Which format of drive formatting should I choose?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by NXTMIKE, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. NXTMIKE macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2008
    So I'm formatting my 500GB portable external HD after a failure from it and I'd like to know what format I should use when I format and partition the drive. I'd have two partitions, one for Time Machine, and the other to store data that will be occasionally shuffled between Macs and PCs.

    I'd be formatting and partitioning from within Disk Utility and here are the formats available :

    Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
    Mac OS Extended
    Mac OS Extended (Case Sensitive, Journaled)
    Mac OS Extended (Case Sensitive)
    MS-DOS (FAT)

  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    The Time Machine partition must be Mac OS Extended (journaled) (or, if you need, case sensitive will also work). The other partition can be FAT, if you need to read/write natively from Windows.
  3. celticpride678

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boston, MA
    The Time Machine partition will be formatted automatically, don't worry about that. To be able to view the second partition in both Windows and Mac OS X, format it is MS-DOS (FAT). To be able to view it only in Mac OS X, select Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
  4. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040


    Sep 28, 2008
    Depending on you PC needs, you can download and install NTFS-3G which will enable your Mac to both read and write to an NTFS partition and also add the NTFS formatting option to Disk Utility.

    Since the installation of that utility is not a given, if you'll be using multiple Macs, stick to FAT for the shared partition.

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