External Drives, why Mac specific?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by elbruelsio, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. elbruelsio macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2007
    If you look on Newegg.com for Hard Drives there are Mac specific drives... why? Can I not buy any external drive I choose to connect to my iMac? I realize the difference between Fat32, NTFS, and the Mac format (though I can't recall what it is called). But even if I buy say a Wester Digital HD that by default is formatted in Fat32, am I not able to connect it to a Mac and use it as is or format it so that is in the Mac format?
  2. sparkyms macrumors 65816

    Feb 22, 2007
    Southampton UK
    Yeah, you can use a FAT32 drive, or indeed format it to Mac OS Extended.

    I wouldn't worry about it.
  3. bigus7674 macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2005
    external drives for mac

    the formatting of the drive does not really matter unless you want to use it with both Windows and Mac, in which case it will need to be formatted as FAT32 to work with both since Windows can't recognize Mac-formatted drives.

    Now, in the event that you're looking for an external drive that you will want to be able to boot from in the event of an internal drive going bad, etc. then it is VERY important as to which you get.

    Macs will not boot from USB / USB 2.0 external drives at all and will only boot from certain firewire drives. The firewire drive has to use the Oxford 9xx chipset for the Mac to be able to boot from them, so this could be the reason for the Mac-specific listing of drives on NewEgg.com.

    If it's just going to be used for backup purpose only, then you can buy any drive you want and format it on a Windows machine as FAT32 if you indeed want to use it with both platforms, otherwise, it doesn't matter.

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