Isn't FAT32 the obvious solution?


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:

Read full content : How To Format an External Hard Drive or USB Flash Drive for Mac

  • FAT32 offers no security, unlike NTFS, which allows you to set permissions. 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. So, for example, if you want to store a 9GB movie, it will be impossible.
  • In general, FAT32 drives are more susceptible to disk errors.
  • It's not a huge issue, but FAT32 is less efficient at storing files. Its large cluster sizes waste disk space, unlike the other HD storage formats.
  • If you keep your hard drive's out-of-the-box NTFS format for all the reasons FAT32 displeases, there's a workaround that will allow your Mac to read and write files to the drive. NTFS-3G is an open-source program that, when coupled with MacFuse, will let you use your NTFS drive on your Mac. However, it is an open-source program, so use it at your own risk. Many have vouched for its success, but others complain about bugs.