External hard drive use on both PC and Mac

I am a film student and have access to Lacie 160GB external firewire hard drive. Our school's computers are MAC and use Final Cut Pro 4.  I have a Dell Dimension 8300 w/ win XP and am currently using Adobe Premier Pro and will be purchasing Avid Express Pro.  My problem is when I connect the hard drive to my computer, I am prompted to format in NFTS.  The manufacturer reccommends using FAT 32 formant for use on both computers.  HOw do I change the format setting or can I have two different partitions and no interference?  Also, this is not my hard drive, it's the school's.
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jvuzConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If your system is formatted in NTFS and your extra hard disk in FAT32 there is no problem that disk. If it would be the opposite, your system in FAT32 and your extra hard drive in NTFS there would be a problem.
If you are not given the option to format in FAT32, you could always format it in FAT32 on a different system prior to installing it on the XP system.  
That doesn't sound right.  If your Windows XP's system disk is FAT32, the system can still read an NTFS disk.  

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