external hard drive

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by goldeneye, Apr 9, 2006.

  1. goldeneye macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2004
    #1
    I wanna buy an external hard drive but i don't know whether it can work with both Mac and windows PC without having to format or not. Can anyone please tell me ? thanks in advance
     
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #2
    1) You need to format the drive with FAT32 formatting under Windows if you want to write and read from both the Mac and the PC. THis limits the size of the drive (to 128 Mb I think? Who on MR has successfully partitioned an external to multiple partitions of FAT32 and HFS+? Please jump in)

    2) The PC will have to have a Firewire port, or the drive will have to have a USB 2 port. Your best bet is a combo USB/Firewire drive -- you want Firewire for speed and Mac bootability

    3) This is an either / or situation, you clear on that? The drive can be hooked up to only one machine at a time. You will want to shut down before transferring it to the other machine.
     
  3. DisFrikkenWill macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    #3
    my laCie 160gb external hdd connects with macs and windows no porblems.
    its the porcshe(SP?) design
     
  4. Moshiiii macrumors 6502a

    Moshiiii

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Location:
    Sarasota, FL
    #4
    You wana use USB 2.0 on a MBP because it doesnt support Firewire eight, correct?
     
  5. loveAffair macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    Location:
    PA
    #5
    i want to also chime in as i'm in the similar situation. I just recently bought an external hard drive for my MBP. I've formatted it on my PC and stored all my data from the PC onto the external hard drive.

    My MBP can read from the drive, which is great, but I can't write onto it.

    What can I do to be able to make the drive readable and writeable using PC and Mac?
     
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #6
    You need to reformat it as FAT 32 instead of its current NTFS, which Macs cannot write to.

    Uh, no actually, you want to use Firewire 400 because it is twice as fast as USB 2.0 in real-world performance and doesn't load down the CPU of the machine nearly as much. (Yes, I have benchmarked it: Same drive, same 1.3 Gb data transfer, FW400 = 2 x USB 2.0)
     
  7. Lollypop macrumors 6502a

    Lollypop

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    #7
    Good advice CanadaRAM, I have a FW400/USB2.0 combo drive, and its primarily just for backup purposes, have also found that FW400 is faster, but I think that if goldeneye is not that big on speed and would rather get more storage (drive used for music or periodic backups ect) I would rather save the money and go for a USB 2.0 only and spend the savings and get a biggeer HDD.
     
  8. gallivant macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2004
    #8
    Except the dollar difference between a USB-only enclosure and a FW400 one is, what, ten bucks on average? (I have no idea about packaged drives these days; buying a big HD and a cheap enclosure is a <i>lot</i> cheaper)
     
  9. fatties macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    #9
    how do we know which format it is in? i got mine for my pc and just stuck everything in it... it is a 80gbg freecom. now that i am switching am i going to have magically use my pc to 'back up' in order to reback up my hard drive?
     
  10. baleensavage macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Location:
    On an island in Maine
    #10
    The disparity between packaged Firewire and USB2 drives is bigger than on the enclosure side. From what I have seen you will pay at least $25 more for a firewire drive and your selection will be severely limited. But I too can tell you from experience that that extra $25 is totally worth it. USB2 drives have a really annoying spin-up lag that Firwire drives don't have. If you dont mind waiting for your drive to kick into action then get a USB drive, but I prefer firewire by far.
     
  11. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #11
    Hmmm... so OS X can't write NTFS? That's an arse. I'll be hooking up three 300gb drives to my macs soon, they're all formatted NTFS and I can't reformat, too much data and nowhere to put it!!!
     
  12. mrichmon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    #12
    Then complain to Microsoft.

    The only system that can reliably write to a NTFS partition without corrupting the partition is Windows. When a file is added to an NTFS filesystem under Windows a number of hash keys for the filesystem are updated. Without these updates the partition ends up being identified as a corrupted partition. Outside of Windows no NTFS driver implementation that can reliably write to NTFS as far as I am aware.
     

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