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How to format external hard drive for cross platform image processing?


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#1
adifrank

adifrank

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Hi. I just got a new external hard drive for working on images in Photoshop both on my PC laptop and a MAC.
This is the hard drive that I got: G-Technology G-Drive mobile

I'm a bit confused as to how this drive should be formatted so that it can both read & write when working on either the pc or MAC.

Also, I'd like to know if it makes any difference whether I'll be using Windows XP or Windows 7.

Thanks!
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#2
Neil Jones

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According to the comments it's already formatted. It'll be FAT32. XP and 7 makes no difference.
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#3
adifrank

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Hmmm... I actually understood from the comments that it is formatted for Mac (not PC). Also the instructions manual in the box says it is formatted for Mac.
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#4
Neil Jones

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If it was formatted exclusively for a Mac, it woudn't be FAT32.
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#5
adifrank

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Well... I formatted the drive to FAT32 a couple of days ago. The drive works with both Mac and PC now - which is good. But there are issues. The most worrying is the outcome of the checksum test I did after copying over all the data I needed from the internal drive on my PC to the external 500GB drive (currently formatted to FAT32).

I used a free software called ExactFile to check the integrity of the data that I transferred to the external HD and it found a little under 200 files missing.

This really worries me, as these are the original RAW files of images. I'm a photographer.
Of course I have a backup of these on a different drive, but I'll by syncing the external hard drive with my internal hard drive and eventually I'll be backing up that data. So if there are any erroneous or missing files they will ultimately cross over to the backup!

Are these failures in transferring data issues that have to do with FAT32?
Does anyone have a good suggestion (and preferably simple) how to avoid bad transfers between my external FAT formatted drive and the internal NTFS drive on my pc and/or the internal drive on the MAC?

Just one note: When transferring the files to the external drive I first used file syncing software, but the estimate was that it would take about 4 days to move the 150+ GB of data. I then tried just copy/pasting the files in Windows - time estimate was 5 days. Then I read that transferring a large number of files to a FAT file system can be very slow. The recommended way to do this was to compress all the data to a zip file and move that. Moving the single zip file was very fast. Then I decompressed the zip file after it was on my external hard drive.
But as mentioned... the final result was missing a couple of hundred files out of tens of thousands (not all are images, the large number of files mostly has to do with data required by software called Adobe Lightroom).

Open to suggestions.... thanks
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