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  1. #1
    BSTEboy50
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    Buying a Hard Drive, what are the downsides to formatting in FAT32?
    I am about to order a Hard Drive and have the option of having it formatted in NFTS(windows), HFS +J (Mac OS), or FAT32 (Universal). I want to be able to share the drive between Windows XP and OS X and wanted to know what the downsides were to formatting in FAT32? Thanks for you help.

  2. #2

    Icicle's Avatar
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    Im kind of curious also if there is a "downside" to the FAT32 format......
    Kevin, Spokane Washington USA

  3. #3
    warrenbert
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    The advantages of NTFS and HFS are that they are jounaled file systems, which means that they are less susceptible to data loss. FAT32 has partition size limitations and is not nearly as efficient as either NTFS or HFS. I can't see any reason why anyone would want to have interchangeable external storage for PC and MAC. Transfer files via your network, that's why it's there. Backup files via your network, that's how any well-protected enterprise-class system is protected. Just my $.02.

  4. #4

    Icicle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warrenbert
    I can't see any reason why anyone would want to have interchangeable external storage for PC and MAC. Transfer files via your network, that's why it's there. Backup files via your network
    So if our ultimate Plan is to own This mini, An ibook, and a pee-cee laptop, we can "transfer" files back and forth from an external hard drive thats formatted in HFS?

    I guess Im still confused as to how the PC laptop will be able to store and access info on the external drive, what do you mean via the network, do you mean transfer the file wirelessly to one of the Apples and let them write it to the hard drive?

    Can Pcs read off of HFS even? or no read, no write?

    thanks for the info
    Kevin, Spokane Washington USA

  5. #5

    rman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Icicle
    Can Pcs read off of HFS even? or no read, no write?
    PCs can not read/write an HFS formatted hard disk. But Apple computers can read/write an fat32 formatted hard disks.
    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, It's about learning to dance in the rain!

  6. #6

    James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BSTEboy50
    I am about to order a Hard Drive and have the option of having it formatted in NFTS(windows), HFS +J (Mac OS), or FAT32 (Universal). I want to be able to share the drive between Windows XP and OS X and wanted to know what the downsides were to formatting in FAT32? Thanks for you help.
    If you want to have an external drive that can be written to and read from both the Pc and the Mac you will need to format the drive in Fat 32 or what i consider a better way is to format the drive in the Mac format and use the program called MacDrive on the Pc. MacDrive is a pc program that will allow the pc to both read and write to a Mac hard drive. Works very well.
    Mac Pro Intel 2.66 - Quad Core - 16 Gigs Ram - 10.11.2 - 30" Apple Monitor
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  7. #7
    BSTEboy50
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by James
    If you want to have an external drive that can be written to and read from both the Pc and the Mac you will need to format the drive in Fat 32 or what i consider a better way is to format the drive in the Mac format and use the program called MacDrive on the Pc. MacDrive is a pc program that will allow the pc to both read and write to a Mac hard drive. Works very well.

    I was also thinking of formating the Hard Drive to NTFS and hook it up to my XP machine, and then network my PC and Mac Laptops so they can read and write files from each other.

    I found a website which outlines this: http://macosx.axisit.net/osx_networking/

    Would this work? Can I read and write with both computers on the external Hard Drive? or will it be a read only format for the Mac? Thanks.

  8. #8

    James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BSTEboy50
    I was also thinking of formating the Hard Drive to NTFS and hook it up to my XP machine, and then network my PC and Mac Laptops so they can read and write files from each other.

    I found a website which outlines this: http://macosx.axisit.net/osx_networking/

    Would this work? Can I read and write with both computers on the external Hard Drive? or will it be a read only format for the Mac? Thanks.
    Will be a read only for the mac, it has to be either FAT32 or Mac format and the pc's using the MacDrove program
    Mac Pro Intel 2.66 - Quad Core - 16 Gigs Ram - 10.11.2 - 30" Apple Monitor
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  9. #9

    Icicle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by james
    better way is to format the drive in the Mac format and use the program called MacDrive on the Pc.
    Now thats a great idea, the frequency with which the PC would need to access the drive is low.

    Thanks again
    Kevin, Spokane Washington USA

  10. #10

    Aptmunich's Avatar
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    The downside to using FAT32 would be that some mac files can't be stored there, due to naming restrictions I believe:

    My old iMovie 4 projects for example can't be stored on a Fat 32 drive and iMovie 5 projects seem to run very slow off my Fat32 drive - despite the fact that it is otherwise identical to my external HFS+ formatted drive.

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