What is File System?
Are you familiar with this term? It is a system that we used in our daily life. As a matter of fact, it is used in our personal computers, laptops, mobile devices, thumb drives, hard drives, and others. The file system is very crucial to each device because it is a structure that the operating system uses to control and arrange the way it read and writes data. Whenever a device without a proper file system, is just like a forest without a highway indicating which way or which location. It is important to give a name to identify and isolate data accordingly, which brings to file, name and path.
There are many kinds of file systems which used in different storage media. In Windows, it supports NTFS and Exfat file system, which is different from MacOS, HFS plus, and APFS. As for external HDD, you may use either one. Does it make any difference? The answer is Yes. Let us briefly discuss their pros and cons.
In general, NTFS is a file system supported by Windows. Unfortunately, it can be viewed on MacOS, and you cannot edit or change the details. As it is a Journaling file system, all changes in this system will be recorded. Metadata will be created to improve drive performance. With the Journaling file system, it can use to track saved data and decrease the chances of corrupted data.
HFS Plus and APFS
These systems are used in MacOS. External HDD which is formatted as HFS plus or APFS, will not be readable in Windows OS. Similarly, both file systems use the Journaling file system as well. It is much more stable especially during power failure or HDD disconnected forcefully. With the help of metadata, it could bring the whole system online with the last recorded details and the file structure will not corrupt easily.
This file system brings convenience to all users. With this format, user can use their external drive on both Mac and Windows OS. How about the disadvantage of this file system? Although this may be convenient, there has no journaling built into it. External drives with ExFat format comes with a higher failure rate, in which user failed to access their data.
So which files system should you use for your external storage? Or we should put it this way, stability versus convenience. Make your choice.
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