What format for 1TB ext drive?

Piplodocus

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 2, 2008
200
44
Hello!

I've got a WD MyBook FW800/USB/eSATA 1TB drive. It was all one partition HFS+/GPT formatted.

Since it copies fast I figured I'd like to use it with PCs too as well though, to copy stuff about faster, so thought I might format it MBR instead of GPT, with 2 partitions: a FAT32 and an HFS+ partition. If it's MBR with a large HFS+, and smaller FAT32 partition, do I lose anything by it not being GPT/GUID?

Can I use a MBR formatted drive for Time Machine? Any other reasons GPT is preferable (except that it has a backup of the partition table at the end of the drive)? I could do with a bigger TM drive so have considered using it for this, but it seems silly to use the one with a Hi-Speed FW800 connection for that!

If I don't use it for TM I could format it all FAT32, but what do I lose from that? It won't search fast with Spotlight then will it?
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,419
768
FAT32
  • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
  • No individual file larger than 4GB.
NTFS
HFS
  • Read/Write HFS from native Mac OS X
  • To Read/Write HFS from Windows, Install MacDrive
  • To Read HFS (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
 

Piplodocus

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 2, 2008
200
44
Cheers for the quick reply.

NTFS is out as I want to natively read it from any mac, and HFS+ is out since I definitely don't want friends to have to install drivers to copy projects on/off my HDD.

Just want to know if it's worth having it partitioned with an HFS+ one on there too, and if MBR stops me doing anything (like using it for T.M.)
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,419
768
Cheers for the quick reply.

NTFS is out as I want to natively read it from any mac, and HFS+ is out since I definitely don't want friends to have to install drivers to copy projects on/off my HDD.

Just want to know if it's worth having it partitioned with an HFS+ one on there too, and if MBR stops me doing anything (like using it for T.M.)
http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1427
Time Machine can’t back up to an external disk that's connected to an AirPort Extreme, or to an iPod, iDisk, or a disk formatted for Microsoft Windows (NTFS or FAT format).
 

Piplodocus

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 2, 2008
200
44
Thanks for the link. It says what I expected about TM having to be HFS, but also says "If the disk is partitioned using the Master Boot Record (MBR) partition type, some partitions may not be available for use with Time Machine. The GUID Partition Table (GPT) or Apple Partition Map (APM) partition types are recommended."

So I guess I have to suck it and see! If the HFS on the MBR drive shows up in TM, it'll work! But it might not show up, and it's ominously not "recommended"! :eek:
 
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