Best External Hard Drive for Media (music, videos + photos)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gfizzel, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. gfizzel macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2010

    Sorry if this is posted somewhere else but I couldn't see anything useful. Basically I have an iMac and Macbook and both have a large amount of music and movies/tv shows on them taking up most of the hard drive space on both my machines (combined approx 450Gb but will probably add to in future). I want to store this externally but safely as I previously had a formac one that stopped working and I lost everything.

    My budget is around £100 and I think I would probably need at least 1Tb of storage, any help/advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

  2. GGJstudios, Oct 25, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Any external hard drive will work. It doesn't matter what kind of data you store on it.

    Mac Guide on External Hard Drives
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    Segate Expansion External Drive 1TB - Need Help!
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    ... and many, many others.

    Any external hard drive will work with PCs or Macs, as long as the connectors are there (Firewire, USB, etc.) It doesn't matter how the drive is formatted out of the box, since you can re-format any way you like. Formatting in HFS (Mac OS Extended) or FAT32 or NTFS-3G can be done with the Mac OS X Disk Utility.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
    • Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    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 33USD).
    • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended)
    • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
    • Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner backups of Mac internal hard drive.
    • To Read/Write HFS+ from Windows, Install MacDrive
    • To Read HFS+ (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
    • Maximum file size: 8EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 8EiB
  3. Gaelic2 macrumors 6502

    Aug 17, 2007
    Mountains of N. California
    I have had problems with WD, LaCie drives and have had very good luck with Iomega. It is the only external drive I'd buy today.
  4. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    I would encourage you to consider a Network Attached drive, rather than one that connects via USB or Firewire. This drive would attach via Ethernet to your router, and both of your computers could have access to it at the same time - wired or wireless, even if the desktop is sleeping. These start at about $120 US for 1TB.

    You can also accomplish the same thing by connecting a drive directly to the desktop and sharing it, but it will not be available if the computer goes to sleep.

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