Hard drive on Mac format: file systems and methods

Whether external or internal hard drives - formatting should pay attention not only to security, but also on the file system. Especially when the media with Windows users is to be shared.

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Apple introduced in 1985 be a proprietary file system HFS (Hierarchical File System, today HFS +). Windows PCs and most commercially available external hard drives use either FAT32 or NTFS (the latter since 2001 spread). However, a Mac operating system can only be installed on HFS + drives. But OS X can also read disks that were formatted in FAT32 or NTFS.

NTFS volume is to describe the Apple operating system, however, only possible if an additional NTFS driver is installed by a third party. Who wants to have write access to its NTFS partitions can be used, for example, Paragon's NTFS for Mac for this is to Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite even available for free.

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hard drive formatting on Mac &# 8211; The file systems

So what to do if you have to format a USB flash drive, an external hard drive or an SD card or will not? First of all, we open the Disk Utility, the central point in OS X for everything that has to do with formatting and partitioning.

Hard drive on Mac format: file systems and methods

Here we choose to be formatted disk in the left column. Then a click marks on the tab "Delete" free options. Here it comes now to the crucial question: What is the format you choose for the disk depends on what it is to serve. First, an explanation of the selection list:

  • Mac OS Extended (Journaled): HFS + with "journaling". Changes to the disk are written in a diary, so that in the event of a fault or failure, a loss can possibly be prevented.
  • Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted): Same as above, but with encryption for external drives identical FileVault for internal hard drives with.
  • Mac OS Extended (upper / lower case and Journaled): HFS +, which file names like "file.txt" from "file.txt" is different. This is uncommon and can lead to errors in some programs. Use only if you are sure you need it!
  • Mac OS Extended (upper / lower case, Journaled, Encrypted): As above, with FileVault encryption on the external device.
  • MS-DOS file system (FAT): FAT32, the predecessors of NTFS. From your Mac access can be slower to such disks than with HFS +. In addition, a Sepicherlimit of 4GB per file applies.
  • ExFAT: A good choice when multiple platforms are to access the disk. and without Mac and Windows compatible, the 4-GB limit. Support on Linux by FUSE.

What file system for Mac & Windows?

The respective disk comes exclusively in Mac used is Mac OS X Extended (Journaled, optionally encrypted), so HFS + the format of choice. The same goes for Time Machine drives. Apple recommends for this is to select the first or second entry. However, one can not exclude that Windows users will once access easily to the data, one should for MS-DOS file system (FAT), so FAT32 decide. However, this system has the slight disadvantage that it is larger than 4 GB can not do anything with files.

Also comes the format exFAT in question. It was developed by Microsoft and tailored to flash memory. Unlike FAT32, it is not subject to the 4-GB limit for individual files. It can also be read by both current Windows and Mac systems without problems and described. but who also runs Linux systems must be content with FUSE or an additional exFAT driver.

As ihe see, each format has its advantages and disadvantages. The decision so you should always make depending on the application and user group.

Postgraduate on the topic:

  • Format c: &# 8211; Format HDD
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  • build external hard drive itself &# 8211; It's that easy&# 8217; s


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