And typing that I have a question that pops to mind. Is there a way to do a total disk backup. What I mean is, in windows I'll be able to do a backup of the windows partition (and maybe data partition), and in mac I'll be able to do mac backup. That's two operations to back everything up. Is there a way to do a full hdd backup regardless of OS and file types and such in only one operation?

It's not the end of the world if this is not possible. I'll do a backup of one OS partition a night, and the other partition on the other night which is still good.