Your Thumb Drive for Both Mac & PC

        How can that innocent little thumb drive be accepted by both Mac and your kid's PC?  It was time to find out.  Putting that Cruzer Mini 1.0 GB into Mac, then going to Utilities > Disk Utility to format it as MS-DOS (FAT) was supposed to work.  Alas, it did not open on a PC.
        John Carter to the rescue! He got straight to the point, "Had you not formatted it, you would have been able to read/write on the Mac and on a PC. All thumb drives are originally formatted as FAT32 and will work on all OS types (PC, Mac, Linux).
        "Once you've formatted a drive on the Mac, it is unusable on a PC no matter which format you use. As far as I'm concerned, this is a bug. If it is formatted as Mac OS (any type), it will not even be recognized on a PC. If you formatted it as MS-DOS (FAT) on the Mac and reformat it on a PC, you are only able to ADD a 200MB FAT32 partition to the existing Mac formatted partition, and that's the largest size available on the PC. When inserted on the Mac, there will be two partitions on the drive, one with FAT32 as created by the Mac with 3.8GB and one with FAT32 as created on the PC with only 200MB. If you reformat it on the Mac, you can recover all the space in one partition.
        "A thumb drive formatted as MS-DOS (FAT) on a Mac has full read/write access on a Linux machine. If it is formatted as Mac OS (any type), it only has read access on a Linux machine.
       John closes with this advice: "Bottom line: don't format a drive on a Mac unless you only intend to use it on a Mac."