Transferring files from PC to Mac via External Hard Drive

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by condenser, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    #1
    So I just made the switch from PC to Mac, bought an external hard drive and transferred the files from my PC to my external HD.

    My problem is that I had to format my external HD as a PC to get the files off of that computer.

    While using my Mac, I can access my files via the external HD, but I am not able to save anything TO the external HD without reformatting it to the Mac format.

    So, I know that I need to reformat my external HD to the Mac format

    My question is: How do I get my files from my PC to my external HD, reformat it to the Mac format without erasing everything?
     
  2. macrumors 68020

    danpass

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #2
    transfer everything to the Mac, format HD, transfer back?

    Though I'm guessing you want both OSs to read AND write to the one drive .....?
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    #3
    Once I get the files off of the PC, I only want to use my external HD for the Mac.

    The issue is how to get the data to the HD, format it for the Mac and then use it for the Mac.
     
  4. macrumors 68020

    danpass

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #4
    so not enough room on the Mac for 'temporary' storage?
     
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    #5
    Unfortunately, there is not enough room on the mac for temp storage.
     
  6. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    You don't need to reformat the drive. You probably formatted it as NTFS.

    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: Install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free)
    • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
    • Some have had good results with Paragon (approx $20)
    • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, 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
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #7
    Another Solution

    Have you tried networking you two computers together and transferring files that way?

    1) Connect new external HD to Mac and format to HFS+ or whatever Mac format you prefer.
    2) Network the PC and the Mac together (preferably with a direct wired ethernet connection, computer to computer, but wireless or via a router should work. wireless might be a bit slower, depending your hardware.)
    3) Access your PC from the Mac, not the other way around.
    4) Transfer files from the PC to the new external HD connected to the Mac.
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #8
    Yikes, another thing to worry about if I switch! :eek:

    Currently my wife and I share flash drive sticks between our PCs. Does this mean that if I get a Mac we will no long be able to share drives?

    Also, what about the current/existing external hard drives that have all my backup data on them?

    :confused:
     
  9. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #9
    Read my earlier post.
     
  10. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #10
    I did (thanks) but your posts tend to confuse me rather than help me to understand the actual answer to my question. Just being honest, not looking for any trouble here.
     
  11. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #11
    If you notice, I even put the most pertinent information in bold text. If you install NTFS-3G as recommended, your Mac can read and write any drive you share between your Mac and your PC. What's hard to understand? I don't know how to make it any simpler.
     
  12. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #12
    I feel you Sounds Good. Just want things to "just work" without any tweaking or additional software. If you get a Mac, you won't be able to easily* share drives.
     
  13. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #13
    That's not true. Sharing drives between Macs and PCs is quite easy. A one-time install of software or the selection of a format that both can read/write to doesn't make it difficult at all.
     
  14. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #14
    One persons ease is another persons discomfort. It'd be easy for me too. But for some folks, the extra step(s) don't appear too easy.

    I think it would be apt to be empathetic to the different temperaments we have when it comes to using hardware and software.
     
  15. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #15
    Thanks, DockMac.

    And GGJstudios, for the record, I know that you were trying to help, but I didn't quite get your answer. I asked "Currently my wife and I share flash drive sticks between our PCs. Does this mean that if I get a Mac we will no long be able to share drives? Also, what about the current/existing external hard drives that have all my backup data on them?" and you replied with "Read my earlier post." Well, your earlier post had all kinds of info in it, so it wasn't as helpful to my particular question.

    The answer that would have helped ME is: "No, not by default. But if you install the software that I bolded in my reply above, then yes -- you'll be able to share drives back and forth without a problem." (or something along those lines)
     
  16. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    #16

    Long story short, I was able to transfer the files.

    But ever since I installed the NTFS, I have been unable to access my System Preferences, App Store, and have also been unable to set up my Time Machine.

    The System Preferences and App Store icons on the dock are grayed out with a circle/line through it.

    What can I do?
     
  17. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #17
    Your external drive should have nothing whatsoever to do with your System Preferences or App Store. If you're trying to set up Time Machine, however, that requires a drive that is formatted HFS+. Time Machine won't work on a local external NTFS drive.
     
  18. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    #18
    How do I get System Preferences and App Store working again?
     
  19. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #19
  20. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    #20
    I repaired permissions and restarted my computer.

    It still says "You can't open the application System PReferences because it may be damaged or incomplete."
     
  21. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #21
    Install Pacifist to extract the app from your Mac OS X install disk.
     
  22. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #22
    use FAT32.... NTFS didn't work for me when i had a file that was 6gig and tried to put it on a 16 gig flash drive...my mac wouldn't read it
     
  23. macrumors regular

    Mutinygraphiks

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #23
    agreed that fat32 is the best format for read/write for pc and mac i use it all the time to transfer movies between desktop and laptop during travel.

    it cant damage or remove programs like 3g-NTFS for mac will.
     
  24. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #24
    FAT32 doesn't support files larger than 4GB.
    NTFS-3G doesn't damage or remove programs.
     
  25. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #25
    no ****, we didn't say it did
     

Share This Page