I have a laptop that installed with hackintosh (OSX 10.7) and Windows 7. I already created with 3 partitions with GUID partition table. Mac using Extended (Journaled), and windows 7 using NTFS.

The question is, if I want to create third partition, which can be read and also write by both OS,which filesystem should I use?

p.s.: I heard about NTFS-3G for mac that can utilize NTFS volume, but it is paid software. I prefer change the partition filesystem rather than using the software.

Additional Information: My laptop is using HDD, and the last partition sized about 160GB.

  • There is a way to natively have OS X read/write NTFS. You can go with another file system, but then you run into file size limits. I know this is a vague comment with "there is a way" but you might need to google around for "enable native ntfs mac" and find a walkthrough that works for you. – Raystafarian Mar 6 '12 at 15:26

Windows7 supports the following on-disk formats:

  • FAT16 (for floppy disks only)
  • FAT32
  • EFS (commonly called ExFAT)
  • NTFS
  • CDFS (for CD/DVDs only).

Your best bet is probably to go with FAT32 for partitions of less than 4GB or EFS/EXFAT for partitions above this limit.


FAT32 and exFAT will work between them.

exFAT can be used where the NTFS file system is not a feasible solution, due to data structure overhead, or where the file size limit of the standard FAT32 file system (without FAT+ extension) is unacceptable.

  • "exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table) is a proprietary file system designed especially for flash drives" is it okay to apply it on HDD? – imsus Mar 6 '12 at 11:08
  • For sure, HDD's aren't that choosy anyway. – Maarten Bodewes Mar 6 '12 at 12:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.