Can you use an external for a Mac AND PC?

regulusblack

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 15, 2010
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Ok, I've been trying to research this and have found a lot of good stuff, but the problem is I have no clue what it all means.

I have a My Passport Elite 640GB, and what I want to know is : if there's a way to format it where it will work for my MacBook Pro 13" and my dad's Vista PC, where all my stuff is stored. I want to be able to do file transfer. (I'd also like to be able to do it in the future.)

From what I've read I think the best way is to format using FAT32, but a lot of stuff says it doesn't work for files above 4GB. Can anyone let me know how much of a problem that would be? I mainly need to transfer documents and pictures, and I'm pretty sure none of mine are even close to being that big. Are files commonly that big?

Also, can someone let me know if I'm correct in thinking FAT32 is the best way (or only?) to go for file transfer? (Or if you even CAN do that for file transfer?) And any simplification of terms would be greatly appreciated...

p.s. My Mac just came in today and I haven't been home to open it yet, and even outside of that I'm not the most computer savy...

Thanks!
 

hypermog

macrumors regular
Nov 17, 2009
246
0
You would know if you are working with files 4GB+ in size. They take minutes to copy, and are not something most people throw around a lot.

You can format a drive up to 2 Terabytes in size with FAT32, as long as you don't format it in Windows. Just use the disk utility in OS X. Windows will then work with the large volume size just fine.
 

ronjon10

macrumors regular
Dec 9, 2009
214
27
I have a Buffalo Linkstation NAS drive where I keep my files. I freely access them with applications on my iMac desktop and Windows laptop. I'll be honest though, I have no idea how it's formatted. All I know is I plugged it in to my network hub, and it worked for both.
 

enberg

macrumors regular
Jan 13, 2010
204
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I have a Buffalo Linkstation NAS drive where I keep my files. I freely access them with applications on my iMac desktop and Windows laptop. I'll be honest though, I have no idea how it's formatted. All I know is I plugged it in to my network hub, and it worked for both.
A NAS is typically accessed through NFS or AFP. A simple external drive is different, you need filesystem support for that.
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,494
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Singapore
i would recommend hte HFS+ formatted drive + MacDrive (installed on PC) - but that can have problems if you need to connect to another PC.

sharing the drive over the network is the best option IMO. HFS formatted, plugged into mac, shared via FTP/SMB for the windows clients :) perfect.
 

regulusblack

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 15, 2010
51
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Now it won't show up...

Thanks everyone for your help! I reformatted it using the instructions on the wdc page (http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/updates/um.asp), and I honestly don't even know how it did it...I guess it's HSF is that's what Macs automatically do. There wasn't an option to choose.

New problem: It showed up on my Mac when I was able to reformat it (obviously), but now it won't show up where I can install it and all that jazz. I accidentally unhooked it without ejecting before it stopped showing up--would that have caused this to happen?

The only thing I can find is that I would need to get another power source, but since it originally worked, I don't see why I would need to do that. Does anyone have any clue as to what I did?

Thanks!
 

regulusblack

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 15, 2010
51
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Connecting to a network

Oh, and can anyone tell me how to connect to our home network? We haven't been able to figure it out...

Thanks again :)
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
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Singapore
ill write up a detailed explaination when i finish work in about 30minutes :)

in the mean time, if you could provide a screen shot of the drive in "disk utility", that would be great :D
 

regulusblack

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 15, 2010
51
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ill write up a detailed explaination when i finish work in about 30minutes :)

in the mean time, if you could provide a screen shot of the drive in "disk utility", that would be great :D
You're great! Thank you!!

And I most definitely, would, but I can't pull up Disk Utility when it's connected. It just freezes up and I have to force it to quit. Oh, and I forgot to mention that after I removed it without ejecting, I reconnected it and it showed up. After that I ejected it, and it hasn't shown up since. Maybe I shouldn't have ejected the WD software thing? I don't remember exactly what it was called. I shouldn't be allowed around computers lol
 

glavoie84

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2009
101
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Here I installed ntfs-3g on Mac OS X and I formatted my 400GB drive using NTFS. Read/write access on both OS. The ntfs-3g driver is stable enough for this purpose!
 

regulusblack

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 15, 2010
51
0
ill write up a detailed explaination when i finish work in about 30minutes :)

in the mean time, if you could provide a screen shot of the drive in "disk utility", that would be great :D
It finally showed up! (After I rebooted it.) Do you still need a screen shot?
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
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It finally showed up! (After I rebooted it.) Do you still need a screen shot?
if you like, i dont mind. it will let me know the format :) you can check that yourself im sure.

as for the file sharing, its easy peasy!

1. system prefs->sharing. hit the "file sharing" tab

2. ensure that file sharing is ticked.

3. in the 'shared folders' list, click the "+" button and select your hard drive that you want to share.

4.a hit the "option" button, and make sure that you have SMB sharing on, and that you have your admin account added and ticked in that list. (see first image attached).

4.b system prefs->network->advanced, and write down your computers IP address (normally 192.168.1.x). also note down your exact hard drive name (e.g. i will use the example HardDrive).

5. from there, you can go to your PC computer, my computer->tools (menu)->map nnetwork drive.

6. choose a drive to map to, and type this following template into the address

\\192.168.1.x.\HardDrive

except of course, fill it out appropriately ;)

it should prompt for user credentials. use the credentials of YOUR MAC. :)

goodluck!
 

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regulusblack

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 15, 2010
51
0
if you like, i dont mind. it will let me know the format :) you can check that yourself im sure.

as for the file sharing, its easy peasy!

1. system prefs->sharing. hit the "file sharing" tab

2. ensure that file sharing is ticked.

3. in the 'shared folders' list, click the "+" button and select your hard drive that you want to share.

4.a hit the "option" button, and make sure that you have SMB sharing on, and that you have your admin account added and ticked in that list. (see first image attached).

4.b system prefs->network->advanced, and write down your computers IP address (normally 192.168.1.x). also note down your exact hard drive name (e.g. i will use the example HardDrive).

5. from there, you can go to your PC computer, my computer->tools (menu)->map nnetwork drive.

6. choose a drive to map to, and type this following template into the address

\\192.168.1.x.\HardDrive

except of course, fill it out appropriately ;)

it should prompt for user credentials. use the credentials of YOUR MAC. :)

goodluck!
Umm I'm running into a problem...I got through 4b find, but when I went to my PC, it won't let it connect. It says that I need permission from my MBP--but shouldn't it ask for a password and get permission that way? On number 6, I just typed the address into the browse slot, and now my MBP shows up on the network, it's just not accessible...
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
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Umm I'm running into a problem...I got through 4b find, but when I went to my PC, it won't let it connect. It says that I need permission from my MBP--but shouldn't it ask for a password and get permission that way? On number 6, I just typed the address into the browse slot, and now my MBP shows up on the network, it's just not accessible...
did you turn on file sharing in system preferences?
 

DoFoT9

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Jun 11, 2007
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regulusblack said:
did you turn on file sharing in system preferences?
Yes, I just went through 1-4a again to check it, and everything is how you said to do it.
how very odd. Youre right though, it should prompt for password verification.

In the map network drive section can you hit 'connect as' or whatever its called and then use your mbp credentials?
 

regulusblack

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Original poster
Mar 15, 2010
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how very odd. Youre right though, it should prompt for password verification.

In the map network drive section can you hit 'connect as' or whatever its called and then use your mbp credentials?
These are the places to enter information:
Drive: (dropdown menu)
Folder: (my MBP is showing up on the network if I click browse--should I select it or type in \\192.179.1.xxx\MacintoshHD? It's under a different name for browse)
Connect using a different user name: So I just put the name of my MBP and my password here?
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
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These are the places to enter information:
Drive: (dropdown menu)
Folder: (my MBP is showing up on the network if I click browse--should I select it or type in \\192.179.1.xxx\MacintoshHD? It's under a different name for browse)
Connect using a different user name: So I just put the name of my MBP and my password here?
if you have correctly shared your mac, there is no need to add "macintoshHD" because from experience it just confuses things more!

try mapping straight to your IP address "\\192.179.1x" and see if you can do that, if not, hit the "connect using a different user name" and try again. if that doesnt work, shoot me back a screen shot of both the sharing preference pane, and the "map network drive" window :)

also, try finding your computer through the microsoft network thing through windows explorer. e.g. "my network places" mine comes up there when SMB sharing is enabled.
 

regulusblack

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 15, 2010
51
0
if you have correctly shared your mac, there is no need to add "macintoshHD" because from experience it just confuses things more!

try mapping straight to your IP address "\\192.179.1x" and see if you can do that, if not, hit the "connect using a different user name" and try again. if that doesnt work, shoot me back a screen shot of both the sharing preference pane, and the "map network drive" window :)

also, try finding your computer through the microsoft network thing through windows explorer. e.g. "my network places" mine comes up there when SMB sharing is enabled.
From what we can tell the problem is with the permissions on my mac because it keeps saying something about the permissions being wrong. (Let me know if you need the screenshots from the PC too...my dad's currently on it but I can get them if still needed.)

Umm...how do I add the screenshot? lol
 

regulusblack

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 15, 2010
51
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From what we can tell the problem is with the permissions on my mac because it keeps saying something about the permissions being wrong. (Let me know if you need the screenshots from the PC too...my dad's currently on it but I can get them if still needed.)

Umm...how do I add the screenshot? lol
if you have correctly shared your mac, there is no need to add "macintoshHD" because from experience it just confuses things more!

try mapping straight to your IP address "\\192.179.1x" and see if you can do that, if not, hit the "connect using a different user name" and try again. if that doesnt work, shoot me back a screen shot of both the sharing preference pane, and the "map network drive" window :)

also, try finding your computer through the microsoft network thing through windows explorer. e.g. "my network places" mine comes up there when SMB sharing is enabled.
Could I just log onto my dad's computer from mine instead? If so how do I find the networks on a Mac?
 

mmulin

macrumors 6502
Jun 22, 2006
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From what we can tell the problem is with the permissions on my mac because it keeps saying something about the permissions being wrong. (Let me know if you need the screenshots from the PC too...my dad's currently on it but I can get them if still needed.)
Make sure that under "System-Pref -> File Sharing -> Options" SMB is enabled and it is "On" for your user in the list below.
 

regulusblack

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 15, 2010
51
0
Make sure that under "System-Pref -> File Sharing -> Options" SMB is enabled and it is "On" for your user in the list below.
It is :/ That's why I'm so confused as to why it's not working. It keeps saying that I need to use another username, but I'm using the one that is listed under the SMB stuff.