? about external hard drives.....

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by VoodooDaddy, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. VoodooDaddy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 14, 2003
    #1
    I'm in need of an external hdd. I need to get all my stuff off my pc (tons of mp3, lots of pics, that type of thing) and onto an external drive so that I can reformat the pc hdd so I can give that pc to my son.
    Basically what I need to know is can I buy a drive, plug into my pc, dump everything on it, then immediately plug into my mac and read/write from the external drive? I have no idea what the file format is for a mac.

    I do know I'm able to read off my pc hdd over the network, so I know the external drive would be readable, but I'm not sure about writable. Would it have to be formatted from my mac?

    Actually I'm not even sure out of the box would the external drive already be formatted or would it require a format before copying my data over?
     
  2. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
    #2
    the drive would have to be formatted for FAT32 not NTFS. Also if you have files over 4GB in size they wont transfer, due to FAT32 limitations
     
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #3
    Depends on the format of the drive.

    If you format the drive to NTFS (which is probably what your PC will want to do) your Mac should be able to read it but certainly won't be able to write to it.

    If you format the drive to HFS+ (which is what your Mac would like the most) then your PC will not be able to read or write.

    If you format the drive to FAT32 both your PC and Mac will be able to read and write the drive.
     
  4. VoodooDaddy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 14, 2003
    #4
    Doesn't Fat32 have limitations on the size of the drive itself? (ie - if the drive is over XXgb it has to be formatted to NTFS)

    I don't want to format to NTFS on my pc because obviously I want to be able to read/write to the drive. But if Fat32 has limits on the drive size I don't know what to do.
     
  5. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #5
    The upper boundries are pretty big. Hundreds of Gb at least. Microsoft artificially limit the max size that NT based OSs (including Windows 2000 and XP) can format Fat32 though. If you format from your Mac as MSDOS it should work.
     

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