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  1. #1


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    WD passport 4GB limit
    I'm not sure what the best way to format this external HD.

    Ideally I want it formatted for use with windows and mac.

    I'm on Leopard. And have plenty of files over 4GB that I need to put on it.

    So as long as I can exceed its current 4GB limit and use it freely on mac and PC I'll be happy.

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2

    Kevriano's Avatar
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    Mac OS Extended (not journaled) should be fine for this.
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  3. #3


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    I'm not entirely sure how to do this...

    Found this tutorial, is this what you mean...

    How to Format an External Hard Drive for Mac OS X | eHow.com

    Except change 'journaled' to 'not journaled'?

  4. #4

    Kevriano's Avatar
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    In Disk Utility, in the "erase" tab, it will give you the option to pick Mac OS Extended or Mac OS Extended (Journaled), it's the second option in the drop down list that you need, just plain Mac OS Extended.
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  5. #5

    mrplow's Avatar
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    Sorry Kevriano but I wouldn't format as Mac OS Extended (not journaled) if it's to be used in windows as well as OSX

    You need a file format that both can read/write to. So either your Mac needs NTFS writing ability (in can read it already) or your PC needs Mac OS read/write software.

    Have a look at MacFuse/ntfs-3g or Paragon NTFS to get you Mac Read/writing NTFS disks
    OR
    MacDrive to get windows talking to Mac disks

    edit: forgot....there's also HFSExplorer
    Not been around these parts for a while. Trying to change that . .

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  6. #6


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    The thing is, it works fine on Mac and PC just now... it just has a 4GB limit.

    Also I'll add that I want this working on ANY mac and ANY pc, not just mine.

  7. #7

    mrplow's Avatar
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    It has a 4gb max file size limit because it's using FAT32 as it's file system. You need a mac formatted or NTFS formatted drive to overcome that limit.

    Mac OSX and windows both natively support FAT32 reading and writing. If you want to maintain that compatibility but store files >4gb in size you'll need one of the solutions I've mentioned above (unless anyone else has futher ideas).
    Not been around these parts for a while. Trying to change that . .

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  8. #8

    Kevriano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrplow View Post
    Sorry Kevriano but I wouldn't format as Mac OS Extended (not journaled) if it's to be used in windows as well as OSX

    You need a file format that both can read/write to. So either your Mac needs NTFS writing ability (in can read it already) or your PC needs Mac OS read/write software.

    Have a look at MacFuse/ntfs-3g or Paragon NTFS to get you Mac Read/writing NTFS disks
    OR
    MacDrive to get windows talking to Mac disks
    Hey no worries. I have a media centre that works fine reading Mac OS Extended, so figured this would be ok. Obviously Fat 32 is fine, but that limit sucks.
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  9. #9

    vansmith's Avatar
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    That's because the drive is likely formatted as FAT32 which is fully supported (r/w) by both OSes but has the 4GB file size limit. As noted by mrplow, you are going to have to format the drive with NTFS or HFS+ which will require you to install/make changes on either of the two operating systems.

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  10. #10


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    But making changes to either of the 2 OS's means that it wont be able to r/w on other computers. I'm planning to use this HD on multiple MAcs and multiple PCs.

  11. #11


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    I've decided to format my WD passport to NTFS. I'm not sure how this is done. Can anyone help?

  12. #12

    mrplow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulmonan View Post
    But making changes to either of the 2 OS's means that it wont be able to r/w on other computers. I'm planning to use this HD on multiple MAcs and multiple PCs.
    Hmmmmmm.

    Try Mac OS Extended (not journaled) as Kevriano suggested. It seems to be working for him..... i'm itrigued as to why.... going to try tonight. Will solve your problem if it works.

    If it doesn't work on both then you're at a bit of an impasse I'm afraid.

    You could consider a different approach.....
    HJSPlit splits/joins files. It's available for Windows/Mac/Linux

    Put all three on your FAT32 formatted drive. Use HJSplit to split your >4gb files into <4gb parts
    Not been around these parts for a while. Trying to change that . .

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  13. #13

    mrplow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulmonan View Post
    I've decided to format my WD passport to NTFS. I'm not sure how this is done. Can anyone help?
    Simplest way is to do it on one of your Windows machines.

    Otherwise you can find it as a choice in Disk Utility once you've installed Paragon NTFS or MacFuse/NTFS-3g
    Not been around these parts for a while. Trying to change that . .

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  14. #14


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    Ok cheers, I'll do it on windows then just get macFUSE for the 2 macs I use. That should solve the problem.

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