Best External Harddrive (500-750GB) that works with Mac (firewire 800) & PC?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Hatchet, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. Hatchet macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Location:
    Baton Rouge
    #1
    I am buying an iMac 24" 2.8GHZ next week with the standard harddrive. I decided on getting an external for all my crucial data and was wondering what is the best drive that can transfer data fast (firewire 800) and that can also be used for a pc just in case something happens with my mac for any reason and i'll still be able to access this data.

    What brands should I look at? I am looking at either 500GB or 750GB drives.

    I appreciate any help. Thanks in advance. :)
     
  2. insomniac321123 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #2
    I have had a lot of luck building my own externals. Its a lot cheaper than buying a premade external. I try to stick with western digital hard drives and rosewill enclosures. Im using this drive in this enclosure. I have had no problems at all for the year I have had it.

    As far as sharing a drive between a mac and a pc, that is more of a problem. You would have to use FAT32 for the file system for both to be able to read it, but it is severely limited in files size and you can't use time machine with it. The best solution I have found is to use the normal HFS for the mac and then install macdrive on the pc. It will let you read and write to mac drives. Here is the link.

    http://www.mediafour.com/products/macdrive/
     
  3. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Location:
    American Riviera
    #3
    As long as you format it FAT32 you'll be able to read/write to the disk from either OS X or Windows. You can choose whatever connection method makes sense for your machine. FW800 would be fastest, if your two computers support it.
     
  4. keltorsori macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    #4
    FAT32 is not a good idea for large volumes and especially if you plan on dealing with large files (video for instance). As well you'd take a big performance hit over HFS+. I usually recommend either using macdisk on the PC if it's an absolute necessity or making a FAT32 partition for moving files if necessary.

    As far as drives, the WD Studio drives, specifically the 2TB RAID drives with FW 800 have been pretty awesome for me so far and can be found for well under $500 usually.
     
  5. Hatchet thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Location:
    Baton Rouge
    #5
    So I won't even be able to access my files on a pc if i use it with my Mac without formatting it?
     
  6. insomniac321123 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #6
    You will have to format it one way or another. Mac can format it into HFS or FAT32. HFS, the standard apple format is not readable by windows with out macdrive.
     
  7. Hatchet thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Location:
    Baton Rouge
    #7
    So I should just go with a Western Digital and format it to the mac and if anything happens, get my mac fixed or bring it to a mac to access my files.

    Is Newegg the place to get these drives?
     
  8. magid macrumors 6502

    magid

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    #8
    Generally yeah, but I would shop around as HDDs are pretty cheap these days. I think I saw BB and CC selling the 1tb mybook for around 225 or so.
     

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