Not many people are aware of these differences until they need to copy files into a storage formatted using the different file system. Due to the smaller worldwide user-based percentage, Mac OS X users are the ones who would likely stumble into these file format problems. If you are a Mac users, here are overviews of different file format systems, and how to choose which format to use for your USB drive to ensure compatibility with other operating systems. Choosing File Format System in Mac The mass adoption of USB drive makes it one of the most used storage media today. It’s a common thing to see people sharing and distributing files using USB drive. But that trend also makes file system compatibility problem more apparent.
Sep 19, 2011 - If the drive comes formatted in NTFS, which is the default file system for Windows, you're going to want to re-format the drive because Mac OS X. A drive with two partitions, for example can have one partitioned in ExFAT and another in a Mac OS Extended format, so you can use the same drive on a Mac and a Windows computer. Select a format for each partition.
With several different formats available, which one should we choose? It will depend on your usage. Here are the overview of the commonly used file systems. 1. FAT32 This legacy file system is the next generation of FAT that comes a long way from the DOS era. Almost all USB flash drive comes pre-formatted with FAT 32 file system because it virtually works everywhere.
The disadvantage of this system is that it doesn’t support files with size bigger than 4 GB and storage partition bigger than 2 TB. If you only deal with simple documents, small movie files, or other kinds of files below 4 GB, and your storage drive is 2 TB or smaller, you should be fine with this file system. ExFAT If you still need the universal support, but will exchange files bigger than 4 GB, you might want to use ExFAT file system.
This format works on Windows, Linux (with FUSE), and Mac OS X. The system is commonly used for shared hard drive(s) that is plugged into computer most of the time. But it’s not as compatible as FAT32 as there are devices that don’t support it, such as Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. NTFS This file system is perfect for those who only works among Windows computer. The format is the next generation of file format on Windows, supports big files, and can read and write faster than FAT32 – provided that other factors that influence speed are similar.
The format has even less compatibility than ExFAT. Mac OS X and some Linux distributions can only read NTFS-formatted disk without the help of third-party software. NTFS is ideal for internal drives on Windows computers.
OS X Extended At the opposite side of NTFS, is Mac OS X Extended file system (HFS Plus). If you only work within Mac OS X environment, then the HFS Plus is perfect for you. It supports volume size and file size up to 8EB (Exabytes) roughly equivalent to 8 Million Terabytes. Looking at the maximum commercial storage size available today, we are not going to reach that limit anytime soon. Formatting Disk in Mac OS X Even though external drives comes factory pre-formatted, there are occasions where you need to re-format the drive. For example, if you need to change the file format of the drive,, or if one of your Windows-user neighbours ask your help to wipe clean his/her virus-infected USB flash drive (which happens more often than you think). There are several ways to format the USB (flash) drive in Mac OS X environment. Let’s discuss them in detail down below:- 1.
Using Disk Utility The easiest way to format a disk in Mac OS X is using Disk Utility. It’s Mac’s native disk maintenance tool.
To format a USB flash drive, simply plug the drive into your Mac, and choose it from Disk Utility’s sidebar menu. Then choose the Erase tab from the top bar. A pop-up menu will appear, and you can customize many options here.
First is the type of file system that you want to use. Please refer to the previous section above to find the formatting type that fit your need.