Configure Hard Disc For Mac And Windows

Configure Hard Disc For Mac And Windows

Configure Hard Disc For Mac And Windows Rating: 8,2/10 83 reviews

Windows uses NTFS, and Mac OS uses HFS, these file systems are not compatible with each other. However there is a simple solution – you can format the drive to FAT32 or exFAT that performs better than FAT32. In the resulut, your external hard drive will work just fine with Mac and Windows. If you want to transfer files from a Mac to Windows PC and vice versa using an external portable hard drive then you have to have the external drive formatted in a file system both OS's can read.

What Is ExFAT? Microsoft's exFAT is a file system designed for cross-platform mobile personal storage. The exFAT format is designed for high-capacity flash drives, memory cards, and external hard drives. The format is designed to require minimal adjustments to add support from Microsoft's widely used FAT32 format on the developer and manufacturer side. ExFAT improves on many of the FAT32 format's limitations, including increasing the maximum storage capacity per partition or reserved section from 32 gigabytes to 256 terabytes. External hard drives benefit from exFAT because you can set them up with large partitions that can contain the entire device -- instead of in 32GB sections in FAT32 -- and maintain compatibility between Macs and PCs. Format to ExFAT on Windows 8 Windows 8's included Disk Management tool can format devices to exFAT.

To format an external hard drive to exFAT with the tool, connect the hard drive to the computer, press 'Windows-R,' then type 'diskmgmet.msc' and select 'OK.' After the Disk Management program has launched, right-click on the external hard drive's partition graphic box. The hard drive partitions are listed on the lower section of the Window. Recently attached devices will appear at the bottom of the list and the partition will be marked with the dark blue color bar on the top of the box. Select the 'Format.' Option from the menu. Change the 'File System' drop menu to 'ExFAT' and press 'OK' to format the drive.

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Warnings and Tips Backup any data on the external hard drive you want to keep on another device before formatting. Formatting a hard drive will erase all data that's stored on it. Both Windows 8 and Mac OS X allow you to adjust the size of the format partitions on external hard drives. Set the number to the maximum to use the entire drive in a single partition. FAT32-formatted drives also work for PC-and-Mac sharing, in particular with older versions of both operating systems.

However, Microsoft recommends against using FAT32 whenever possible in favor of exFAT.

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