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Need feedback on exFAT Shared Drive

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Hi all. I'm building/built a new Hackintosh that will multi-boot with Windows 10 Pro.
  • I want to have a common secondary drive that stores both OS's Documents, Pictures, Music and more importantly my development files which are under GIT source control with the server being on an external QNAP NAS server.
  • The boot drive is a separate Samsung 960 Pro M.2 PCIe drive.
  • I'm using the APFS on the macOS and NTFS on the Windows 10 Pro partitions respectively.
  • All data on the Apple OS and the proposed exFAT shared drive will be backed up via TimeMachine to my NAS server, and images taken on both OS's also to my NAS using Acronis TrueImage 2018.
From my research, it appears that Apple have licensed from Microsoft the exFAT file system, and it appears that macOS supports it natively, but I'm a little unsure on how reliable it is or if there are any 'gotcha's'.

So does anyone know of any reason for me to not use the exFAT file system on this proposed shared document drive? Or does anyone have a better suggestion for shared drive interoperability?

Secondly, would I be better of having both OS's on there own SSD's (960 EVO SATA III) and use the very fast 960 Pro M.2 PCIe drive (3500GB/sec) as the shared drive?

Edit: I also have Paragon HFS+ which I could use on the shared drive so Windows can see it, but they still haven't released the APFS version that can write ATM. Maybe if I just use HFS+ on this drive (as HFS+ has been tried and tested) and use my fast drive as the shared so video editing i.e scrubbing etc will be a lot faster?

TIA, Jim
 
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From my research, it appears that Apple have licensed from Microsoft the exFAT file system, and it appears that macOS supports it natively, but I'm a little unsure on how reliable it is or if there are any 'gotcha's'.
Personally I have found it to be unreliable and no longer use the macOS exFAT driver for any purpose.
Or does anyone have a better suggestion for shared drive interoperability?
You already have NAS for backup, NAS is a good option. If your router has a USB port that would be a cheap way to share separate additional storage.

Most important thing is to back everything up which you are already doing.

Secondly, would I be better of having both OS's on there own SSD's (960 EVO SATA III) and use the very fast 960 Pro M.2 PCIe drive (3500GB/sec) as the shared drive?
You'll get much better general performance installing the OS's to the PCIe drive and using the SSDs for storage. Ideally the PCIe drive would have been partitioned with macOS tools (or at least the first partition is an EFI System Partition of 200MiB)
 
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Personally I have found it to be unreliable and no longer use the macOS exFAT driver for any purpose.
You already have NAS for backup, NAS is a good option. If your router has a USB port that would be a cheap way to share separate additional storage.

Most important thing is to back everything up which you are already doing.

You'll get much better general performance installing the OS's to the PCIe drive and using the SSDs for storage. Ideally the PCIe drive would have been partitioned with macOS tools (or at least the first partition is an EFI System Partition of 200MiB)
Thanks for your prompt reply. Currently my W10 has two partitions on it, a Reserved @ 500MB (from memory) the rest as C:

If I moved these of to a tem drive using gparted under Linux live disk (or such like) and create my macOS with a 200MB EFI, is it easy to then move the two MS partitions back behind the two macOS is it not that simple?

I never thought of using the USB3 ports on my router... a good suggestion (I might put my Music & Photos there so I can stream to my smart TV/HiFi and then I don't have to have my NAS on all the time). Ultimately I might have a external USB-C (10Gb/sec) or even Thunderbolt external HD RAID (5) array to replace my very slow NAS, and have a GIT server on my OS's using the external HD. Finances are depleted ATM due to new hardware... maybe a few months down the track.
 
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If I moved these of to a tem drive using gparted under Linux live disk (or such like) and create my macOS with a 200MB EFI, is it easy to then move the two MS partitions back behind the two macOS is it not that simple?
It can work. After restoring the Windows partitions it would be useful to have Windows installation media for entering the recovery environment and generating the Microsoft EFI loader + menu entry with BCDBoot. And you'd want to be able to properly manage the EFI boot menu - either one of Linux/efibootmgr or EasyUEFI (Windows, v2.7 is free to use) will do it.
 

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Thanks for your prompt reply. Currently my W10 has two partitions on it, a Reserved @ 500MB (from memory) the rest as C:

If I moved these of to a tem drive using gparted under Linux live disk (or such like) and create my macOS with a 200MB EFI, is it easy to then move the two MS partitions back behind the two macOS is it not that simple?
I agree with Vulgo - the ExFAT format is highly unreliable for data storage.
For best ease of use, ease of updating and general safety of data it is best to install the Mac OS and Windows on separate drives. Which one you install on the M.2 PCIe drive depends on which one you use the most.
If your current Win10 drive has only System Reserved and the C: partition it has been installed Legacy Mode.
Best to re-install UEFI mode if you are going to be dual booting with Mac OS.

For the common storage - FAT32 is a time ested reliable format for storage drives and is native read/write for both Mac OS and Windows. Main drawbacks are the 2TB size limit on the HDD/SSD size and the 4GB limit on file size. If your files are smaller than 4GB, then a NAS with half a dozen 2TB drives in JBOD works well.
 
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I agree with Vulgo - the ExFAT format is highly unreliable for data storage.
For best ease of use, ease of updating and general safety of data it is best to install the Mac OS and Windows on separate drives. Which one you install on the M.2 PCIe drive depends on which one you use the most.
If your current Win10 drive has only System Reserved and the C: partition it has been installed Legacy Mode.
Best to re-install UEFI mode if you are going to be dual booting with Mac OS.

For the common storage - FAT32 is a time ested reliable format for storage drives and is native read/write for both Mac OS and Windows. Main drawbacks are the 2TB size limit on the HDD/SSD size and the 4GB limit on file size. If your files are smaller than 4GB, then a NAS with half a dozen 2TB drives in JBOD works well.
Thanks @Going Bald & @vulgo. I have reinstalled Win 10 in UEFI mode (it was installed from a OEM disk, and I was unaware of it installing in Legacy mode!).
I have both OS's installed on the M.2 PCIe drive, and have another 500GB drive that is formatted in HFS+, and are using Paragon HFS+ to access it under windows. Both OS are using this drive as there Homes, and I seem to have no problems from either OS's (ATM!?).
Have another 500GB drive formatted as NTFS, just for games for W 10, my son is a game addict, I'm a very occasionally a Pinball fiend!
All the disks are backed up either via Time Machine and or Carbon Copy and W10 using Acronis true image. I back up mac OS to an external SSD (this is my preferred OS) and the others to my NAS (very slow QNAS).

Hopefully Paragon HFS+ will be sturdy enough to enable me to access via W10.... time will tell! Thanks all for your input.
 
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Hopefully Paragon HFS+ will be sturdy enough to enable me to access via W10
Paragon HFS+ is bad new, maybe read-only from Windows side.
 
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Mmm... getting snookered on this shared drive scenario.
Maybe I should get a new NAS RAID 5 that can connect via USB-C gen 2 ( my Mobo has two) or get a Gigabyte thunderbolt 3 card (readily available here in Australia ). Cost $$$
Not sure where we are with the TB3 connectivity issues and hacks ATM though?
FAT32 is not a solution as I have files larger than this. Or just go back to using the current NAS as a file server until I can afford a better solution. Open for further suggestions.
 
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Open for further suggestions.
For shared storage (i.e. no OS folders, home folders) you could look into a Linux VM guest that
  • mounts a physical disk e.g. EXT4 partition(s)
  • makes it available to the host e.g. over network
Access from the guest to the disk is via the VMDK (Virtual Machine Disk) mechanics, the virtual image points to the physical disk. The physical disk is not being used for installing/booting the guest OS, and not being mounted in the host OS. The physical disk cannot be repartitioned later without recreating the referencing VMDK.

VMWare Fusion: https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2097401
Virtual Box: https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch09.html#rawdisk
 
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For shared storage (i.e. no OS folders, home folders) you could look into a Linux VM guest that
  • mounts a physical disk e.g. EXT4 partition(s)
  • makes it available to the host e.g. over network
Access from the guest to the disk is via the VMDK (Virtual Machine Disk) mechanics, the virtual image points to the physical disk. The physical disk is not being used for installing/booting the guest OS, and not being mounted in the host OS. The physical disk cannot be repartitioned later without recreating the referencing VMDK.

VMWare Fusion: https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2097401
Virtual Box: https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch09.html#rawdisk
Thanks for reply. I think for my mid to long term plans a newer NAS will be the best option for me.
I’ll set up both OS’s with there own homes ATM in there individual HD’s. (No shared drives)...
I’ve been looking at some of the more powerful QNAP NAS where you can run VMs. This would be ideal for some of my workflow to replace the vms I use for testing Multiplatform apps that I currently test under vms using Parallels under Mac OS.
For backup of the NAS, I Could have a external HD... that is setup to sync with the NAS.
I think I need to do more research though on wether this would be a good and workable arrangement for me.
 
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