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If you are a Macintosh user running Final Cut Pro or Avid Media Composer, there are a couple of rules in terms of drive format compatibility between Mac OS X and Windows.

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For the most part, when you purchase a new disk drive, it comes pre-formatted.  Typically, it's formatted as one large partition in a format called 'Fat 32'.  A Fat 32 partition is compatible with both Mac OS X and Windows.  Both operating systems can read/write to it.

If you choose to re-format your drive as Windows NTFS, Mac OS X can read the partition but it cannot write to it.  Therefore, I recommend that you leave your hard-drive formatted as one large FAT 32 partition if you plan on moving files back and forth between a MAC and PC.

The problem is, Windows will only you a maximum partition size of 32 Gigs for a FAT 32 Partition.  This gets to be ridiculous if you have a 1 TB drive.  You would end up with 30 partitions!

So, here's a trick to format you're drive as one large FAT 32 partition.......

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Step 1: Navigate to the windows control panel, by going to the start menu.

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Step 2:
Double click on the administrative tools.

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Step 3: Double click on the Computer Management icon.

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Step 4:
Within the computer management dialogue box double click on storage.

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Step 5:

Within the disk management tool.  You should now see your drive.  Change the drive to a new letter.  Make it something unique and obvious.  For example, 'X', so you don't confuse it with any existing drives.

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Step 6:

Okay, so remember, Windows only allows 32 Gig partitions when formatting a drive as Fat 32.  To solve this, navigate to the start menu and select 'run'.

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Type 'cmd' into the dialogue box.  The will bring forward the command line interface for DOS.  Within the DOS prompt, type:  format /fs:fat32 x:   This means you'll be formatting the x: drive as one large partition.

*Make sure you are formatting the correct drive.  You cannot undo this process.

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That's it!  You now have one large FAT 32 partition that can be read by both PC's and MAC's.



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