So I get a lot of calls wanting to know if you can use a drive on both Mac & PC, I think I have a solution...but I'm not sure, I want to know of any conflicts or any ideas why it won't work.
Easy steps to format an external drive to be compatible with Windows (2000/XP) & Mac (X)
1. Right click on My computer, go to Manage, go to disk management 2. Identify which "Disk X it is (most likely Disk 1, unless you have other internal disks) 3. ***IF YOUR DRIVE ALREADY HAS A PARTITION: right click on the partition and go to delete the partition. WARNING: deleting a partition will erase all data on the drive*** 4. The drive should show up as unallocated. 5. Right click on the unallocated area and go to new partition 6. Press next 7. Select primary partition, press next 8. Set the size that will be NTFS (the partition that windows can write/read and Mac can read-only), then press next 9. Select the drive letter, press next 10. Choose the name of the drive, and check perform quick format, then press next 11. Press finish
You should now have a chunk of you HDD that is set up for the NTFS file system, and the other part should be unallocated. Ok now still in disk management.
1. Right click on the rest of the unallocated area, go to new partition 2. Press next 3. Select extended partition, press next 4. Set the size of the drive you want to use on the Mac partition, press next 5. Press finish
The drive should show up as Free Space (probably in lime green)
1. Right click go to new logical drive 2. Press next 3. Press next 4. Set drive letter, press next 5. Select do not format this drive, press next 6. Press finish
The drive should show up with a light blue bar and dark green bar around it. Do a safe removal. Now for the fun part, partitioning on Mac.
1. Go to disk utility (applications>utilities>disk utilities) 2. You should see the external drive with 2 indented partitions, one being NTFS (DON'T TOUCH THAT ONE) and the other kind of grayed out 3. Select the grayish partition 4. Click erase 5. Select MacOS Extended (just plain OS extended, not journal) 6. Name the drive 7. Click erase 8. 2 drives should show up on your desk top
Now in order to make sure you data stays safe, always do an eject or safe removal