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As we continue to see Apple devices and computers gain traction, and users, in business, many are finding that getting different systems to actually work together is harder than it really should be. One sticking point comes when trying to get both Mac and Windows to read and write files to external hard drives or USB storage devices.
On the surface, the files and folders of both Windows and Mac do the same thing and are relatively similar. The main difference comes in the file systems used by operating systems to control how information is stored and received on hard drives. This information is represented to us as a file structure – files and folders. Without a file system, we would not be able to tell the difference between information and data stored on the computer.
While it makes perfect sense to have only one type of file system, there are actually over 20 in use today. The most popular are:
Because OS X and Windows don’t support the other’s main file system, it is advisable to ensure that you format your external hard drives and USB drives to be either FAT32 or exFAT. The optimal choice would be exFAT.
How to format your external hard drive or USB on a Mac
If you work in a company that uses both Windows and Mac machines, or would like to be able to transfer files between systems using an external drive, you should first format the drive so that it can be read by both systems. You can do this on a Mac by:
Warning: Before your format any drive, you should be sure that there are no files you need or would like to keep because they will be erased and will be unrecoverable.
If you are looking to learn more about how a Mac can fit into your office, or would like to know more about formatting hard drives please contact us today to see how we can help make this happen.