Windows XP and External Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Gryfon19, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. Gryfon19 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #1
    I have a Mac Mini and plan to install Windows XP using Boot Camp. I also have a hard drive I will be using as an external hard drive using the Mini Stack. Will I be able to save to both the internal and external hard drive in OS X and Windows? Basically, can I save both file types in both hard drives (ie. photos, games, mp3's, etc.)? Thanks!
     
  2. Fleetwood Mac macrumors 65816

    Fleetwood Mac

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    That all depends on what formats you choose to use for your external drive and BootCamp partition.

    Mac OS X can:
    -Read/write HFS and FAT partitions.
    -Read NTFS partitions.

    Windows can:
    -Read/write NTFS and FAT partitions.
    -Can not read/write HFS partitions. (Unless you purchase MacDrive)

    Plan your partitioning shcme carefully and feel free to ask for more hlep. Its a PITA to change later on.
     
  3. Gryfon19 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #3
    So it essentially seems I need to format FAT so that the whole hard drive can be used by both OS's, right? Otherwise, I will need to partition it into certain sizes and format each partition accordingly it seems. I would rather just keep it simple. That said, what are the advantages/disadvantages of using FAT? Thanks!
     
  4. Fleetwood Mac macrumors 65816

    Fleetwood Mac

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    I should have been more clear. While Mac OS can read FAT, it can't actually be installed on a FAT disk. Moreover, there is a file size limit of 4GB with FAT.

    When I was running BootCamp on my mini I just installed Windows on the partition that BootCamp created. I used NTFS. I had this partition scheme:

    Mac mini internal 60GB
    -40GB = Mac OS (HFS)
    -20GB = Windows (NTFS)

    External 250GB

    -200GB = Mac OS storage (HFS)
    -50GB = Transitional partition (FAT)

    Because the transitional partition was accessible by both Mac OS and Windows, I used it to transfer files between the two. I tried many other partition methods, but this was the most productive for me. I should say that I am primarily a Mac user, and only dip into Windows for compatibility checking (I'm a web-designer) and a few other Windows-only apps.

    Once I replaced all the PCs with Macs, I started using Parallels. If you can afford it, its the best option (unless your into gaming). It doesn't require any of this partition nonsense.
     
  5. Gryfon19 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #5
    I think I understand it better now. Essentially, I should probably partition both my internal and external hard drives to reflect the amount of space I anticipate needing for each OS. I expect to generally use OS X for just about everything except for apps that run only on Windows. More specifically, I have a few games I would still like to play. Besides them, I don't think I have to have Windows for much else. Not exactly sure about the amount of space I will allocate just yet, but it's a start. Thanks!
     
  6. Fleetwood Mac macrumors 65816

    Fleetwood Mac

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    Thats right. Its difficult to find the right balance, but that's because its different for everyone. If your in to games I'd set aside a bit more than 20GB for windows. Anyways, good luck.
     
  7. Gryfon19 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #7
    I don't yet have the external hard drive enclosure and want to go ahead and do a fresh install of OS X and then BootCamp/Windows on the Mac Mini. Can I set up the external hard drive later and still:

    1) first access it as it is to pull some files off it (PC burned out before I could get them)
    2) then re-format and partition the external drive so that it works with both Mac OS X and Windows?

    Basically, can I set up the external hard drive after the fact? Thanks!
     
  8. Fleetwood Mac macrumors 65816

    Fleetwood Mac

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    Yes, you can repartition the external drive at any time. Just keep in mind that everything is deleted from the drive when you format.

    The program you use to do this can be found at Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.
     
  9. WirelessInn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Location:
    New Mexico
    #9
    Windows XP and External Hard Drive

    Interesting scheme: I am looking for same config myself. BUTWAITAMINUTE: your Transitional FAT Partition is 50b: I thought that FAT partitions could only be 32gb max??

    - Roger T
     
  10. Fleetwood Mac macrumors 65816

    Fleetwood Mac

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
    #10
    Its an artificial limit created by Windows to encourage use of NTFS. I found a way around it.. I can't remember how, sorry. Your options are to find a workaround or create two FAT partitions if you need more space.
     
  11. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #11
    The HDD manufacturers often have FAT32 formatting tools for Windows on their websites.

    e.g. http://support.wdc.com/download/downloadxml.asp#43

    Seagate DiscWizard, ...

    Or just use the fat32 formatting tools in Linux, OS X, etc... that don't follow Microsoft's artificial limitations.

    B
     

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