external HD backup b/t mac + PC

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by derajfast, Nov 6, 2005.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    #1
    i just bought my parents the new 17in imac, to replace an old windows machine i built like 3 years ago.....so far everyone loves it...my dad needs to use a PC for work though, so he has a thinkpad, and he decided that he really needs to back up his laptop before something bad happens. he also wants to back up the imac as well, so he is in the market for an external HD.....since i use macs, ive used lacie drives, but i know they arent the friendliest with PCS, you have to DL macdrive for it, and that costs money etc.......so i want to know if its possible for me to share an external HD between the 2 machines simultaneously, and back both computers up to it.....i know that the format for the drives b/t macs and pcs are different (HFS+ i believe?)......there are usually 2 firewire ports on the back of most external Hd's (lacie's at least), so does that mean i can share it b/t 2 computers at the same time? i know how to use backup for mac, but is there a comporable free program for windows that lets me backup prefs and stuff automatically whenever i designate it to? thanks a lot guys
     
  2. macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #2
    You cannot simultaneously share a drive with FIrewire or USB between 2 machines.

    What you want is a Network Attached Storage device (NAS) - they plug into your router or hub via Ethernet and are a tiny Linux fileserver with a drive attached.

    They are available from Tritton, LaCie, Western Digital, DLink, Linksys, iomega, Buffalo and a few others I can't remember.

    Thanks
    Trevor
    CanadaRAM.com
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    #3
    those are rather expensive.....is there a HD i could at least shuttle back and forth b/t the 2 computers that wouldnt require some type of formatting or 3rd party software install?
     
  4. macrumors 68030

    Platform

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    #4
    fat32;)
     
  5. macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #5
    What Platform (the economical) says;

    If you get an external drive with both Firewire and USB 2.0, and then format it as a FAT32 volume (NOT HFS_ or Mac Extended or NTFS) then you can connect it alternately between the Mac and the PC. You will run into trouble with file naming, characters and filename construction that is legal on one OS but not on the other, the classic is a Mac file with a date in it "Letter 2/3/32005.doc"

    The simplest rule is, no punctuation or spaces other than hyphens and underscores, filenames must not start with a blank, zero or underscore, each file must have an appropriate extension (.txt for tect, .doc for Word documents, .pdf for Acrobat files, etc.) total filename length including extension 31 characters.
     
  6. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #6
    Maybe you could partition the drive into two, with one partition being HFS and the other NTFS. I'm not sure how Windows would like that, and I don't have a drive to test with. OS X would be fine though.

    EDIT: LaCie drives are fine with Windows. I take it you had a Mac-formatted drive you needed to access on Windows. That would cause issues.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    #7
    dont you have to get macdrive to use a lacie drive with windows? i used to use my lacie drive with windows and it required macdrive for it to be useable with windows and mac
     

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