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Looking to encrypt an external HD on MAC OSX wanting to use it on Windows too

Topics: Users Discussion
Oct 15, 2015 at 5:34 PM
I assume the only thing I need to make sure is that I format it with a file system readable by both systems?

In my case, OSX can read NTFS so should I go with NTFS and encrypt it on my MAC? (I rarely have access to Windows but need to maintain compatibility nevertheless.

Is this the way to go?
Oct 16, 2015 at 3:22 AM
In order to use the file container on both MAC and Windows with read/write capability, you select the option for FAT format which has a limit of 4 GB per file within the file container in the VeraCrypt create volume wizard so you can read/write to the volume on both OS platforms.
Oct 16, 2015 at 12:09 PM
OK, thanks, I had not even thought about what filesystem to use within the file container :-)
Btw. is FAT the only/best choice for what I would like to achieve? I don't foresee having any files bigger than 4GB

but back to my original question, would it be feasible to use NTFS for my OUTSIDE HD provided that I can read/write to it on OSX and WIN?
Oct 16, 2015 at 12:30 PM
Apple does not support writing to NTFS drives. Any software drivers you install to enable writing to NTFS should not be considered a reliable cross-platform file system for moving files between a Mac and a Windows PC.

Hence, the HDD format should be FAT.
Oct 17, 2015 at 11:12 AM
Earlier I mentioned
In my case, OSX can read NTFS
as I am using a commercial product for this and quite happy with its performance.
If I follow your advice and use FAT for the physical HD I and up with a file container limited to 4GB, correct?
Oct 17, 2015 at 4:52 PM
If I follow your advice and use FAT for the physical HD I and up with a file container limited to 4GB, correct?

If you have no need to write to the volume from MAC platform, then NTFS will work for you.
Oct 17, 2015 at 5:20 PM
@Enigma2Illusion: apologies. I am an idiot.

I was firmly convinced I had written: WRITE meanwhile I wrote READ - as in: In my case, OSX can WRITE to NTFS. I am using and its perfect for writing to NTFS from MAC OSX. Have used it for the last few years so yes, I am happy to format my external HD with NTFS.

Thanks a lot for your advice.