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Old May 7, 2011, 04:00 PM   #1
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Seagate external hard drive compatability

Hello all. I've been a PC user up until today when I purchased my first iMac (27" 2.7). Got a great deal on it and can't wait to get it set up. I currently have a Seagate FreeAgent Go external hard drive for backup. Will this drive play well with the new iMac? I've heard mixed opinions. Is there a better alternative? The Time Capsule would be sweet (I like the wireless connectivity) but I've heard a lot of bad things about it. Sounds like they're not really built to last. Should I hold off for a Thunderbolt compatible drive or is wireless the way to go? Thanks!
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Old May 7, 2011, 04:03 PM   #2
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Any external HD with USB or FireWire will work. You most likely have to format it to HFS+ to get the most out of it in a Mac, since that is the native file system of OS X. Very easy to do with Disk Utility though.
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Old May 7, 2011, 04:31 PM   #3
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You may not have to reformat either, just plug it in and see if it works.

Of course, if you do re-format, you will lose all the data on the drive, so make sure you have everything that you want already migrated to the new Mac.

On thing that is sensational about Macs is Time Machine (not to be confused with Time Capsule). Time Machine is an automatic backup program that works in the background and is basically invisible to you after the initial full backup. It runs every hours and only writes to the disc what has changed. Could be hundreds of files of multiple GBs of data (like if you are ripping DVDs as an example), could be absolutely nada, zip, zero K (like overnight when the machine isn't on).

Not only is it a Godsend for a full-on HDD crash, but it's terrific for those moments when you accidentally delete a file or save over a file and want to revert to the version you had this morning. The interface makes recovery any file a breeze.

Your old backup drive will be perfect for this. Although, depending on its age and size you might want to think about spending around $100 and getting a new drive. I upgrade my backup drives about every 18 months and current externals are running for approximately $60 a TB...2TB drives typically come in on sale for just over $100 these days.

Apple recommends a drive at least 1.5 times the size of your internal to allow a backup of all contents PLUS multiple versions of your drive's contents going back a year or so. (Since each backup is really small each hour, being able to go back to what files you had on your system a year ago really isn't as amazing as it sounds. )
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Old May 7, 2011, 05:03 PM   #4
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Wow, thanks for all the great info. I'm sure I'll have plenty more questions down the road now that I've crossed to the Apple side of the fence. Haha...
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