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I just received a Lacie 1TB external usb/firewire/esata drive. I have 2 machines. A macbook running osx 10.6 and a desktop running windows 7. I would like to rip my dvd collection to iso and store on my external. Right now I use my macbook's disk utility to rip dvds to iso. However my desktop is what is connected to my hdtv. I mainly just use the desktop for media.

I'd like to format the external with a 200 GB partition for time machine backups and have the rest for storage. DVD iso are often above 8GB so that sort of eliminates FAT file systems correct? Do I have any options to be able to have my mac and pc both see the drive?

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Yes, FAT32 will not support single files greater than 4GB. I'm curious of the same thing, is there a file system to use on both Mac and Windows that supports files greater than 4GB? I'm not sure if NTFS support in snow leopard will let you write to it yet or not. – Will Eddins Sep 1 '09 at 19:17
up vote 6 down vote accepted

There are a million ways to skin this cat, here are a few:

1) Use everything you already have

You can attach the drive to your Windows machine (formatted as NTFS) and share out the partitions as separate network folders. Your Mac will be able to mount that share using SMB. Directions are outlined here.

I use this very setup for doing exactly what you are attempting to do.

As far as the concern for reading/writing NTFS on Mac: You can download and install this free driver that will allow you to direct attach the storage on your Mac and read/write without any probs.

2) Use an AirportExtreme to share it out

Using an AirportExtreme and Bonjour, you can plug that puppy in and share it out across your network using Bonjour. Just plug it, fire up Bonjour and enjoy. In this instance, using HFS+ would be the best bet.

3) Do the inverse of #1

Format your drive in HFS+, share it out on your MacBook and enable Windows File Sharing. Use this article here for doing that:

#3 would be the least preferable since your MacBook is going to be on the run. #2 is the best in that regard because you get access regardless which machine you are using and doesn't require you to have both machines running. It is not as desirable since you would have to purchase additional equipment, so if you're looking reuse the equipment you already have, #1 would be your best shot.

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+1, there goes the answer I was just typing in. :) – John Rudy Sep 1 '09 at 19:28
+1 me too . – harrymc Sep 1 '09 at 19:30
+1 me third! – Grumpy ol' bear Sep 1 '09 at 19:39
If I attach the drive to my windows machine and format using ntfs. Then mount that drive that share using smb, would I be able to perform wireless backups with time machine over that mounted drive? thanks. – CT. Sep 1 '09 at 19:49
Yes. Your windows machine acts as an abstraction layer of what is being implemented as your storage media. Your storage media could be a dozen monkies scribbling 1s and 0s on parchment and as long as Windows can communicate to it, your Mac will not be the wiser. – Wayne Hartman Sep 1 '09 at 20:50

you can access HFS+ volumes on Vista using MacDrive

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