I've ordered a 2TB Crucial MX500 SSD to put in my 2012 MBP (A1278) (I'm also replacing the hard drive cable and putting in 16gb of RAM). I plan to install macOS Sierra, followed by Windows 10 (Education edition) with Boot Camp. My question is: Is there a way to create a shared partition on the internal drive for sharing data between the two OS's? I want to have 1250gb for Sierra, 500gb for Windows, and 250gb shared. I know I can use an external drive to transfer files, but I'd like to have a shared partition for data sharing on the internal drive if possible. (The files will be large microscopy image data too large to share on Dropbox.)
My initial thought was to format the whole drive as a GPT drive with a 1500gb HFS+ partition for macOS and a 250gb exFAT partition before using Boot Camp to create a 500gb partition to install Windows (More specifically, formatting the drive with a Windows machine to have two exFAT partitions, and then erasing one of those partitions to HFS+ on a Mac before installing macOS. I got the idea to format the drive using a Windows machine to preserve compatibility after reading this). Does anyone have experience with this? I have read here, here and here that extra partitions on the drive can break Boot Camp. (As an aside, why is this the case? Does Windows get confused about where to boot from?) The authors of the posts I just linked made their exFAT partition after installing macOS and setting up Boot Camp. Would my strategy of making these partitions beforehand work?
Alternatively, user iamthem wrote here that a Boot Camp partition may be shrunk and repartitioned using Partition Wizard in Windows, after setting up the Boot Camp partition. In this scheme, I would format the entire 2TB drive as GPT HFS+, install macOS Sierra, then create a 750gb Boot Camp partition and install Windows 10, finally followed by shrinking the NTFS portion of Boot Camp and creating a 250gb exFAT partition with Partition Wizard (while booted under Windows in Boot Camp). Does anyone see any problems with this scheme?
I have an external hard drive enclosure, so I can do a lot of this before actually putting the drive in my laptop. Thanks for your input.