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Bootcamp (Fat32 vs NTFS) formating

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hello All,

I'm installing Windows XP on my Macbook.
- I was wondering what people's are on formatting the Windows partition as Fat32 or NTFS.
- Also, I noticed that in the Bootcamp setup, the size selection for the partition is defaulted at 32GB. Is there anything special about 32GB that makes it the choice for the default.

What an Apple rep told me:
- Fat32 is stabble at a partition size of 32GB and below
- if you have partitioned as Fat32, then while in MacOS, you can Read & Write to Windows files
- if you have partitioned as NTFS, then while in MacOS, you can Read only to Window files

- if you select the default of 32GB or smaller, Bootcamp will automaticly select Fat32
- if you select a size greater that 32GB, then during the windows setup, you will have the option to select NTFS as the format


My Question:
- Can anyone confirm that what I was told my the Apple rep is correct.
- if yes, is there any reason, to choice NTFS, (givein that in Fat32 you can Read & Write)
- does NTFS has any advantages over Fat32 (Stubility and Speed I'm guessing)

This Windows setup is for work, if there is any question about the stubility of Fat32, I would then opt to choose NTFS.

Ideas, thoughts.... What do you all think?

Thanks
post #2 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by danceclimber View Post

Hello All,

I'm installing Windows XP on my Macbook.
- I was wondering what people's are on formatting the Windows partition as Fat32 or NTFS.
- Also, I noticed that in the Bootcamp setup, the size selection for the partition is defaulted at 32GB. Is there anything special about 32GB that makes it the choice for the default.

What an Apple rep told me:
- Fat32 is stabble at a partition size of 32GB and below
- if you have partitioned as Fat32, then while in MacOS, you can Read & Write to Windows files
- if you have partitioned as NTFS, then while in MacOS, you can Read only to Window files

- if you select the default of 32GB or smaller, Bootcamp will automaticly select Fat32
- if you select a size greater that 32GB, then during the windows setup, you will have the option to select NTFS as the format


My Question:
- Can anyone confirm that what I was told my the Apple rep is correct.
- if yes, is there any reason, to choice NTFS, (givein that in Fat32 you can Read & Write)
- does NTFS has any advantages over Fat32 (Stubility and Speed I'm guessing)

This Windows setup is for work, if there is any question about the stubility of Fat32, I would then opt to choose NTFS.

Ideas, thoughts.... What do you all think?

Thanks

There are two simple questions that will help make this easy:

First, will you be dealing with files larger than 4GB? If so, you need to use NTFS since FAT32 cannot handle files larger than that.

Second, do you need write access from OS X? If so, you must go with FAT32.

All in all, NTFS is a newer, more secure and stable file system. Unless you have a strong reason to use FAT32 (i.e. You need write access from other operating systems), it would be foolish not to recommend using it. It manages the disc better, deals with bad sectors better, has support for compression, and can do encryption.

Regardless of partition size, you will get to choose what to format the drive as during the Windows setup.

I personally would recommend NTFS unless, as I mentioned, you have a good reason not to use it.
post #3 of 3
You can read and write to the partition and have it mount on your Mac desktop if you install a free and open source package called MacFUSE which is actually from a Google employee!

I am using it with no problems so far. I used NTFS since it's apparently faster and less prone to errors and corruption. Also you need "ntfs-3g".

MacFUSE: http://code.google.com/p/macfuse/
NTFS-3G: http://macntfs-3g.blogspot.com/
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