View Full Version : HD compatible with both Mac and PC

2007-09-17, 02:38 AM
I have a new HD coming in -- what should I do to allow both my PC and my Mac to recognize it? Once I plugged my last one into the Mac, it stopped working with the PC.

2007-09-17, 07:17 AM
you need it formatted as both FAT32 [PC] and MS-DOS [Mac]...you should be able to do it in Disk Utility on yer mac

2007-09-18, 10:17 PM
How do I do that?

2007-09-20, 10:15 AM
Put the blank HD into a external case (USB2 or Firewire) or build it into your tower. Adjust the master/slave setting accordingly.

In Applications -> Utilities -> Disc Utility navigate to your hard disc. It will offer only Mac formats for formating. Chose "DOS format" or something like that as the table format. Then it will be possible to chose FAT-32 for formatting.

FAT-32 is fine for reading and writing on multiple formats but remember the 4 GB file limit.

Alternatively get and install a software called "Mac Drive" or something like that on Windows. That will teach Win to accept the HFS format of Apple hard discs. I know people in the professional media field using that soft successfully.

2007-09-21, 02:25 PM
I'm just curious. I haven't used a HDD on both a PC and a Mac before. Will Mac's not read NTFS. Is that proprietary to MS ( I know MS created it. Are people scared of a lawsuit to move it over to OSS?) I thought they had NTFS up on Linux machines. Wouldn't that transfer on over to macs since their cousins.

2007-09-23, 04:41 PM
Mac's do not read NTFS. Trust me I have become a little bit of an expert on the hard drive issue after recently buying a Mac. I had a 400 GB external HD Formatted NTFS for my previous Windows laptop. On a Mac you can only read NTFS, not write (so no copying to the HD or renaming or moving files). So I had to unload everything off the HD, about 350 gigs of stuff (including many torrents) to other computers and HDs, then I formatted the external HD as HFS+ to work on a Mac. I also created a 15 gig FAT32 partition in case I ever hook up the HD to a Windows computer again.

They say that FAT32 is slow, and that if you have a huge HD it's better not to format it that way. I would say forget that. If you're going to use the HD on PC and Mac, your best bet is to format FAT32. But do this on a Mac, as on PCs there is a cluster size limit. As stated, you can also buy MacDrive for $50 and use an HFS drive with Windows. I've heard it works well but haven't tried it myself.

Bottom line: if you want to use both OS, and you don't wanna spend money, format it to FAT32 ON YOUR MAC. Otherwise, format HFS and buy Macdrive for Windows. I have heard though that the HFS file system is faster than FAT32, so that is something to consider. As for the 4 gig file size limit on FAT32, when will that ever be an issue? Even if you have a DVD on your HD, the largest file will be under 2 gigs...

2007-09-23, 05:26 PM
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