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Share FAT32 (and NTFS) partitions on a network Apps
Recently I had to share an external FAT32 formatted hard drive with another Mac, only to discover that OS X (10.4 and 10.5; I don't know if previous versions did the same) don't share non-HFS partitions.

Googling around, I found some posts here and there discussing the problem, but no workaround (apart from reformatting the drive using HFS+). In brief, I found that sharing FAT32 (and NTFS) partition is possible and not so hard to do; you just need to use Samba.
  1. In terminal, edit the file /etc/smb.conf to add the share: sudo pico /etc/smb.conf
  2. Add the following to the end of smb.conf (assuming your partition/drive is mounted on /Volumes/myfat32hd):
    [MyFatShare]
      path =/Volumes/myfat32hd
      public=yes
      writable=yes
      browseable = yes
      only guest=yes
    Then save the file (in pico, you can type Control-X, then answer Y). (You can tailor the share permissions to your liking. In this example, I created a public world-writable share).
  3. Enable Windows sharing in the Sharing System Preferences panel. This will enable and run Samba file sharing. (If Samba is already running, it checks smb.conf every minute, so you don't need to stop and restart the service to have it find the new share.)
That's all; the FAT32 partition will be available on your LAN with the name MyFatShare (or wathever you put between the square brackets). Editing of smb.conf is mandatory, as simply enabling Samba won't make the partition/drive show up. Hope this helps!
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Share FAT32 (and NTFS) partitions on a network
Authored by: wonkeythemonkey on Feb 19, '09 09:19:04AM
OS X (10.4 and 10.5; I don't know if previous versions did the same) don't share non-HFS partitions.

This isn't exactly true. I encountered this issue just this week, and the reality is that OS X can share FAT32 drives just fine, but it isn't so good at showing them. I have an internal FAT32 drive on my Mac Pro called STORAGE, and I have it shared through the standard Sharing Pref Panel. When I tried to access it from my wife's iMac, I was surprised to see that, though other folders showed up in the Finder's Network browser, that drive did not.

On a hunch, I opened the "Connect to Server" window and typed smb://myMacPro.local/STORAGE, and the shared drive opened right up.

My theory is that drives without AFP sharing enabled do not broadcast via Bonjour. Anyone have a better theory?

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Share FAT32 (and NTFS) partitions on a network
Authored by: mcmonky on Aug 24, '09 10:01:33AM

Brilliant! Thanks for this simple insights. I'm not sure if it was simply pointing at the drive or tweaking Samba, but the combo worked. I just got a Mac Mini to hook up to a Drobo 2.0 that I want to use as a home/office server. I bought the DroboShare, but it was slow and horrible (Firewire 400 bottleneck through USB). The drives in the Drobo formatted in Fat32 (the Drobo works around the size limitations of that format)l were not showing up. Clearly the issue is with Bonjour, as your solution worked perfectly both in XP and OS X. Good news is that it's fast and snappy. I tested 2 clients streaming movies and another doing iTunes and it had no issue with that.



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Share FAT32 (and NTFS) partitions on a network
Authored by: baltwo on Feb 19, '09 01:59:46PM

pico? That was replaced four or more years ago by nano—pico on steroids.



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Share FAT32 (and NTFS) partitions on a network
Authored by: wallybear on Feb 20, '09 05:24:46AM
It's exactly the same. pico is now a symlink to nano.
Just try:
ls -al /usr/bin/pico
you'll obtain
lrwxr-xr-x  1 root  wheel  4 23 Lug  2008 /usr/bin/pico -> nano


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Share FAT32 (and NTFS) partitions on a network
Authored by: mike666 on May 09, '12 03:07:17PM

Saved my bacon! Was looking all over to find a way to share out a ZFS volume in 10.5.8 Server and thought I was going to have to resort to FreeBSD...



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