Formatting EX4 to be read/write for Windows & Mac

Hi, I’m looking to buy an EX4 and to populate it initially with three WD RED 6TB drives RAID 5. I would like to know the best way to format this array so as to be read/writable by Windows and Mac OS. In doing so are there any penalties wrt performance? Many thanks in advance.


Welcome to the WD Community.

The WD Ex4 its a network drive.

You will be able to read and write to the unit through the network, meaning that the WD EX4 are designed to be connected on a router so you can share your drive within your network and access the drive remotely.

To learn more about the EX4 please see the following links.

Thanks very much for the comprehensive description of what a NAS is, now back to the question in hand.

I am aware of the 4GB file size limitation of formatting in FAT32
I am aware that I can only read from Mac OS if formatting in NTFS
so to refine the question slightly, with the EX4 on RAID 5 and administering from Windows, can I format the RAID 5 partition as exFAT and will there be any performance degredation doing this. This should allow me to read/write from both Windows and Mac OS.

Sorry mate,

What you are trying to do is not supported on that device. Not sure if that’s possible either, since the unit wont be detected by the computer using a USB connection.

As I said before the unit is designed to be connected on your router not locally to a computer.

Let’s see if any of the users on the Community can provide you more information about it.

Sorry, am I speaking a foreign language, again I’m fully aware of the general operation of a WIRELESS NAS. I know I will not be attaching it to either system with a USB. I am asking what file format would be best to use to suit my purpose. Both a Windows PC and a Mac will see the EX4 as an IP address, the question is can I format the partition as exFAT to allow read/write from both OS’s and, if I do, will it degrade the performance.

no your still looking at butt-backwards…

it is a small linux computer… it formats the drives in linux ext4 format… SOMETHING YOU DESPERATELY NEED and serves your workstations the files … no picking proprietary NTFS or BUGGY HFS+ needed and certainly anything as totally restrictive as exFAT

Learn howto Google & WIKI people…

" Microsoft has not officially released the complete exFAT file system specification and a restrictive license from Microsoft is required in order to make and distribute exFAT implementations. " 

As a Mac user myself I have suffered several instances of data loss specifically tied back Apple’s clunky HFS+… You want your data safe & sound on a RAID5 or 10 setup using ext4, btfs, or ZFS if you really want to spend the $$$

both the windoze & Mac will work like a champ with both SMB & WebDAV shares you can create upon the ext4 fs  

You got some of the vernacular down but even then your totally showing your slip talking about a “WIRELESS NAS” ???

I don’t care about your network topology …IT"S  A WIRED NAS!    

Your totally missing the point of this product.   Please re-read the manual first.    


Firstly thanks, you have now answered my question in that I will be able to Read/Write to the ext4 file system with either a Windows OS or a Mac OS. Not being a LINUX user I was unaware that the EX4 used this file system.

Secondly I am aware that the NAS will be WIRED to my WIRELESS router via CAT5, my network is predominatly WIRELESS, which is why I was referring to a WIRELESS NAS as that is how I will access it.  

So am I still looking at it Butt Backwards as you so elequently put it?

Having said all that and reading the amount of problems that users are having with the WD NAS’s, and the useless help from one of the Mods I think I’m going with QNAP instead - which thanks to your edifying answer also supports ext4.

Sure Mate. The Qnap Turbo nas isn’t bad; but belive me when I tell you if your willing to spend more to buy up I would advise a Synology branded product.   Or is data validity is paramount to you a ZFS based nas from ixSystems.