What format..

CNU182

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 9, 2003
238
0
do i have to use in order to be able to use my external 250gb hard drive with both windows and mac os 10.


thanks
 

whenpaulsparks

macrumors regular
Jun 5, 2004
210
1
Tallahassee, FL
*cringes* - FAT32. but i don't recommend it. Mac OS X, or atleast on intel macs, can read NTFS if that's all you need on the mac side, but no write support, and you need MacDrive for windows to use HFS+. but with FAT32... expect problems if you do any kind of heavy data mangling.
 

Rapmastac1

macrumors 65816
Aug 5, 2006
1,115
46
In the Depths of the SLC!
"heavy data mangling", what do you mean by this, I use Fat32 between my computer and OSX should I change it? And this program, will it let me read data and write data between pc and mac and have the Mac organization (wutever it's called, Fat 32, NTFS ect.).
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,368
973
New England
FAT32 is limited, slow and is prone to corruption, which is why it has been deprecated in favor of NTFS for Windows installs.

That doesn't mean it doesn't work, just that when it breaks it's ugly.

B
 

pizzach

macrumors member
Mar 1, 2005
98
0
Canada
Rapmastac1 said:
"heavy data mangling", what do you mean by this, I use Fat32 between my computer and OSX should I change it? And this program, will it let me read data and write data between pc and mac and have the Mac organization (wutever it's called, Fat 32, NTFS ect.).
To put things in perspective you have to remember how old FAT32 is....didn't it come out with Win95? Most modern filesystems have journaling for file protection nowadays.
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,368
973
New England
pizzach said:
To put things in perspective you have to remember how old FAT32 is....didn't it come out with Win95? Most modern filesystems have journaling for file protection nowadays.
And also remember that FAT32 is just a hack of the original floppy file system MS developed for DOS way back when (1981). They've just extended it from 12 bits to 16 and then 32 to handle larger discs and files.

B
 

brandon6684

Guest
Dec 30, 2002
538
0
Unfortunately FAT32 is the universal file system. Sure it may be limited and no complex, but that's basically why everyone has implemented it too.
 

displaced

macrumors 65816
Jun 23, 2003
1,425
180
Gravesend, United Kingdom
whenpaulsparks said:
*cringes* - FAT32. but i don't recommend it. Mac OS X, or atleast on intel macs, can read NTFS if that's all you need on the mac side, but no write support, and you need MacDrive for windows to use HFS+. but with FAT32... expect problems if you do any kind of heavy data mangling.
Yeah, I get nervous with large partitions in FAT32. Besides the fact that it isn't the most robust filesystem in the universe, it's also terribly inefficient on large partitions. Essentially, all FAT systems break down space into clusters which are in proportion to the size of the partition, and are the smallest possible unit of allocation. As the partition size increases, so does the size of each cluster. Since even a file only 8 bytes in size will use an entire cluster, you could be wasting a heck of a lot of space.

Personally, I've stumped up the cash for Mediafour's MacDrive software so that my Windows system can read and write Mac HFS+ formatted partitions. It's been absolutely rock solid in over 2 years of use. I get full compatibility and performance in Windows, whilst keeping all the advantages of HFS+ (journalling, metadata, sensible file allocation).
 

nplima

macrumors 6502a
Apr 26, 2006
606
0
UK
Ext2...

Mac OS X, or atleast on intel macs, can read NTFS if that's all you need on the mac side, but no write support, and you need MacDrive for windows to use HFS+
For some time there has been NTFS read only support in some Linux distributions, while full support is harder to get because the NTFS specification is a MS trade secret. I don't know about OS X but under linux, the use of NTFS is experimental and not recommended for more than file recovery prior to re-instalation of a broken OS...

On the other hand, since the specification for EXT2 is open for anyone to use it, there is a kernel driver for Windows XP to use EXT2 partitions. I've been using it for a couple of months now and it works.

http://www.fs-driver.org/

If the demand is there, I'm sure it would be possible to make a OS X version of it, which IMHO would be much more interesting than to extend the use of NTFS from Windows to other operating systems.

So, FAT32 is a good example of what the user gets when stubborn people keep forcing their own proprietary solutions instead of an open, freely available anternative... :-/