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I'm trying to use a LaCie 2TB drive as an AirPort drive, for backup on a home network. We have one mac and two PC laptops.

My plan is to create a Mac partition and a Windows partition. However, Disk Utility won't let me set the windows partition to Windows format; there's no option in the menu for it in the partition tab. Am I doing something wrong?

Alternatively, is there a way to partition the drive with one partition that all three machines can see? We have a Mac G5 with 10.4 and two laptops with Windows 7.


I've formatted the disk with one big Mac partition, and both of the Windows PCs and Mac can see and write to it. The Mac is currently doing a whole-disk backup using Synk Standard. (It's a first backup and has been going for over a day and a half, but seems to be making progress.)

Darth, thanks again for the heads-up about security. I've researched this further, and the questions to ask in this case seem to be [1] is the disk password-protected (it is), and [2] Is the AirPort using WEP or WPA (It's using WPA/WPA 2 "Personal").

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If you are connecting to the drive over the network, then the format should not matter - The system (AirPort) to which the drive is connected simply needs to be able to read it, for which I would format it as one large HFS+ partition. From there the files are encapsulated to the machines via various networking protocols, which both the windows and mac machines can use.

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Thanks. I'm having trouble configuring things so I can see the drive on my Win7 netbook. Is there an AirPort Extreme for idiots document somewhere on the web? I can't believe I'm the only one to have these questions! – neilfein Jun 13 '10 at 3:17
I think I may have found the problem. I had to enable "Share disks over WAN" and disable "Share disks over internet using Bonjour", and I was able to log into the drive from the netbook. Thanks again. – neilfein Jun 13 '10 at 3:44
@neilfein Careful, if there's not a router or something between your Airport Extreme and the internet (your modem or whatever), then Sharing over WAN could expose the disk to the entire internet. – Darth Android Jun 13 '10 at 5:25
I thought the Air Port had a firewall that disallowed this? – neilfein Jun 14 '10 at 18:33
In router terms, the firewall sits between the WAN and the LAN/Wifi. Sharing over WAN means you're sharing on the public side of the firewall as well as the private side. – Darth Android Jun 14 '10 at 22:47

Use Dropbox, it'll propagate your files across all of the computers (no matter what OS) and give you an online backup in case disaster strikes (like a fire).

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We've settled on a combination of network backup for long-term backup storage and Dropbox for quickly-changing day-to-day stuff. – neilfein Oct 31 '11 at 1:19

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