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External hard drive for Mac and PC?

Discussion in 'Technology' started by atomic, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. atomic

    atomic TRIBE Member

    I'd like to increase my storage with a 2TB FW 800 external drive for my MacBook Pro. Thing is, I'm running boot camp and would like to have both my Snow Leopard and Win7 64-bit OS partitions have full equal access to the drive.

    Can I format the drive into two equal partitions to have each OS access them? Or is there a tool to allow both OS' to access the full single partition?
  2. DJ Vuvu Zela

    DJ Vuvu Zela TRIBE Member

    if you format the drive as FAT32 then both OS will be able to read and write to it. But the only problem with FAT32 is you can't have a single file bigger than 4gb.

    if you format the drive as NTFS then your windows OS will be able to read/write to it, but the mac OS will only be able to read from it.

    There is software for OS X that will allow it to read/write to NTFS drives. Do a search for 'NTFS on OSX' and you should be able to find a bunch of options - but research the specifics. I've read of NTFS drives becoming corrupted because of the way they were used in OSX.

    If you want 2 SEPARATE partitions that's easy enough to do. Just go into 'Disk Utility' in OS X and partition the drive. Format half as HFS, and the other half as NTFS. Windows can not access HFS unless you get special drivers (but again you may run a risk, so research to make sure it's something you're comfortable with)
  3. atomic

    atomic TRIBE Member

    Thanks for the insights. I'll look into your suggestions further.
  4. dj_soo

    dj_soo TRIBE Member

    FAT32 is not the best format for drives larger than a couple gigs. If you format a large drve at fat32, there is an easier chance at corruption and loss of data.

    I would recommend a small partition (around 40 gigs) at FAT32 and leave the rest specific to platform.

    You can also get a program that allows your windows drive to read/write to a mac-formated drives like Macdrive Mediafour | MacDrive
  5. Fillmore

    Fillmore TRIBE Member

    They sell external hard drives that are compatible for both. I just picked one up at Future shop a few weeks ago. I have a ton of files stores on their from my pc and my brothers macbook.
  6. atomic

    atomic TRIBE Member

    Yeah I'd rather have a single, big drive though. Keeps the desktop cleaner and ports tidy. I already have two externals so it's getting a bit much.

    dj_soo- that app looks amazing. It doesn't say anything about accessing a Windows partition from the Mac, but it's sure worth looking into. I'll try out the demo.

    Thanks all!
  7. atomic

    atomic TRIBE Member

    I misread your comment- thought you meant getting two drives.

    It's funny, because both OS' can see the externals plus internal drive. I try to copy files over and it says I need to give it administration permissions. I checked the sharing and told it to give full access but no go.
  8. Fillmore

    Fillmore TRIBE Member

    It's one of these...I cant recall the model number off the top of my head.

    External Drive SimpleDrive External Pininfarina Storage

    I hope were talking about the same thing haha. Ive looked at a few of the ones on the site and they seem to be coming up windows only but I know mine is simple and I am storing files from both pc and mac. I think it even says on a sticker, compatible for both on mine. Ill keep looking.
  9. DJ Vuvu Zela

    DJ Vuvu Zela TRIBE Member

    almost all drives are mac & pc compatible (there are exceptions, but they're rare).

    It all depends on how it's formatted.

    As i said above the only file structure that both OS can read/write to NATIVELY is FAT32. The other file structures are either limited to read only (NTFS on mac) or with the help of ADDITIONAL software/drivers may work (like NTFS on mac or HFS on windows).
  10. xtcfreak

    xtcfreak TRIBE Member

    I Have been using NTFS drivers on my Mac for a few years for read and write access without any hick ups.


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