buying an external hard-drive

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ivorito, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. ivorito macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2010
    Hi, firstly sorry i have posted this in the wrong section.
    Anyway I want to buy an external hard-drive for my macbook, and i was just wondering if i need to get a specific type for mac. I would like to use it with time machine but is it also possible to use it for my windows 7 partition too? Any suggestions to which external hard drive i should get? preferably cheap as im a student but 500gb + . Thankyou in advance :)
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    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. Yes, you can partition and format the drive with Disk Utility, to accommodate both a Windows 7 partition and a HFS+ partition.

    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.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • 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. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Any hard drive will work, you can format it to OS X compatible format in Disk Utility. You can create exFAT or NTFS partition for Windows if you need to use it as well.

    Do you want capacity or portability? 2.5" drives require no external power supply which makes them better with laptops since they are plug&play. However, they cost a bit more and most top out at 750GB or 1TB (Seagate has 1.5TB though).
  4. ivorito thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2010
    Okay thankyou to both of you :) and I will probably prefer a more portable device as i do not need a particularly large hard drive, just something to back up my files. I have had a search on amazon and there seems to be many which are suitable size. Thank you again.

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