External Drives:

FAT32 is a version of the file allocation table (FAT). The benefit of using this drive is that MAC & PC are very happy to use it as a storage space. The problem... the maximum possible file size for a FAT32 volume is 4 GB. For most users, this has become the most nagging limit of FAT32 as of 2005, since video capture and editing applications can easily exceed this limit (After 18mins). It is highly recommended to capture all videos onto your external drive in order of keeping your computer "free".

NTFS (New Technology File System) is the standard file system of Windows NT, including Windows 2000, Windows XP, and all their successors to date.
NTFS supersedes the FAT file system as the preferred file system for Microsoft’s Windows operating systems. NTFS has several improvements over FAT and HPFS (High Performance File System) such as improved support for metadata and the use of advanced data structures to improve performance, reliability, and disk space utilization, plus additional extensions such as security access control lists (ACL) and file system journaling.

Mac OS Extended (Journaled) - This is the default file system format for Mac OS X drives.

Advantages: Formatting your USB flash drive this way will give you full interoperability with Macs. The “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” option will have the highest degree of support for Mac OS X features, and there’s no limit to the size of files you can put on the drive.

Disadvantages: Windows-running PCs can read files from drives formatted this way, but they can't write to them. If you're transferring files from Macs to PCs, this won’t be an issue. You will need to download a MacDrive (http://www.softpedia.com/get/File-managers/MacDrive.shtml) to be able to recognize the Mac drive. Transferring files from PCs to Macs won“t be possible if your drive is formatted in “Mac OS Extended (Journaled).” If you will only be working with Macs and not PCs, this may not be an issue.

Reformat your drive to the Mac OS Extended file system:

Here are some suggestions on preparing the external hard drive for best performance with Aperture. Many external hard drives come pre-formatted as FAT 32. This is a native Windows file format that can be read by Mac OS X, but is not ideal for use with Aperture.

Before you begin to use your new external hard drive, reformat it to the Mac OS Extended file system:

  • 1. Be sure your drive is attached and mounted.
  • 2. If you have already written any data to the drive, back it up before proceeding to the next step.
  • 3. In the Finder, choose Go > Utilities. The /Applications/Utilities folder will open.
  • 4. Launch Disk Utility.
  • 5. Click the icon for your external hard drive in the sidebar on the left.


  • 6. Click the Erase tab along the top of the window.


  • 7. From the Volume Format menu, choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled).


  • 8. Enter a name for the external hard drive in the Name field.
  • 9. Please make sure that no needed files on the drive as this process will erase all file.
  • 10. Click the Erase button.

Q: How do I format a USB Flash Drive to NTFS file system?

A: To enable NTFS on your USB Flash Drive (USB Flash Memory):

  • 1. Right click My Computer and select Manage.
  • 2. Open the Device Manager and find your USB drive under the Disk Drives heading.


  • 3. Right click the drive and select Properties.
  • 4. Choose Policies tab and select the “Optimize for performance” option.


  • 5. Click OK.
  • 6. Open My Computer.
  • 7. Select Format on the flash drive.


  • 8. Choose NTFS in the File System dropdown box.
  • 9. Device Formatting is completed.


  • 10. Click the Erase button.

Important: To remove a device safely without data loss use a "safely remove hardware" procedure or Eject function from Windows Explorer.