Sharing a Firewire Drive Between a Mac and a PC?

I just bought a 160GB firewire drive. I want to use it for backup on my Mac, PC, and Linux systems. What’s the best way to accomplish this? Should I create one big FAT32 partition on the PC, one big HFS+ partition on the Mac (and buy Macdrive for the PC), one 80GB FAT32 partition 80GB HFS+ partition (and let the Linux box choose between them), or what?

Any ideas? I tried an evaluation version of Macdrive, but it seemed rather buggy (I actually saw a Windows XP bluescreen for the first time ever). It was a beta though - I could try the stable version, I suppose.

Are Mac and PC partition tables compatible?

(Got upgraded superworkstations at work with XP [upgrade from Win2K], and now synching my Clie brings up the blue screen 25% of the time. Ah, progress!)

Here’s what I do with my FireWire drive. I back up all of my Linux/Windows stuff (same physical machine) onto the Mac over the network into an “archive” type account on the Mac. Then use my FireWire drive in HFS+ mode to periodically back THAT up.

Not the most elegant solution, but it works perfectly for me. You won’t be able to plug the FireWire drive into the PC, though, without something like MacDrive.

Luckily, your Mac recognizes and can use FAT32. So you could just use one, large partition for all of it. I’m a big advocate of partitioning your installed drives normally, but I wouldn’t for a backup drive.

Linux also recognizes FAT32.

Windows doesn’t recognize Reiser (or whatever), and neither does the Mac, so most of the Linux filesystems are out.

Linux may or may not work with NTFS yet – read only for sure, but the writeability is terminally under development. The Mac can’t touch NTFS, either.

Linux can officially write to NTFS, but it may still be a bit buggy (I’ve not had problems, but I don’t use Linux all that much). There is also some freeware which allows read/write of extfs2 on XP, but again, I think it’s a big buggy and may cause data loss in extreme cases.

As for the OP, if Mac can write to FAT32, then that sounds like your best bet.

Argh…so much for that.

I was hoping FAT32 would be a solution, but it only supports file up to 4 gigs in size. For various reasons, this disqualifies it.

It can nowadays, with limited writing/editing capabilities even.
(I’d still go with FAT32 though)

Okay, what I ended up doing was formatting the entire drive as HFS+ (Mac OS Extended), and using MacDrive to read it on the PC. It turns out the data corruption and stability issues that I had with MacDrive before were caused by the cable, not the drive itself.

Everything works great now.

FAT16 supports drives up to 2GB in size.
FAT32 supports drives up to 32GB in size.
NTFS supports some ridiculously large size.

Oops, can that, FAT32 can support drives much, much larger than 32GB, several terabytes in fact. I was confusing it with the fact that windows XP only allows you to format 32Gb and below drives as FAT32. This is touted as a “feature” for some reason :rolleyes:.