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I would like to use my external hdd both on Mac os and windows 7. It looks like NTFS format is readable on Mac, but not writeable.

What format should I use to make my hdd read/writeable on both mac and pc?

Update: I'm sorry, it was NTFS, not FAT32

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FAT32 is readable and writable by all versions of OSX since at least 10.4... What issue are you having with it?

If you used exFAT instead, it is only readable by OSX 10.6 and later. I currently use FAT32 with my triple-boot MacBook Pro

The OSX will natively read NTFS (at least from OSX 10.5 and later, not sure on earlier), but will need third party software to write to NTFS. Before, I used MacFUSE and ntfs3g (use google) to read and write, but it did have certain "issues", mostly in the fact it's not the Mac natively using it

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sorry for the confusion. updated my question. –  user45326 Aug 3 '12 at 20:16
    
@user12077 Updated answer –  Canadian Luke Aug 3 '12 at 20:20

You can use NTFS, the native filesystem of Windows starting around Windows NT up through Windows 7. There are filesystem drivers for Mac OS X to read and write to NTFS volumes.

I can't make a product recommendation here, so you should be able to use your Google powers to look up "os x ntfs write".

I would recommend almost any filesystem over FAT/FAT32/exFAT because none of the FAT type filesystems have a data journal. Without a journal, you are much more likely to lose data. You can still lose data with a journal, but the probability is greatly reduced.

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so it sounds like FAT32 is way to go, except that it can't store a file over 4GB as a single file.. –  user45326 Aug 3 '12 at 20:17

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