Share Data Between Mac And Windows Using ExFat
If you have tried to share a USB pen drive or any other type of portable hard drive between a Mac and Windows PC you may have come encountered some obstacles. Read on to discover a useful alternative.
When formatting a drive for use on both a Mac and Windows PC most people will choose to format the drive in the FAT32 format in order for both operating systems to read and write to the drive. The Mac can read Windows NFTS formatted drives but cannot write to them.
This is a good solution however one problem with FAT32 is the limit of 4GB for a file which makes transferring large files such as movies a problem.
Apple added support for ExFAT to Snow Leopard version 10.6.5.
ExFAT is available on Windows Vista if you have installed Service Pack and Windows 7 by default. Windows XP users can also install ExFAT with an optional download from Windows Update.
Formatting A Drive in ExFAT On The Mac
To use ExFAT formatted drives on your Mac you must have updated OS X to 10.6.5. Once you have done that you will be able to read and write to ExFAT drives seamlessly.
To create an ExFAT formatted drive open Disk Utility from your Applications > Utilities folder.
Attach the pen drive or portable hard drive to your Mac.
Disk Utility will show the drive in the left column, the flash drive in my example is named Pen!
In the right-hand window select the Erase tab.
From the Format drop-down menu select ExFat then give your drive a name.
Click the Erase button, Disk Utility will confirm you want to format the drive. All data on the drive will be erased.
The time it takes to format the drive will depend on its size, for a small flash pen it will only take a few seconds.
The drive is now in ExFAT format and you can read and write file sizes up to 16 exabytes!