Windows Wins a Round
In the man bites dog department, I had a case where Windows 2000 did a better job than Mac OS X. A volume on an external Firewire hard disk had become corrupted. OS X couldn’t even see the other volumes on the drive, much less fix the problem. What’s worse, it pretended to see the broken volume, but accessing files on that volume crashed the program — even when the program was the Finder. Bad news. I bought a third-party disk repair program (DiskWarrior 3.02) and it couldn’t see the drive at all. But when I connected the same drive to a Windows 2000 machine, Windows noticed it was broken on boot, and automatically repaired it before booting up. Score one for Windows.
Of course, this was only possible because the drive had originally been formatted in such a way that both Windows and Mac OS X could use it. That meant partitioning the drive into four FAT32 volumes, since smallish FAT32 volumes are the only reasonably large disk format shared by the two systems. And FAT32 is a Windows native format.