View Full Version : Which format(s) for my new drives?

01-21-2008, 10:06 AM

Just got all my personal and work related drives. For my 5 Bay eSATA 2.5 TB personal drives in the Burly enclosures I am formatting with Mac OS Extended (Journaled) since all my work is solely on the Mac platform.

The real question is .. I have a 2 TB 4 Bay eSata and a 2 TB 4 Bay FW 800/USB 2.0 that need to live in both the Mac and PC worlds. I am saving off large sets of image files to these drives and will need to possibly share the drives with both types of computers.

Any suggestions as to what is best. I know that Mac is for the most part compatible with PC but not necessarily the other way around.

Also can someone please weigh in on the FAT 32 issues. I know this creates limits to the files sizes of the originals saved to the drives when you need to work at a Mac. I sometimes create 4-12 GB single files from high speed cameras that need to be archived as well.

Thanks in advance.

PS I am diligently zeroing all my drives per the Gurus recommendations, maybe next month I will be done!

01-21-2008, 02:15 PM
To get around that FAT 32 restriction and still have dual platform compatibility I can think of a couple solutions:

1. Format as Mac Extended. Then on Windows side use MacDrive:


Some moderators here use Macdrive with success. But bear in mind that any Windows box needed access to the Mac formatted drive would need a copy of MacDrive on it.

2. Format as NTFS. Mac OS X out of the box gives you read only. Two ways to get write:
Go open-source freeware with NTFS-3G and MacFuse: see http://macntfs-3g.blogspot.com/
Go the commercial route with Paragon's NTFS for OS X, see http://www.paragon-software.com/home/ntfs-mac/I've gone route 2 on my MBP so I can also write directly to my Boot Camp partition -- just in case some file gets hosed or I want to clear out some files without having to actually launch XP.

I've tried both NTFS-3G/MacFuse and Paragon's offering. When Leopard came out it took some time to keep track of updates for NTFS-3G compatibility with Leopard and MacFuse. In the end it took a little more effort than I really wanted to spend, and at that time, I got better performance with Paragon's sw when using their trial. So in the end I plunked down the cash for NTFS for OS X. Haven't had problems with it with my Boot Camp partition, haven't tried externals though.

You can try both options with route (2) for free -- although with Paragon's only on a 30-day trial basis.

01-23-2008, 02:28 PM
Appreciate the reply on this issue. Will look into what will make the most sense from an implementation standpoint.


01-23-2008, 02:42 PM
MacDrive has been a HUGE hit with PC Users giving rave reviews of their results. Makes it easy to choose MacOS Extended.


01-24-2008, 12:03 AM
Yeah........I used MacDrive a on Win box way back about Win95c, just before Win98 popped and it worked great even back then. Seamless, nice software; the least trouble of all the software on the box.