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How to set up single external hard drive to work in MAC and PC?

Posted on 2004-09-23
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I just bought a Seagate 200 GB external hard drive which I plan to use on a MAC for digital video storage, but I would also like to use it with my PC at home to back up my files, for games, and for additional storage.  I know I can partition the hard drive for whatever size I need each to be, but the question is what should the hard drive file system be formatted to in each the PC partition and the MAC partition, NTFS or FAT32, or does the drive need to be partitioned at all?  The OS for the PC is XP Pro and for the MAC is OS X.
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Question by:Thaddeux
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SBPCGuru earned 340 total points
ID: 12135607
I setup a 30GB external hard drive for my girlfriend.  She needs it to scan her pictures and slides at school on a MAC.  I plugged in the hard drive on my XP PC and formatted it in FAT32 format.  Then, she uses it on the MAC at school and bring home her files and edits them in Photoshop on a XP PC.  It works fine and great.  The only thing she told me was that you had to eject(?) your external hard drive in MAC before disconnecting it, otherwise you may lose some data.  

AS STATED FROM A WEBSITE:
If it is possible to remove a device physically without ejecting it, (for example, unplugging a firewire hard drive or USB pen drive) -DON'T Always eject the device first, unplugging active devices can lead to corruption or loss of data.
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by:SBPCGuru
ID: 12135757
OK, if you split the hard drive into 2 100GB partitions using FAT32.  Then, you could use it on both the PC and the MAC.  You cannot make partitions larger than 32GB in Windows XP.  You would have to use PartitionMagic to do this.
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Expert Comment

by:DVation191
ID: 12136623
OS X supports FAT and FAT32, you should be able to use that filesystem for both platforms.
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Author Comment

by:Thaddeux
ID: 12138452
Thanks for the answers guys, this really clears it up.  Thanks DVation191, but I gotta give the points to SBPCGuru for giving the answer first with ample explanation.  Again thank you to the both of you.
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