Dual partition external hard drive mac windows

One main difference is the file system. What do I mean? In other words, you can access the drive and transfer data without any hassles. That file system is — exFAT. Note that there is another file system called FAT32 that pretty much does the same thing but with one major flaw. See the table below for more info. As you can see, exFAT is the only file system that works with all versions of Windows and macOS and does not have any max file-size or partition-size limits.

How to know what current file system your flash drive is with, and how to format it to exFAT? First of all, plug your flash drive into the USB port on your computer. Make sure your device can be detected and recognized. That means my Lexar disk is currently with the FAT32 file system. Important: make sure you have at least one backup of all the data stored on the device before you proceed. Because the process of reformatting a disk drive will very likely erase all content and make recovery impossible.

Read this USB drive data recovery guide for more information. The first part is for Mac users, and the second part is for PC users Windows 10 based. In no particular order. Please note: since OS X The app now has a new user interface that looks slightly different on Yosemite or earlier OS X versions. Step 1: Open Disk Utility. Note: right below your device name, it also shows information about the drive e. You may also change the device name if you want. Kind reminder: make sure you have backed up the data before you do this.

Step 4: Wait until the erasing process to complete. It should be very quick only a few seconds to format my 32GB Lexar drive. Step 5: This step is optional. I saved several files to the disk, and open Disk Utility again. If you are on an earlier operating system like Windows 7, XP, etc.

How to Partition External Hard Drive for Mac and PC

The screenshots may look slightly different. Step 2: A new window pops up prompting options you need to select before starting. Pro tip : chances are that you may encounter some issues formatting a flash drive on a PC or the disk is malfunctioning. If so, the following articles may be of help to you:. Most of the external hard disks and flash drives are formatted for Microsoft Windows operating systems. Is this data transfer high enough that i would be better off partitioning my hard drive into system plus main programs and data files?

Since installing Win 8, the backup image would be quickly outdated due to updated versions of software i regularly use. Although i still have a small encrypted partition and a large one for big, rarely accessed PDF files. I have opted for partitioning in order to be able to install the main OS on the C drive but then install all other programs on the D drive the partition. That way if I ever need to format the C drive alone as part of some sort of maintenance I will not have to lose precious time reinstalling all the programs. However I have never come to this point until now…and although I am about to reinstall my precious C drive with the main OS as it has slowed considerably, I have no clue whatsoever how to recall he programs installed on the D drive.

Can you help me with this, please? Dan Installing your programs on the D: drive is an interesting idea, but unfortunately, if you reinstall the OS, the installed programs will no longer work. When a program is installed, it makes changes to the registry and usually installs files in various places on the c: drive.

So when you reinstall Windows, the programs will look for these files, and not finding them will cause the program to error out. I have always had OS et al on C: and data on D: mainly for backup but it also faciltates uncomplicated copying of a whole partition over to a new computer, and allows me to reinstall OS image without worrying about the data. In addition, I use substitute drives using the subst DOS command.

I heave a sigh of relief each time subst still works when I upgrade to a new OS, particularly to Win8. I have a new HP Laptop with Windows 8. C is for everything, but recovery, which is handled by D, In the past I have partitioned my HD into several partitions for data, photos, etc.

As to backing up my data, I stumbled upon a unique way of handling it. You plug it into your computer and forget about it. The first time you use it you check off what you want backed up- data, pictures, etc. The first backup takes a little time that depends on the amount of data you have on your computer, but from that point on whenever you turn on your computer the USB drive scans your internal drive and just adds any new data, photos, etc. I find it to be the perfect solution to backing up your data, the USB Drive, as long as you leave it plugged in you can take it out after it does its back-up at start-up, but I have enough USB slots to leave it in automatically backs up your data without you having to remember to do anything.

If you have a crash, loss of data. It is most annoying to fill your data partition and find you have lots of spare space on your OS partition! Each to his own, I guess. I used to set up multiple partitions in the old days, but there is little value for it now, with NTFS. I find that speeds things up a lot. It also allows you to keep an image of your OS and Programs separately from your data, which can come in handy. Other than that, if I am just using one drive, I just make sure that I keep all my data in the My Documents folder, and keep it classified in sub folders.

Does the same thing that partitions used to do. And its easy to just back up your documents folder. I frequently backup by making an image file of drive C:, and keeping the page file off that partition saves a bunch of room in the image file the page file is 4 GB—why clutter up the image with that meaningless data? The computers are fast enough that there is little or no speed advantage. I find that when that happens it is a time consuming pain-in-the-butt to reinstall all of the programs and all of the updates to a new hard-drive.

Years ago, I would do that but, now I mirror the entire hard-drive which I update fairly regularly.

Installing Windows on External Drive With Mac Partition on Mac: 5 Steps (with Pictures)

Having a mirror allows me to swap the drives in 15 minutes or less, and the computer is back to where it was before the crash. An alternative to having a dedicated mirror drive is to have a good image backup. Same result, just takes a little bit more time to restore the image after the failed drive has been replaced. The only real reason to use partitions is for the multi-boot capability. You can also use drive spanning to increase your space without having to migrate.

I started using this procedure when working on servers with raid arrays especially those that grew over time and it has worked fine for me in that environment and on home desktops. I have always kept my OS and programs on C: drive and my personal data on one or more partitions, so that when I do a clean install or re-image my C: drive, all my data is left intact. And I move my Favorites to my data partition for the same reason. I bought a HP Pavilion Envy dektop. It came with a 2TB hard drive with a restore partition. Put the 2TB drive in storage just in case. I put a small GB hard drive as the second drive for daily use called drive E.

Installed a eSata card with port multiplication. The 4 bay enclosure can easily be swapped between my Windows 7 and 8. Have tons of storage space and versitility to boot. The hard drives and enclosures are very cheap as well. That is the easy way to go. I agree with you, Leo. In the old dsya, I used to partition, it wa pretty much necessary because of the cost of drives. The cradle accepts both 3. My laptops and PC have only one drive, C:, with some data for convenience, but i mostly use the NAS for data of music, all personal files, photos, movies,etc. But I backup, backup, and backup.

Thom Souza. Hi, I have a question regarding partitioning. Is it true that when you partition some of the files from C: would be transferred to D:? I hope I get a response soon.

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We have no IT person on site. We have 6 partitions and C drive. We are full in all drives. We have been told to delete or save our My Documents folder each. Should I back up create folders or copy all drives into an external hard drive for each person to work from as an immediate solution? I personally recommend not partitioning. It reduces the efficiency of your storage as when a partition gets close to full, the leftover space become difficult to efficiently use. Folders are dynamic and expand and shrink as needed.


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That was a great article, very informative. I do not partition my hard drive. On Windows, I believe your user folder cannot be moved to another partition anyway.

Format External Hard Drive with Multiple Partitions

So even if you keep your documents on a separate partition, your user profile is still on the system partition, physically separating what should belong together. I deleted one of my partition on my external hard drive is it possible for me not to lose data on other partition which is local disc D? You can never again lose any valuable data by backing up regularly. Leo has the best instructions on how to do that! If the OS is on the smaller G partition instead of being spread around the entire 1TB drive, will this not improve boot time speed?

The first thing to do is to open up Windows Explorer and see if you can find the drive listed next to the C drive. When an external drive is plugged in the computer usually assigns a letter to it automatically. And also make sure that you know that just having your data on an external drive does not mean it is backed up. If it is only in one place it is not backed up. So , can you help me for getting back my memory back.. I spoke with a Security Camera system installer who gave me conflicting information and I would like to his info confirm with you.

I have been under the impression that there really is no benefit about splitting one physical drive into multiple logical drives, unless the users want to dual boot or organize files separately. I did not understand why and when I asked him he stated that he enabled virtual memory on each drive to speed up performance and that camera systems operate better with the multiple drives.


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He did not go into detail was very vague. Is he somewhat correct?

There are pros and cons to partitioning. This all would have been avoided if it were all on one logical drive. I use Acronis for disk imaging but Macrium Reflect free is a suitable alternative. All images are full rather than incremental. Make a full disk image to an external drive call it Factory. Resize C: to an appropriate size. For me as a developer that is currently 70 gig but with development tools getting more bloated I would increase that to gig. For the typical user I would suggest 60 gig.

This deletes the uninstall files for any Windows Service Packs that have been installed and can free up a lot of disk space. Create a full disk image of C: call it yyyy-mm-dd-Base-C. Install whatever applications you MUST have. After the installs, make sure you have applied any outstanding updates to those apps. Clean C: again then make another full image call it yyyy-mm-dd-C-Full. Make a new C: image call it yyyy-mm-dd-c-Full. This will be your new fallback image.

You can keep or delete the old fallback image. As before, copy this to offline storage. Reasons have been described by earlier posters, but I do like having a C: drive for the OS and applications, and then creating a K: or M: or S: or… drive for data. Mostly for backup, maybe also a little organizational OCD. I then link? Documents to the K: drive. I have a slightly different take.


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  6. I then add a second physical drive for data, which I typically partition as drive D for data and Drive M for media. I believe this will provide a nice blend of performance, security, and ease of backup. For decades I have offered a price guaranty on systems I build.

    You can buy every component cheaper somewhere else. Disk partitioning or disk slicing is the creation of one or more regions on a hard disk or other secondary storage, so that an operating system can manage information in each region separately A partition is a logical division of a hard disk that is treated as a separate unit by operating systems OSes and file systems. The OSes and file systems can manage information on each partition as if it were a distinct hard drive. Hi Leo. I also have a secondary mechanical hard drive with 1TB capacity where I store my music, movies, document files, software installers, etc..

    Should I partition my 1TB? May I. An installed program places files in several places in many cases and posts entries in the registry. In order to back up your programs, you need to take regular system image backups and incremental backups which are capable of restoring everything back to your computer in full working order.

    I still use partitions, primarily for Data and always encrypted with BitLocker. Its a bit more in setting up and re-pointing of documents, pictures etc to the Data drive. Multi boot partitions are largely not needed anymore with Virtualisation. For most users i would advise a single partition, less messing around.

    My experience with partitioning is that it is not worth the trouble. I used to substitute installed hard drives, typically rpm? Significant difference. I always use spike protectors, battery backups, and two different online backups for data. Need to go back to a regular image backup. Last one I used, Acronis, slowed everything down, even when it was not working. I partitioned in a somewhat different sense. I have a C: physical drive and a D: physical drive, and I hacked Windows 7 in order to better separate programs and data between both.

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    Separation is still not complete, but it is different from what Windows intends. This allows me to decide where most of my data goes, instead of Windows making the decision for me. I have an old version of photo shop that does not support drives larger than 1 terrabyte. My hard disk is 2 terrabytes. I solved the problem by partitioning the drive. Except one! My personal data files are on a seperate partition; encrypted with VeraCrypt.

    It seems a logical way of keeping strangers out repairman, thief, etc. A few years back we enthusiasts just loved to play around with partitioning and the going craze was to set the OS and Data on separate partitions so, if your PC crashed, the Data was ostensibly safe. I have two clients that bought Asus PCs on my recommendation , a laptop and a desktop, both with Win 7 installed.

    They had problems later with a disk space full message. But the default saves were still set for the C: drive, which obviously filled up pretty quickly. So, if you do partition, make sure to follow through and set your Libraries to save to the proper drives. I have previously partitioned a disk and installed apps on C: and Data on D: — but this always used to cause the programs issues. I never really backed up — it was always too hard to do, I used a variety of different tools over the years, but when called into action actually did not work.

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    I have now learned my painful lessons and I now just use an Apple Mac and Time Capsule, it backs up everything seamlessly in the background and it just works. What if any of this partition happens to go short of free space? It could be difficult to resize, especially with system utilities like Disk Management.

    Having a single partition on a phisycal disk, optimizes free space and dinamically assigns to selected folders the exact space needed. Some programs can only be installed on the system c: drive and other problems may occur if they are not on the c: drive. I made a Data partition on my desktop PC four years a go and found that Microsoft still enters my Documents in C: in addition to my partition F:. You can specify where files are placed, as you like. I have always partitioned disks. I preferred keeping the OS and data on separate disks. In my mind, it made backing up easier.

    However, when I bought a new 8TB drive principally for data storage on an older computer that I use as a file server , I was surprised to read that the disk manufacturer Western Digital specifically addressed this issue in their installation instructions. And they advised NOT partitioning due to a higher potential for data loss.

    So, I did not partition this disk. Comments violating those rules will be removed. Comments that don't add value will be removed, including off-topic or content-free comments, or comments that look even a little bit like spam. All comments containing links and certain keywords will be moderated before publication. I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.

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