Which file format is the best for me?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by hajime, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. hajime macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #1
    Hello, I use both Mac OS and Windows. In the past, I also used Linux. Some of the files created under Windows and/or Linux have very long names and some of the files are also written in Japanese. Could you please let me know the following?

    1. If I buy a 3T-4T drives to back up my current MBP and also to backup of previous backups (don't want to carry lots of small capability drives), which format should I use to format the drive? I remember that in the past, sometimes during copying, some files could not be copied due to long file names and/or size.

    2. I just connected a 2T FeeAgent GoFlex to my MBP. I used it about a year ago. For some reason, I cannot create a folder nor delete an empty folder. Do you know what is going on? Under Access rights, it says that it is read only! The file format is NTFS.

    Thanks.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    Most formats can handle long file names, except FAT32.
    OS X can read NTFS natively, but not write.

    Format A Hard Drive Using Disk Utility (which is in your /Applications/Utilities folder)
    Choose the appropriate format:
    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive) NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X [*]To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
      • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion and later)
      • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
      • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
      • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.
    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
    • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.
    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X. [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.
     
  3. illusionx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2014
    Location:
    Brossard, QC
    #3
    Which file format is the best for me?

    If using between windows and Mac a requirement, I usually use exFAT. It is the FAT file system, but without the 4gb file size limit and can be read with windows vista/7/8 or Mac OS 10.6+ (i think it is 10.6 I can't remember).

    I also try not to use exFAT for permanent storage. It is still a Microsoft file system after all.
     
  4. hajime, Aug 13, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014

    hajime thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #4
    FAT32 cannot handle external drive of over 2TB. Am I right?

    exFAT has no compatible issues between the latest Mac OS, Windows, Linux. It also has no file size limitation. However, it only supports from 10.6.5. What if I have some files under "Leopard" 10.5?

    It seems that there is no file format that can accommodate my requirements. Shall I buy two large external drives. One for backing up Mac OS and the other for backing up Windows?

    I don't recall the details. It is something like: Over 10 years ago, I backed up from Windows using drag and drop. For the past few years, I also use WinClone to back up the Bootcamp partition. Sometimes I back up Mac OS which includes a backup made by WinClone. I don't use Mac Drive. If I format a drive to HFS+ and use it to backup my Mac. What about those file size and length of file size limitations in the WinClone backup?
     
  5. illusionx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2014
    Location:
    Brossard, QC
    #5
    You can get a larger drive and have 2 partitions.
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    Yes, as stated in my earlier post.
    It doesn't matter what format or OS was used to create the file. You can copy those files to an exFAT volume. You just need to be sure that the OS you're running supports exFAT.
    You can install Paragon on OS X. Then both OS X and Windows can share NTFS volumes.
    If you want to back up OS X, including system files, you'll need the HFS+ format, as stated in my earlier post. You don't need to buy two drives. You can buy one drive and partition it, with one HFS+ partition and one NTFS or exFAT partition.
    If you want to back up system files or clone your drive, you need to back up OS X and Windows separately. I recommend using Carbon Copy Cloner to create a bootable clone of your Mac's internal drive. If you have Windows installed in Boot Camp, you need to back that up separately, preferably to an NTFS volume.
     
  7. hajime, Aug 13, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014

    hajime thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #7
    Thanks for the info.

    I need two drives as I got lots of data over the past 10 years. I have several drives <= 1T.

    Which Paragon software are you talking about? Do you mean NTFS for Mac OS 11?
    I have Paragon Hard Disk Manager Professional 12 for Windows

    To backup Mac, I have been using Super Duper.

    I just tried to copy the contents of one drive to another under Windows. It happened a few times that the copying was on hold with requests saying that the copy of some files (.dll) could not be done. What is the best way to copy the contents from one drive to another under Windows?
     
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #8
    If you click the Paragon link under the NTFS section of my first post, it will take you to the site where you can buy it.
    That's fine. The one big difference between SD and CCC is CCC will also clone the OS X Recovery Partition.... SD won't.
    I've always just used drag and drop... the only problems I encounter is if a file is in use by another app.
     
  9. hajime thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #9
    Thank you very much for the info about CCC. So, it is better to use it especially if one is using recent MBP with SSD that has a hidden Recovery Partition. I guess in this case, CCC will be very helpful to clone the entire drive if the internal one is defective.

    So, with the Paragon software, one can access NTFS and Mac OS at the same time. What advantage does it has in regard to backing up the Mac/Bootcamp system? Sometimes I just run Fusion and drag and drop files/folders between Mac OS and Windows 7.
     
  10. hajime, Aug 14, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014

    hajime thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #11
    Yes, with CCC, if your internal drive fails, you can simply boot from the cloned drive and keep running, with everything intact.
    OS X can read NTFS volumes, but not write to them natively. Paragon enables formatting and writing to NTFS volumes from OS X.
    It is not needed for backing up the Boot Camp Windows partition, as Windows can read/write to NTFS natively.
     
  12. hajime thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #12
    Thank you. At least few years ago, it was good to use Time Machine because of the ease to migrate from old Mac to new Mac. I just used Time Machine to backup the old Mac. Then, after buying a new machine, used it to migrate all my files to the new system. I did happen that Time Machine was not reliable few years ago.

    How reliable is Time Machine these days?
    For migration, it is better than CCC?
    Can CCC be used for migration as well?
     
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #13
    From what I understand, TM is quite reliable, although I don't use it. I prefer the functionality of CCC. For migration, you can use either, but TM may be more suitable for that. Perhaps someone who uses TM can address that question.
     
  14. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #14

    As CCC makes an exact clone of your drive, yes. When I upgraded my MBP to an SSD, I put my original drive in an external enclosure. During the install and setup of Mavericks, I told it I was migrating from another Mac, pointed to the old drive in the enclosure as "the other Mac" and it pulled all my stuff over.
     
  15. hajime thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #15
    Thanks.

    My current setup is rMBP 15" (OS 10.8.5) with an external 2T drive. So, before I lose access to my computer, I just use CCC to make an exact clone. Then, after buying a new laptop (with Mavericks or Yosemite installed), use the Migration function to copy my data, settings and programs to the new computer?
     
  16. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #16
    That's pretty much how mine worked, except I was working with a single laptop. Someone else with CCC experience may need to chime in if I'm wrong but if it works the way people say it does, your plan should work.
     
  17. illusionx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2014
    Location:
    Brossard, QC
    #17
    Which file format is the best for me?


    You should upgrade it to 10.9 and clone it. Then you could just boot off the CCC clone and use CCC to clone itself back to your new Mac unless it is a 10.10 machine that will not support 10.9.

    That way you could avoid using migration assistant.
     

Share This Page