I'm planning to build an external RAID-based media drive, and I'd like to use it across both my Windows and OSX machines. exFAT works for both operating systems, but from what I've heard, it's much more prone to corruption when unplugged prematurely (i.e., without using safely remove/eject). I've had this happen once on my memory stick, and I'd definitely prefer it not to happen on my multi-TB media drive. Is this true, and if so, are there any cross-platform file systems that are resistant to such corruption?


Look into ZFS.

It has wide OS support, (though notably is not built into much except Solaris right now) extreme data preservation measures, (Writes a new copy of the file, then changes pointers to ensure no "in-flight" loss) and extensive RAID support.

Apple had planned to include ZFS in Snow Leopard, then Lion, but it vanished. (You can get third party drivers) Windows doesn't have built in support either, but again, it can be bolted on.

It's also one of the less complicated Volume Management systems I've run across, though it does feel like strange voodoo at first.

You can also format the volume NTFS and use macFuse to access it under OS X. The best 100% common File System you can get is still Fat32 unfortunately...

  • exFAT is also available out of the box on both systems. – Daniel Beck Oct 12 '11 at 9:36
  • Wow, I'm behind the curve... thought exFAT was some new name for Fat32. :-P – SplinterReality Oct 12 '11 at 9:42

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