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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussion.

I'm lost in terminology - what format to use on extrnl HD


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rcronin

 
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I'm trying to format an external HD. I have a 500g external HD that I'm using for multiple, dated back ups. My question is about my portable Western Digital 80g external drive. I partitioned it, and formated most of it to Mac OS extended journal and I'm going to use Super Duper to put a copy of my MB on it. I want to use the rest for anything else that comes up, Mac or PC files. I'll be carrying it around when I go see clients. What format will let me read/write/copy/save both Mac and PC files?

I read a bunch of other posts about this but I can't understand them at all. I need the "dummies" answer.

TIA,

Becky
Web & Graphic Designer, LLL Leader, teacher (in my previous life; pre-kids) and Mama to my two daughters (who think the Apple booty is theirs)
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louishen

 
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you can format a partition in ms-dos file system (that is actually FAT32)

Both the mac and PC will be able to read and write to that partition

edit: If you partition the disk then none of the partitions can be MS DOS - only the whole disk.

Does anybody know of a disk partitioner that lets you mix FAT 32 and HFS?
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rcronin

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by louishen View Post
you can format a partition in ms-dos file system (that is actually FAT32)

Both the mac and PC will be able to read and write to that partition

edit: If you partition the disk then none of the partitions can be MS DOS - only the whole disk.

Does anybody know of a disk partitioner that lets you mix FAT 32 and HFS?
Yep, I want to partition it and one part will be for my MB's back up. That part I was going to do as Mac OS....

Becky
Web & Graphic Designer, LLL Leader, teacher (in my previous life; pre-kids) and Mama to my two daughters (who think the Apple booty is theirs)
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lifeisabeach

 
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I would strongly discourage anyone from using FAT32 due to its limitations, some severe. FAT32 partitions get increasingly slower and inefficient with drive sizes larger than 32Gb for starters. It doesn't have some security features that NTFS offers. It's far more susceptible to file corruptions. In my experience... I had an external drive formatted in FAT32. If that drive wasn't "ejected" properly before it was disconnected, the next time I connected it I would see nothing but gobbledy-gook on it.

You can enable OS X to have write access to NTFS volumes by installing a couple free packages called MacFUSE and NTFS-3G. You will have to format in NTFS using Windows though.
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rcronin

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by louishen View Post
If you partition the disk then none of the partitions can be MS DOS - only the whole disk.
As I read this again, I'm wondering about my other drive. The 500g one. I partitioned it and did one part as MS-dos and the other as Mac OS. Is that possible? Will it work?

Becky
Web & Graphic Designer, LLL Leader, teacher (in my previous life; pre-kids) and Mama to my two daughters (who think the Apple booty is theirs)
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rcronin

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by louishen View Post
you can format a partition in ms-dos file system (that is actually FAT32)

Both the mac and PC will be able to read and write to that partition

edit: If you partition the disk then none of the partitions can be MS DOS - only the whole disk.

Does anybody know of a disk partitioner that lets you mix FAT 32 and HFS?
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeisabeach View Post
I would strongly discourage anyone from using FAT32 due to its limitations, some severe. FAT32 partitions get increasingly slower and inefficient with drive sizes larger than 32Gb for starters. It doesn't have some security features that NTFS offers. It's far more susceptible to file corruptions. In my experience... I had an external drive formatted in FAT32. If that drive wasn't "ejected" properly before it was disconnected, the next time I connected it I would see nothing but gobbledy-gook on it.

You can enable OS X to have write access to NTFS volumes by installing a couple free packages called MacFUSE and NTFS-3G
So I should NOT use FAT32 (the MS Dos option that disk utility offers)? And to use NTFS I need MacFUSE or NTFS-3G for my Mac, in order to format the Mac part of the drive.

Quote:
You will have to format in NTFS using Windows though.
You just lost me. Does that mean that I need to do this on the PC? Just the Windows partition or the whole drive?

Becky
Web & Graphic Designer, LLL Leader, teacher (in my previous life; pre-kids) and Mama to my two daughters (who think the Apple booty is theirs)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcronin View Post
So I should NOT use FAT32 (the MS Dos option that disk utility offers)? And to use NTFS I need MacFUSE or NTFS-3G for my Mac, in order to format the Mac part of the drive.
Ah... you can use FAT32 if you want, but it's a rather "antiquated" file system as I described. And what the MacFUSE and NTFS-3G packages do is let OS X write to NTFS partitions. Normally, OS X can only read them. OS X does not have the tools to format a partition using NTFS. Unless there is a 3rd party utility that will do it, you have to do it from Windows.

Quote:
You just lost me. Does that mean that I need to do this on the PC? Just the Windows partition or the whole drive?
Ok... you want one partition to use as a data drive to put files on that either OS X or Windows can read and write to, correct? Then THAT partition you should format using NTFS, but you'll have to do so using Windows. I recommend you first partition the drive using Disk Utility in OS X. Make your Mac-only partition as large as you need. Then use Windows to use the remaining space to make an NTFS partition.

If it'll make yer life simpler, feel free to use FAT32. But here's a detailed article that explains the differences between FAT32 and NTFS. Especially informative/interesting is one section that describes how NTFS is actually more compatible with the way Macs write file data than FAT32 is.
http://faq.arstechnica.com/link.php?...7285b0792122fb
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rcronin

 
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Thanks so much lifeisabeach. I think I get it. And since this will probably save me some drama and headaches, I'm very grateful!

MacFUSE and NTFS-3G must be apps I need to put on my PC.

I'm off to redo both of my externals. Thanks so much again!

BTW, it seems like we could use a sticky thread about backing up. What do you think? I'll ask a Mod. Do the Mods here do all the forums or are they "assigned" to certain ones?

TTYL,

Becky
Web & Graphic Designer, LLL Leader, teacher (in my previous life; pre-kids) and Mama to my two daughters (who think the Apple booty is theirs)
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lifeisabeach

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcronin View Post
MacFUSE and NTFS-3G must be apps I need to put on my PC.
Uh.... no. You install these in OS X, not Windows.
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