Share external hard drives between Windows and Mac OS X

When you are between the two worlds of Windows and Mac OS X, you will come across some technology issues.

One of them is the harddisk that are not “talking” the same language…

Windows will use FAT16 (old), FAT32 and NTFS format.
Mac OS X will use HFS

So, how can we share a disk between these two worlds?

If Windows can read and write only his format, Mac OS X can also read and write on FAT16 and FAT32 and it can reads nativly on NTFS disk.

So you can choose FAT32 to share a disk between all your computer. There is only one problem, Windows XP will not want to format a disk in FAT32 format if it’s over 32GB… why? ask Microsoft! You can use Mac OS X to format it instead and you are in business. Ironic no?

But as many of the windows disk are now in NTFS, it could be really nice to read *and* write on this kind of drive. It’s now possible by installing 2 little software and a reboot.

*** These softwares are not supported anymore, you can have a look at commercial solutions like Paragon NTFS for Mac (20$) or Tuxera (~33$) ***

1. Install MacFuse from Google

2. Install NTFS-3G

3. Reboot the computer

I use it on all my Mac computer and my friends computer without any issue. You can even leave the 2 files in your NTFS disk as all Mac computer can nativly read this kind of disk.

Be careful with the filenames as some characters are not allowed in Windows world and vice-versa.

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