Formatting Network Hard Drive
Posted 01 June 2009 - 07:58 PM
Posted 02 June 2009 - 03:12 PM
An Airport Disk is essentially a Hard Disk connected to an Airport Extreme Base Station. Airport Disks can be accessed from the Mac as well as the Windows operating system. Airport uses the SMB/CIFS protocol for FAT volumes, and both SMB/CIFS and AFP for HFS+ partitions. Airport Base Stations do NOT support NTFS volumes.
It should be noted that although Windows does not support the HFS+(Mac OS Extended) file system when directly connected to an HFS volume, an HFS+ volume on an Airport Disk can be easily accessed from the Windows Operating System. This is because the Base Station uses the Samba(SMB/CIFS) protocol to access the disk, and hence access from Windows is filesystem-independent. Therefore HFS+ is a viable option for Mac as well as Windows users, since FAT32, with its limitations, among others, is unsuitable for storage of large files (4GB File Size Limit).
So on that basis providing the disk isn't connected directly to the Windows machine, it doesn't matter how it's formatted because over a network Windows doesn't care how the network drive is formatted. This was useful in days of old when Windows 98 and Windows 95 were in use together because Windows 95 (the earlier versions) cannot read FAT32 formatted drives, but it can if it was done over a network.
So to answer your question: FAT32 isn't worth it, you can't use NTFS so if you have access to a MAC or some flavour of Linux, format it HFS.
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