My Passport compatibility on MAC and Windows?

I am able to use My Passport on my MAC but when I plug it into my windows laptop, I can only see my Passport but is not able to save any documents onto it…why is that? Does it only work on one platform? I have a previous older version passport and it works fine on both platform. Do I need to update or partition it?

It will depend on what file system the drive has been formatted for. There are several around, and of course not all are compatible with different OS’s.

Some of the most common are:

FAT32 (File Allocation Table)

  • Natively read/write FAT32 on Windows and Mac OS X.
  • Maximum file size: 4GB
  • Maximum volume size: 2TB

NTFS (Windows NT File System)

  • Natively read/write NTFS on Windows. - Read-only NTFS on Mac OS X
  • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and above but has proven instable.
  • Maximum file size: 16 TB
  • Maximum volume size: 256TB

HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, aka Mac OS Extended)

  • Natively read/write HFS+ on Mac OS X
  • Required for Time Machine
  • Maximum file size: 2EB
  • Maximum volume size: 2EB

Fat32 is the most flexible in that both Mac and Windows can read it natively, but has no security (permissions) control and has more file size limitations. There are software solutions to allow Mac’s to read NTFS and Windows to read HFS+, but you have to download and install them, and in some cases pay for them too.

I would guess your older drive is probably formatted as FAT32 and the newer one NTFS, which Mac’s OSX can only natively access as read-only. For full access, look at software solutions like Tuxera or Paragon (Google them for more details and downloads).