External HD for used between my PC and MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by MValentine09, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Location:
    Northridge, CA
    #1
    Alright, so I have a question about using an External HD for use between my PC Desktop and my MBA. But in general I actually want to take my files which are on my PC and put them onto the HD along with my files on my MBA. This is even possible since I know that the HD will have to be formatted for either PC or MAC. Any help would be awesome.
     
  2. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    You can easily share a drive between Windows PCs and Macs. Suggested formats are NTFS or exFAT.

    Format A Hard Drive Using Disk Utility (which is in your /Applications/Utilities folder)

    Choose the appropriate format:

    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)

    NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
      [*]To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
      • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon ($19.95) (Best Choice for Lion and Mountain Lion)
      • For Mac OS X 10.5 and later, including Lion, FUSE for OS X
      • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36), which is an enhanced version of NTFS-3G with faster performance.
      • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and later versions, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.

    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
    • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Location:
    Northridge, CA
    #3
    Awesome thanks soo much for the fast response. Guess Ill be buying a 1TB tomorrow. :D
     
  4. macrumors 68030

    ET iPhone Home

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Location:
    Orange County, California USA
    #4
    I recently had to do this just a week ago. I use to have a pc and my external HD was formatted for pc only. I had to borrow a friends laptop and use it to transfer my files from external HD to laptop and reformat the external HD off of the mac so that i can use it for both mac and pc. It's the only way. Now, I have the same external drive which both mac and pc recognizes. It took one afternoon due to the size of transferring files from all the hardware.

    I formatted using FAT32 directly on the MBA, but here's the thing, according to the post above, maximum file size is 4GB. I had movie files larger than this and it still accepted this file size.
     
  5. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #5
    That doesn't make sense. If the drive was "formatted for PC only" that means it was likely NTFS or FAT32. You didn't need to use another computer to transfer files to the Mac, as OS X can read and copy from both formats natively. You can install Paragon on the Mac to read/write on NTFS drives from OS X, completely eliminating the need to reformat the drive.
     
  6. macrumors 68030

    ET iPhone Home

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Location:
    Orange County, California USA
    #6
    The drive was formatted NTFS. I tried to drag and drop the files from the external HD to the mac and it didn't allow me too. I had important files, family photos, etc. in my external HD that I didn't want to risk loosing, besides I had no way of backing them up, because I switched over to mac, so I did it the long way. I'm just glad I got it done. It took almost a full day, because I was maxed out at 500GB of files.

    Had I known about Paragon, I would have used it. I posted about all this a while back and I don't recall anyone suggesting Paragon as an app to help with this issue. Thank though; now I know.

    EDIT: I stand corrected. Your above post looks very familiar. You may have replied. I don't think I wanted to spend the $19.95 for Paragon.
     

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