Using FAT32 External HDD in Vista 64 Bit

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by IronLung, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. IronLung macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2008
    So I just bought a 320GB External Harddrive, it can use USB 2.0, Firewire 400 or Firewire 800.

    I bought it intending to use it as my time machine backup HDD and to use it to transfer files between my OSX partition and my Vista 64 Bit partition installed using bootcamp on my new MacBook pro. I'm assuming the drive is formatted FAT32 since it says on the box "FOR MAC."

    I hook the HDD up in OSX with the firewire 800 cable and it works brilliantly. When I restart and go into windows the drive appears in the hardware manager and the disk management but I have no way to access the drive. It doesn't appear in My Computer or give me an autoplay prompt.

    Is it because I have it hooked up with FireWire 800? Should I try it with USB? Will that make a difference? Is there a driver or something I should download?
  2. dimme macrumors 65816

    Feb 14, 2007
    SF, CA
    I have a external HD which is FAT32 hooked up via firewire 400 and works without a problem. USB flash drives are also no problem. Hope this helps
  3. tuinte macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2008
    "FOR MAC" isn't FAT32

    "FOR MAC" would indicate it's formatted HFS+ (Mac OS Extended), not FAT32. FAT32 is an old format that both Windows and Mac OS X can read and write from, which is why it's the appropriate format when setting an external hard drive up to transfer between the two.

    To reformat, plug it into your Mac, open Disk Utility (Spotlight it), select the drive, Erase and select the Format option to FAT32 and reformat. Voila, now it'll be FAT32.

  4. iShater macrumors 604


    Aug 13, 2002
    While FAT32 would be nice to share files, I recommend that for your TM and other Mac-only needs to have a HFS+ partition on the drive. To take advantage of the max capacity of the drive and to keep all the extra info OSX likes to store.
  5. dimme macrumors 65816

    Feb 14, 2007
    SF, CA
    True I also found FAT32 to be slower copying files in OS X

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