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Hermann Ershov
Hermann Ershov

Formatting Hard Drives For Mac And Pc

There are several ways to format to exFAT format on Windows. One of the easiest is to take advantage of a reliable three-way tool: EaseUS Partition Master Free. This all-in-one free partition manager can easily support any format to exFAT. It is ideal for novice users. You can format drives that work on Mac and PC in just a few easy steps.

Formatting Hard Drives For Mac And Pc

  • Right-click the external drive or USB you intend to format and choose "Format".

  • Set the Partition label, File system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4/exFAT), and Cluster size, then click "OK".

  • Click "Yes" to continue.

  • Click the "Execute 1 Task(s)" button and click "Apply" to format the hard drive partition.

Besides formatting drives easily, EaseUS Partition Master also can convert NTFS to FAT32 for Mac and PC or convert MBR to GPT. It can also adjust disk space or check disk. It is one of the best free disk managers. If you want to use other tools to format to exFAT on Windows, you can also choose Disk Management or File Explorer. And you can click the links below to see the exact steps.

In Mac, two ways to format drives can be used for both Mac and PC. I will introduce a simple method. Disk Utility is a tool for Mac that can change the file system or format internal and external drives. The steps are as follows.

With this guide, do you know what format works on Mac and PC? Both FAT32 and exFAT are good choices. FAT32 is outstanding in compatibility, but it is limited to 4GB of files. While exFAT supports partitions larger than 2TB and 4GB files. Moreover, formatting compatible drives for Mac and PC is not a difficult task. You can do it with EaseUS Partition Master on PC or use Disk Utility to format on Mac.

Thanks for the article, the argumentation You wrote seems legit, but it still does not convince me to NOT use exFAT as it seems the only good option for me when using external drive with both Windows and MacOS (and Linux sometimes). All the other options involve some third-party workarounds which can be troublesome if I am not working on my own hardware.

Love the tone and perspective of your article. I found your article because I was trying to choose between FAT32 and exFAT in formatting a 64GB USB drive for use in transferring data between a ChromeBook and a MacBook. Both machines running the latest operating systems appropriate for the platform.

So I did chose exFAT for the USB transfer because of the larger file size and some better reported benchmarks. By the way, over the years I have found USB drives to be somewhat fragile with respect to electrical discharge and other problems. But I have recently (within the decade) read data from a Fujitsu Eagle last written in 1983. So those old mechanical hard drives are probably good for 100 years if not longer, perhaps even recovered from a landfill in 500 years assuming much improved technology for measuring extremely small magnetic fields.

As to that question from a commenter, Does Linux exists, well yeah, but Meh. I use it in the Cloud most of my working hours, and am disappointed that the RedHat/Centos/Rocky8 stream dropped bundled support for BTRFS filesystem. I think BTRFS might be great for USB drives too.

I tried using an external usb hard drive as my download directory for torrents, kept corrupting the files and often straight up crashing the computer. Testing showed the drive was plenty fast, so I was like what the hell? As it turns out the whole reason was that drive was formatted exfat. After reformatting to NTFS it works fine. Wish I had realized that a year ago.

While it might sound complicated, both Mac and Windows give us dedicated features to manage our disk space. You can use it to manage your storage, merge partitions, and even do a disk format for Mac and PC. In this post, we will cover dedicated solutions on how to format your hard drive in Mac and PC.

You might already know the consequences of formatting a hard drive. It will erase all the data stored in it, making it empty in one go. Therefore, before you format Mac/PC drive, make sure that you have taken a backup of your important data. Once it is done, you can do a hard disk format for Mac and PC to enjoy the following advantages.

There are different other kinds of file systems that your hard drive can support. To check it, just select the partition or the external disk, right-click, and visit its "Properties". Go to the "General" tab to know details about the file system of the disk.

If your Mac or PC has a Windows OS installed, then you won't face any trouble managing it. Every major version of the operating system provides a dedicated solution to format hard drive as well as external storage units. Also, you can manage the internal partitions, merge them, create new ones, and do so much more. Here's how to format hard drive on your Windows PC.

Windows also let us format an external device like SD card, pen drive, etc. quite easily. Simply right-click its icon from My Computer and from the context menu, click on the "Format" option. Choose a file type and formatting option and click on the "Start" button to format the disk.

Just like Windows, macOS also gives us a seamless option to format the hard drives for Mac (and PC). The operating system has an inbuilt tool, which is known as Disk Utility. Using it, you can erase a hard drive, create new partitions, and even repair your disk as well. To learn how to format in Mac your hard drive, follow these steps:

By following the above-listed methods, you would be able to format hard drive for Mac and PC seamlessly. Though, if you have formatted a hard drive accidentally, then you might end up losing your important files. In this case, you can take the assistance of Recoverit Data Recovery software to get back your lost or deleted content from Mac. The data recovery tool is available for free and supports all the major macOS and Windows versions. Following a simple on-screen process, you can easily extract your data from your Mac's hard drive or an external device.

For those who use both Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS, having a single external hard drive that is compatible with both operating systems could be very beneficial. The problem with this is that by default, Windows and macOS use different formatting styles that aren't directly compatible with each other. Windows uses the NTFS (New Technology File System) format, while macOS uses either HFS+ (Hierarchical File System Plus, a legacy format used by older versions of macOS) or APFS (Apple File System, a newer format used by recent macOS releases.)

There are some third-party solutions that can read Mac-formatted data on Windows and vice versa, but some of these are costly and may not offer 100 percent compatibility for all files. Instead of buying one of those programs, a better solution is to set up your external hard drive so that it is compatible with both your Windows machine and your Mac. This lets you create an external hard drive for Mac and PC that doesn't require any additional software to function.

When a hard drive is formatted, any data that's currently on the drive is erased and a new file system is set up for a computer's operating system to use. The file system determines how the operating system manages data, how that data is stored and what sort of storage blocks are used on the hard drive. The file system organizes the data in such a way that the operating system can access and use what it needs, so if the file system isn't supported by the OS then it has no way to actually access and read the data. In most cases, a drive with an unsupported file system won't even show up in Explorer or Finder unless you have set up your computer specifically to view the unsupported drives.

This is why it's so tricky to format for Windows and Mac on the same hard drive. Assuming that you have newer computer models and are running recent versions of Windows and MacOS, the file systems used by your computers are incompatible. This is due largely to file system optimizations that were made with a specific operating system in mind, though competition between Microsoft and Apple may play a part in the proprietary nature of their respective OS file systems. With that said, there are a few ways to format a single external hard drive for both Mac and PC use without losing data or corrupting files.

While Windows and macOS primarily use their respective proprietary file systems, both support other file systems as well. In particular, both Windows and macOS support the exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table) file system that is commonly used for flash drives and other rewritable storage. This means that you can take an external hard drive and format it with the exFAT file system and it will then be readable and writable to both you_r Windows PC and your Ma_c.

If you choose to do this, however, it is important to avoid changing the settings of the file system too much when you format. By default, exFAT uses 32KB and 128KB data clusters when reading and writing (respectively); you can change this up to 32GB per function when choosing the formatting settings. MacOS doesn't support exFAT cluster sizes greater than 1024KB, however, so if you increase the cluster size significantly then the drive will only be usable by your Windows computer. Additionally, some users have reported issues with reading exFAT drives on Windows PCs if the drives were formatted on a macOS computer; while this does not happen for all users, to avoid potential problems you may wish to format the drive on your Windows PC instead of your Mac.

If you have some specific need for NTFS or APFS/HFS+, or you simply don't wish to use exFAT to format your external drive, there is another option available to you. Instead of formatting the drive with a single file system, you can create two partitions on the drive and format each of those with a different file system. This will reduce the amount of space that's available for either Windows or Mac files, but it will ensure that you have storage space on your external drive that's in your preferred format regardless of which computer you're on at the time. If choosing this route, make sure that you have sufficient space on the hard drive to make the dual partition worthwhile. Starting with a 500GB hard drive would only give you 250GB of space per partition, assuming that the partitions were equal; you may be better off going with at least a 1TB hard drive unless your storage needs are minimal.


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