whats best to format my USB drive for sharing to PC's

Discussion in 'macOS' started by zoran, Jul 30, 2017.

  1. zoran macrumors 68030

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    Jun 30, 2005
    #1
    What kind of file system should i prefer to format my usb drive if i wanted to make use of it to pc's and mac's? I know that there is exFAT available, but what happened to Fat32, i dont see it there anymore.
    Can the use of exFAT be limiting me to share files on certain PC's?
     
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    Jul 24, 2009
    #2
    How many windows system vs Mac?

    I would format the drive on a windows pc to ntfs personally as I’m able to read and write to ntfs with my Mac. If it was one windows machine and multiple macs I’d do it the other way round
     
  3. zoran thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #3
    Does formatting to ntfs have any limitation in read/write on a Mac, an older Mac perhaps?
     
  4. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    #4
    Yes. You either have to install software or use a home brew solution to enable writing to ntfs.
     
  5. SteveJobzniak Suspended

    SteveJobzniak

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    Dec 24, 2015
    #5
    @zoran Use the trial for Tuxera, which is the fastest, safest and most compatible NTFS driver for Mac: http://www.tuxera.com/products/tuxera-ntfs-for-mac/

    You can format the drive as NTFS with that and the resulting drive is 100% compatible with Windows.

    Software updates are free for life.
     
  6. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #6
    You said that you don't see a choice for Fat32. That choice is named "MS-DOS (FAT)", so that is also an option for you.
    I looked at my older Mac, running Mavericks, and the MS-DOS choice only appears when erasing the device (with all partitions), and not on one single partition, so maybe that's why you don't see it, until you choose the device line to erase the drive.
     
  7. SteveJobzniak Suspended

    SteveJobzniak

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    #7
    The 1970s/80s file format FAT/FAT32 is great if you don't care about losing your data. :D

    I suggest NTFS with a proper driver for your Mac.
     
  8. zoran thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #8
    Guys, are there any reasons that exFAT is better than FAT32 (or vice versa?)
     
  9. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #9
    Quite a few reasons that exFAT is better than FAT32.
    (It's easy to find that info :D )
    Quickest is that FAT32 cannot hold files larger than 4GB. exFAT file size limit is 16EB - hundreds of thousands times larger.
    One disadvantage with exFAT, is that it is less likely to be supported on other systems than FAT32. (You can't always just plug it in, and expect it to work on every device, like FAT32 will.

    This article appears to show everything you ever would want to know to compare FAT32 to exFAT (and NTFS, too!)
     
  10. zoran thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #10
    Can you give an example where exFAT might not be supported compared to FAT32?
     
  11. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    #11
    It's supported back to Windows XP and Mac OS 10.6, so it's really not much of a problem. The only device that I've had trouble with is a Toshiba Blu-ray player.
     
  12. zoran thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #12
    Oh so i guess problems would occur mostly when plugging it in devices and not operating systems!
     
  13. Fishrrman macrumors G4

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #13
    My advice (take it for what it cost you):

    DO NOT use a "cross-formatted" drive (i.e., usable on both Mac and PC) on which to store Mac files that are important to you.

    Use ONLY a "Mac-formatted" drive (HFS+ with journaling enabled).

    I've read reports of where someone was using a cross-formatted drive, took the drive to a PC (and then did something), and took it back to the Mac and.... POOF! The Mac files were gone.

    If you have important files from the Mac, store them on an HFS+ drive.

    If you need to exchange files between a Mac and a PC, use a SECOND drive for this purpose, cross-formatted. It could even be a USB flash drive of sufficient capacity.
     
  14. SteveJobzniak Suspended

    SteveJobzniak

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    #14
    @Fishrrman The Tuxera NTFS driver for Mac stores all Mac-specific data in NTFS "resource forks" (extended attributes). Nothing is lost by using a NTFS drive on both Windows and Mac when you have Tuxera.
     
  15. zoran thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Jun 30, 2005
    #15
    Fishrrman thanks for the advice.
    Just so you all know, im not gonna be storing important files on the usb flash disk, i only want to be able to make file transfers from Mac to PC and vice versa.
     
  16. zoran thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Jun 30, 2005
    #16
    Guys i formated my USB drive with exFat, copied the ElCapitan installation file but when i double clicked it in order to install it, i got the msg i attach. What went wrong?
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Crash0veride, Sep 5, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017

    Crash0veride macrumors regular

    Crash0veride

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    Cincinnati
    #17
    MacOS install programs are different from most and won't run off of a drive formatted to anything besides hfs+ or, maybe, apfs in future versions. Might want to try with another application, but other executables (apps/programs) should be okay.

    I'd go ExFAT for cross-compatability. There is no perfect solution. I've used "paragon ntfs" before, it works pretty well most of the time, but I've had issues where I had to uninstall it to get disk utility to work right and reinstall it. Worth some cash if you have the cash to spare — if only for the reason that a friend/co-worker might be trying to get you to use their ntfs drive — and an easy cross-compatibility setup.
     
  18. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
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    #18
    The message that you see tells you how to fix it - you need to run the El Capitan installer app from a Mac OS Extended-format disk.

    Or, even better, use the El Capitan installer app to make a bootable USB flash drive. You can do that from the terminal, or if you have access to another Mac (or you don't care to use the terminal for this), use one of the good apps that make that task quick and easy. There's DiskMakerX, or Install Disk Creator.
     

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