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Old June 11th, 2006, 02:54 PM   #1
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multi-platform drive formatting

A heads-up on something that's probably noted somewhere on the board, but I'd never run across before...

I bought a 250GB external drive to offload media (via MacBook Pro) in the field. However, once the media was on the drive, it had to connect to an Avid (running on XP) for the edit.

Without MacOpener loaded on the XP machine (it wasn't, in this case), xp won't recognize a mac-formatted (i.e., HFS) drive. If you format the drive using xp, it's going to format it as NTFS, which means you have read-only capability on OS X, no matter what permissions you set on xp when you format the drive. As far as I can tell, the ONLY way to make this work is to choose both "PC partitioning scheme" AND MS-DOS formatting in OS X, then format the drive on the mac. This creates a FAT 32 drive that both machines will read and can write to.

This is less than thoroughly documented, shall we say, on both the Apple and the Windows sides. Given that this was happening the night before a big shoot (other work had eaten up the time I'd planned to do this earlier in the week), it was a less-than-wonderful way to spend most of the time I should've been sleeping.
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Old June 11th, 2006, 03:22 PM   #2
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http://www.speedtools.com/DrivePC.shtml
as another option.

Very useful utility - comes bundled with Speed Tools or standalone.
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Old June 11th, 2006, 03:53 PM   #3
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I have macdrive installed on my PC, then format the drive for MacOS extended.

Also, one other thing to keep in mind is that if you connect an external to a computer (doesn't matter which), then network the two computers together, then it won't matter which filesystem the drive is formatted with.

For example, I have an NTFS formatted external attached to my PC, then on my mac, I simply mount the drive as a network drive, and it writes to the drive using Windows, so it doesn't matter how it's formatted. The thing there, however, is that you slow down your transfers. You have to go over firewire, then over the network. It's not terrible, but it pays off that it's always a solid connection.

Also, one thing to keep in mind with FAT32 is that your file size is limited to 4.3 gigs, so that is the largest file you can have. This is obviously not an ideal solution for DV where you can have 12 gig files, and even less ideal for HD where you're lookin at 1 gig/minute.
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Old June 12th, 2006, 08:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Boyce
Also, one thing to keep in mind with FAT32 is that your file size is limited to 4.3 gigs, so that is the largest file you can have. This is obviously not an ideal solution for DV where you can have 12 gig files, and even less ideal for HD where you're lookin at 1 gig/minute.
I'd heard there was a relatively small file size limit in FAT32... I was about to look that up. Given that I'm hardly the only person in this situation, you'd think Panasonic would've built in an option to close the file at 4 GB and continue with a new file... The Atom structure of MXF means it's constantly committing the file anyway... Avid does this at (I believe) the 2 GB mark for any of its long clips. Not difficult code to write.
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Old June 12th, 2006, 12:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Auerbach
Given that I'm hardly the only person in this situation, you'd think Panasonic would've built in an option to close the file at 4 GB and continue with a new file...
That's exactly what it does. It splits files at the 4GB file size limit and writes pointers into the metadata file to link the two halves together.
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