Photo by Sharon Vaknin/CNET If you need to expand your storage space with an external hard drive and you use both Mac and PC, you'll likely run into a few obstacles. Hard drives advertised as being compatible with Windows and Mac OS may have misled you into thinking you could actually use one hard drive for both computers. You can, but not out of the box. Most external hard drives (HD) are sold in a format called NTFS, which is designed to work with Windows. Macs read and write to a different format, called HFS+. Another format, called FAT32 is compatible with both OS platforms.
Here's a look at how the different HD format types function: FAT32 (File Allocation Table) - Natively read/write FAT32 on Windows and Mac OS X. - Maximum file size: 4GB - Maximum volume size: 2TB NTFS (Windows NT File System) - Natively read/write NTFS on Windows. - Read-only NTFS on Mac OS X - Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and above but has proven instable. All mp3 songs of how to get adobe flash player for mac. - Maximum file size: 16 TB - Maximum volume size: 256TB HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, aka Mac OS Extended) - Natively read/write HFS+ on Mac OS X - Required for Time Machine - Maximum file size: 8 - Maximum volume size: 8EiB Isn't FAT32 the obvious solution?
Apple Mac External Hard Drive
According to the list above, formatting your hard drive to FAT32 so that you can read and write on either OS seems like the obvious solution. The video and directions below will guide you through the process, but before you format your HD to FAT32, beware of these drawbacks. • FAT32 offers no security, unlike NTFS, which allows you to set permissions.
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External Hard Drive For Mac
If your HD gets into the wrong hands, that person will be able to access your data. • The max size for any given file stored on a FAT32-formatted HD is 4GB.