How to use External HDD with Windows|MAC|Linux|Android – Explained

How to use External HDD with Windows|MAC|Linux|Android – Explained

Few months back, I bought my first external hard drive
and after using it for few days, I discovered a strange problem. for instance I was able to use this drive on Windows
with any problem but on MAC,
it became was read only, i.e. I was not able to copy data onto it. Similarly, it also didn’t play well
with Linux and Android OS . Now most pen drive that I have used,
work right out of the box with every OS but this not the case with external HDD So why is that,
and what we can do to solve it Well let’s find out. Hi There,
This is Mrinal once again and welcome to RTT video cast. In today’s we are going solve two problems first, if you have a external drive and
like me you too are facing incompatibly issue or second,
if you have ever heard terms like NTFS, FAT32, HSF+
but don’t know what it means. then after watching this video,
you will have crystal clear idea of what they are and
when to use what. Now before we jump into the rabbit hole
and start looking the solution, it’s important to understand
the problem first. Right? So what’s the problem? Well the —- file system. Let’s assume
the file system as a college library, and books inside the library as data. Now, Every OS uses a different library
i.e. they have their own way of arranging their data. Windows called it NTFS
MAC called HFS+ In Linux we have ext4
And their few other like FAT32, exFAT etc Now if both
your computer and external HDD have a different library (or the file system) then obviously they will have issues
while arranging the book (or in this case— reading and writing data) And that’s what is happening here. Also,
since this an explainer video I will be talking about more about concepts
than the actual process so all the ‘how-to’ parts are included
in separate blog post. Which you can find in the description or Youtube
cards. And with that being said
let’s get started Here we this compatibility table to understand
various aspect of different file system. Starting with NTFS. NTFS (or new technology file system)
is used by all Windows computer and was first introduced in Windows NT. Now since there are more Windows computer
than any other, it just make sense for HDD manufacture to
bundle their drive with NTFS as well. So, most people use their external drive on
Windows and they will never had any problem But sadly, NTFS volumes
are read-only in MAC OS. However there are 3 workaround
to use it as fully read write disk. One, You can install program like NTFS-3g
the good thing about it is, it’s free and work fine for me
while the bad part is, this software out of development since 2010.
so there is no support. So if want support and reliability,
you will have to empty your pockets and get a paid software from paragon. And third option is to,
turn on read write support from MAC terminal. However, this method is not recommended by
apple and people who tried it,
reported that faced problem with their drive. Similarly, to use your NTFS volume on linux,
you can install NTFS-3G as well. Again, android also do not recognised NTFS
volume so to fix that, you can use Free apps like
Paragon NTFS or stick mount from Play store. Obviously, you will need a root for that. Overall,
the NTFS
is best file system if are going to use it on Windows,
it support all modern features like compression, file permission
,encryption and journaling etc. Now, we don’t have to go technical to understand
these terms but in a nutshell these features are very
important in long run. For instance, say at some point,
you decided to password protect your external drive with truecrypt
then without encryption it’s not possible Similarly, if there is no journaling
then there are more chances of data corruption on your drive. However, on the other hand,
NTFS is not compatible with other OS. Which is sad. But, you can still get it work with
the available software. So that’s not too sad.=======HPS+ is developed by apple
and they use it as default file system n MAC and iOS devices. So as long you are using HFS formatted HD
you can easily use it on MAC Now some manufactures
sell HFS formatted Hard drive at more price than their NTFS counterpart. Just because, you know
everything is expensive in MAC. So if you are looking for HD for your MAC
you can buy any one and format it yourself. there is no need to pay extra. Now to use HFS formatted drive on Windows,
you can use a free software like HFS explorer
but even with that, you will be able to only read its content But if you want to do both
i.e. read and write data then you can buy Paragon HFS explorer. However, since MAC is derived from Unix
you can easily read HFS volume on Linux OS. And if you like to get the write access
you can simply turn off journaling. which you can do by plugin your drive on mac
and then change its setting. To use this on Android
you can use free app from Paragon. ( just like we did for NTFS)
I will leave the google play link in the description. Now the good thing about HFS is,
if you only going to use your Hard drive on MAC
then this file system is highly recommend. It has all the modern features
and will keep your device health in long term However,
using it with other OS is a real pain. I know the workaround works,
but are not practice on long run. For instance,
the HFS explorer for windows require you to install JAVA
and even after you only get read only access. ———————————- Next up is FAT32,
short for file allocation table It’s the oldest of all file system. Remember, I told, NTFS was first introduced
in Windows NT ! Well before that, FAT was used. And even after three decade
we still use FAT32 on pendrives, Why? Well, this is the file system
which is entirely compatible with every OS. Yes, this means
if your format your drive with FAT32 you can use it on Windows, MAC, Linux Android
and even on television set,mp3 player ( if it support that) Now, I know what you are thinking,
if FAT32 is so good, why not I format my HD with it and that’s
it. Well, not so fast,
There are few major problem with FAT since it’s old File system
it lacks all the major features like compression, encryption, journaling etc. So there is no user protection
and more chances of bad sector. Moreover,
the max single file size is only 4 GB this means if you have blue ray movie of 5
GB you can put it inside a FAT32 formatter HD Now, I didn’t mention this file size limit
in any other File system is because, they all they this limit in tera
byte, so it’s not that of issue,
at least for now So overall,
FAT32 is suitable for small flash drive or SSD
but for external HDD it’s not really ideal. And finally the exFAT,
which is relative new file system as introduced just a decade ago So exFAT is short for extended FAT
and does exactly what it’s name suggest.
it extend the functionality of FAT. Like FAT,
exFAT works with all operating system (well kind off)
for instance exFAT work fine with Windows and MAC but to get it work with Linux you can use
you can download exFAT-fuse package. and for Android, you guess it
the same paragon app that we used previously of NTFS and HFS?
WE NOO Even though, that app claim to work with exFAT
it didn’t actually work. BUT you can always use the
the stick mount app and get it working. Now why does it work?
We will see in a minute. But unlike FAT32,
it support a single file size upto 16 Exabyte. which is a lot. So what’s is the catch here Well to start off, it still miss
some important features like journaling and file compression
thus making it not ideal for external HDD and second, like NTFS and HFS
exFAT is also a proprietary file system so if other manufacture will use exFAT
they will have to pay royalty fee to Microsoft thus making it non-ideal in open source environment
like linux and android However, exFAT is popular format for SD card
of high end video camera that shoot 4k video.
As it can hold single file greater than 4 GB, ————————- So let’s sum up NTFS is for windows
HFS+ for MAC and ext4 for Linux all three of them are like a mean kid
they work really well with native OS but don’t work well with OS on the other hand FAT32 and exFAT work out of the box
with every operation system But their have their issues as well
For instance FAT32 is an old men —
although it work well with other it lack modern features and not really a good
option for large storage which is why we see it as default in flash
drive but not in thumb drive Similarly exFAT is like a newborn kid it’s also compatible with other OS
but it’s very new in the industry, others have not adopted it
moreover Microsoft proprietary make things worst. So here is the tldr version if most of the time you use Windows and sometime
MAC and Linux- then stick with NTFS and use NTFS-3g for workaround if you are always going to use MAC
then format your HDD to HFS+ if you want to use your HDD on all platform
and are OK with data loss and no advance feature then use FAT32 And finally
if you are like me who equally use his external drive with MAC
and Windows and transfer file greater than 4GB
then use exFAT. I am using it for months and never had a problem. Well this is all for now.
a lot of research and testing has gone in this video
so if you find this video helpful don’t forget to thumbs up and comment. Also subs to this channel
for pragmatic tech videos. So, this is all for now
its mrinal singing off and like always thanks for watching

100 thoughts on “How to use External HDD with Windows|MAC|Linux|Android – Explained

  1. Thank you @Techwiser, I do have a comment to your video, as it is helpfull to understand the differences between the formats it does not tell the whole story here because it is very much possible to use a EXT4 formatted drive on Windows.

    For those who whish to use storage media with Windows and Linux for files larger than 4 GB: use third party software for windows to read en write EXT4 formatted storage media:

    Or go for one of the plenty alternatives on the web.

  2. Dose 4Tb external hard drive work on both win7 & smartphone android 6 ?! … Do we have a limits with (mb or gb) on smartphone android ?! …

  3. Hi Thanks for the video. I just bought a samsung evo select 128GB MicroSD in Green colour from USA, when trying to format it, I see exFat as file system which makes sense but I not sure if the default file allocation of 128 kilobytes is correct? any advise?

    Question 2: I also bought a 1TB WD Mypassport, I attempted to format and saw the default file system was NTFS with and allocation unit of 4096bytes. Was going to format it, selected exFat then the default allocation unit changes to only 256 kilobytes. Any advise u can give me. I am planning using the drive with windows for docs, music, and a few 1 – 2 GB videos, including saving 4K videos going forward.

  4. This video already telling false information.
    Write and read issues solved at Linux Mint 17 Quiana (Released in 2014)
    Witch means Ubuntu Linux users are fine with NTFS read and write as well. I didn't find any writing or reading issue at Debian and fedora Linux with NTFS.
    Let's continue with exfat. There's no issues from Linux Mint 17.
    Finally hfs+ reading and writing issues solved by hfsprogs from Ubuntu Linux 14.04


  6. I would really recommend taking a North American English accent reduction course. Your Indian-English may work well with other people who use the same version of English, but unfortunately the music and your version of English made for very difficult comprehension here in the Americas. UK, I can't say, but I would probably suggest doing an accent reduction course for clients who speak London or other UK accent, too.

    I already boiled down that exFAT is great Win-Mac, but if you have an android system that accepts a USB connection, my external HD might not work there. So, THAT was a good thing to learn. Other than that, FAT32 would be the best choice IF and only IF you didn't have files larger than 4 Gb (such as movies). I suggest that your organization of these concepts would be better if you considered first the purpose and then the solution rather than using the system and then critiquing it for various uses.

    Seriously, listen to your voice or have someone (not South Asian) objectively critique your English pronunciation.

  7. I have a bunch of music on CDs that I am looking to convert to mp3s and store on an external hard drive. Can I Exfat the whole drive to store my music on so I will be able to get access through them on a Mac or PC?

  8. This is pretty crappy video no matter how you look. Basically, its view from WinMAC perspective with linux mentioned. Not all option even mentioned. How about using linux native EXT23 with free Ext2fsd driver fro Windows? How about formatting drive to UDF filesystem (yes, you do that, albeit it was made for optical media) – this allow direct compatibility between Lin and Win, without additional drivers. There is also Dokan (its pretty much FUSE implemented for Windows) – little slow, but its works. There is Ext4 Explorer for Windows. But all he talks is NTFS and HFS

  9. Hi! great video and im not a techie or something so i didnt understand most parts . Anyway, i want to make my HDD compatible with windows without losing data and its fine if its not compatible with iOS anymore. Could you please guide me to a how-to video or something?

  10. Bro, I have some questions,
    1. Recently I bought a 4TB WD My Passport Ultra portable HDD. I would like to make 6 equal partitions each. I would like to use this HDD connected with TV to watch 4K/Full HD movies and Family videos. So, what Partition Style and Format I should choose?
    2. What would be the best way to format a 32 GB pen drive? NTFS or exFAT? File allocation size 4KB or higher?

  11. Hey Mrinal please advice me should I buy Seagate backup plus slim or WD my passport. Also I am from Kolkata is there any service centre available incase I have any problem in future. Pls reply

  12. on ubuntu 16.04.4 i am actually able to read/write things on NTFS format without any problem, with the vanilla kernel ;v

  13. Thanks so m uch for this very comprehensive lecture! I followed your advise and now I am happy to use USB flash drive and HDD for both Mac and PC!

  14. Great Video.
    I fought with trying to figure out a format for read/ write for both mac and Linux.
    I used Fat32 until I ran into 4GB file size problem.
    I will try HFS+ with journaling turned off

  15. Hi that was really nice and easy to understand for beginners like me.. My problem is that I have an external hard drive that I want to use on my smart tv to watch HD and blueray movie we which are mostly around 20GB. And mostly copy the movies from my android phone to my external hard drive… So what should I do… It b really nice if you could help me out…

  16. Sir I want to install Mac os seria on my hp laptop but it got a problem

    I can format HGST HDD 100 GB to HFS+ and than try to install Hackintosh zone but the drive is not mounted in disk utility of MAC

    Sir please give me the solution for this problem

    my laptop details as follows:

    hp 15 ac026tx

    BIOS insyde H20 rev 3.5

    Windows 10 1803 UEFI formatted

    intel i5 5200u processor with 3 MB cache(graphics 5500)

    AMD M330 GPU (2 GB)

    8 GB RAM (in two slots)

  17. thanks.. is it not possible to install windows 7 on a removable harddrive thats ntfs? i will try a tool i got to format it fat32….this video convinced me thats practical

  18. exFAT works for me on Windows, Mac, and Linux (Ubuntu)
    I just need to install this on Ubuntu:
    sudo apt install exfat-fuse exfat-utils

  19. Great analysis, kudos!
    However, I don't understand why I have a problem. My hard drive is formatted in fat32 and for more than a year now I was working with it perfectly with my mac. Yesterday, I've connected it once with a windows machine and copied some files, and now I'm trying to open it with my mac again and all files are missing. The new and the old ones. I connected it back with windows and all files are there, but still my mac doesn't retrieve them. I don't know what to do because I'm working with the mac. Any ideas would be very welcome!

  20. Phenomenal, thank you for this. You explain each file system crystal clear down to the caveats of each, and I believe my choice now is exFAT. Keep making these, you're awesome!!

  21. Please help I have a SeaGate Hard Disk (with 4TB capacity) . I am trying to install Windows 7 in it and Windows 7 only detects 2TB capacity and not 4TB.

    So, I followed the details explained in this link, I connected the 4TB Hard Disk to another computer as a secondary HDD.Then followed the details from the link above to make it GPT. Then the computer detected the 4TB. So I created 4 partitions (1TB each). Then connected the 4TB HDD back to the original computer and this time Windows 7 says it cannot install Windows on GPT partitions.

    Then I followed the instructions on this YouTube video. This cleared the GPT partitions and removed all four partitions created. I was able to install Windows 7 but it could not be partitioned into four drives.

    What I like to know is how to install Windows 7 on 4TB HDD (partition into four drives)? If I install Windows 10 instead of Windows 7, will it detect 4TB and will I be able to partition into four drives and install Windows 10?

  22. hello dear, very nicely explained the whole concept behind the various files system, very well done.
    May just confirm me that since i would be using my new hard drive (WD my passport) only on windows and macbook, exFAT would the best way to format my hard drive…?

  23. Odd, I have a Linux pc (Ubuntu Budgie 18.04.1) and it reads and writes to an external HDD formatted with NTFS (WD My Passport)

  24. Didn't watch the video, but based on the description it sounds like you didn't discuss UDF. It's the file system used by DVDs. Works on every OS and supports files larger than 4GB.

  25. Thank you for a really excellent tutorial in clear, simple English aimed at everyday use. By explaining some of the acronyms but not being tempted into 'techspeak' you have produced a tutorial especially suitable for teenagers and 'silver surfers'.
    Those who comment that the captions do not match have missed the widespread convention of captions as summary and emphasis as opposed to verbatim.
    On the matter of accents — I suspect that moaners are mainly American and confuse 'English' with 'US English'. As an Englishman living in Ireland it is my own duty to listen carefully and so should those who have written unkindly. Indeed, those people would have difficulties in their own country with its startling variety of accents.
    Keep up the excellent work.

    Dr S F Hall, Ireland

  26. That is clear BUT
    Two windows (ten) computers, one at home, one at work.
    The videos and howtos I have seen so far make it look easy. None mentions NTFS permission. I would like to do my work on one.

  27. I got Sony Xperia X and Samsung Note 4.. Using a HSGT Touro 1TB Hard drive(Ex-Fat Format) via OTG without any problem. Just stick and ready to go👍

  28. I like your cute face with your spectacles and movable "fat" eye brown…hopefully it's not a fat32 or extFat eye brown…

  29. Mrinal, great explanation. I am using the exact same WD Elements portable external hard drive as you. I was using it on PC then wanted to save some data from my Macbook. I formatted the external hard drive to exfat and it all the data on my external hard drive disappeared. Or is it just reformatted? Help!

  30. Great video. I've been trying to decide how to format a few of my flash drives and external hard drives, now I know. Thanks!

  31. How to make external hard drive into format for games smart tv lg without any games constrols pls tell the format sir reply soon

  32. exFat fucked up all my files twice, first time I was able to recover them, second time not so lucky. lesson learned, now I just stay away from it. I'm a MAC user .

  33. One of the best explanatory videos I've seen on YouTube. and I don't really give comments that much. but for this I had to. Take up teaching as a profession. Thanks man !!

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