Sharing a Hard Drive Between a Mac and a PC

Hey party people!

So I have this G Drive that I am trying to use on both my Mac and PC and just called tech support and got some helpful advice about how to do this.

To format a drive for both read/write functionality on both systems, it must be formatted FAT32 or MS-DOS(FAT) as the Mac likes to call it.

To format the drive FAT32, you must do this on the Mac. It is possible through a PC but requires a plug-in.

To do this:

  1. Hook the drive to your Mac through firewire or USB. Go to Disc Utility and click on the top line of the drive that shows the total file size.
  2. Click on the Erase tab and select MS-DOS from the dropdown menu.
  3. Click Erase at the bottom to format the drive.
  4. Do not select the the option to use it as a Time Machine backup.
  5. Unplug the drive from the Mac before connecting it to the PC

The problem with FAT32 is that it has a limit of 4GB per file which can be a real pain when working with video files. The best way around it is a paid plug-in called MacDrive.

If you have to move files from the PC to the Mac, you can format the drive NTFS. You can access the window to do this by right clicking on My Computer and then selecting Computer Management. Find the drive and right click on it to locate the format option. This will allow you to move larger files. The drive will be recognized on the Mac but readable only.

Good luck!


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