Mac OS X and HD Partitions just let me down

I’ve bought an USB External Hard Disk Case (IDE) , and installed an 120GB IDE drive on it. Since the files I store there should be accessed also by my Dual Boot XP/Ubuntu, I’ve started to study wich partition type would be the best choice.
After a little googling I’ve decided to format it as FAT32, that can easily be recognized by all the 3 OSes. I formated the drive plugged it to the Mac, it was recognized and mounted ok. I´ve started transferring some files from Windows to it, until it was almost full (90 GB), with thousands of files (20.000). I have to say that this step was really fast. But when I tried to read the files on the Mac it was very very slow. Most of these files where rar or zip files with jpegs into it, so first it would decompress the file and then show the images. It was a pain in the neck, because all the system overall speed decreased.

I started searching a little more and studied a few option:
NTFS – It can be read by the Mac but not written to. Linux can handle it better with a few tweaks (captivefs), but Mac does not.

  • HFS+ – It can be read and written by Macs, with third party software Windows can handle it, and Linux with limitations can read it (should turn journalizing off and pray the gods to write on it).
  • ext2/ext3 – Linux loves it, Windows handles it and MacOsX hates it, as far as I could understand. It seemed to me that I could lose all my data very easily if something got corrupted.
  • UFS – Unix File System – Mac and Linux SHOULD recognize and work with it. I capitalized “should” because I couls not find real information about it actually happening, just theorectly.Windows is blind to it.

After thinking about it, I created a HFS+ partition, and a Samba share point to get it accessed from Windows/Linux.

It was the best option I found, and it’s pretty fast now on Mac. Windows and Linux are able to access it with slower speeds since it’s done by a 100Mbps network and not directly by USB2 (400Mbps)…

Maybe I’m wrong and someone can point me out a better way to handling my problem, but I could not find a better solution!

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Published in: on 10/02/2006 at 8:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

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