Emac External hd

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by NemoMerkins, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. NemoMerkins macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2012
    i want to know whats a good external hard drive do i need a specific one for my emac specs 1.42ghz 1gb ram 80gb hd
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    No, you can buy any USB 2.0 or Firewire 400 (faster than USB 2.0) HDD available. You only have to format it correctly via Disk Utility.


    Overview of the four major file systems (called "Formats" in Mac OS X) used on Windows and Mac OS X, compiled by GGJstudios. You can use Disk Utility to format any HDD to your liking.

    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 can be done with the Mac OS X Disk Utility, found in the /Applications/Utilities folder. Here are your formatting options:

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.
    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, here are some alternatives:
      • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
      • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
      • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
      • 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
    • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.
    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)
    • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
    • Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper! 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
    • You can use this format if you only use the drive with Mac OS X, or use it for backups of your Mac OS X internal drive, or if you only share it with one Windows PC (with MacDrive installed on the PC)
    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
    • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.


    Links to guides on how to use Disk Utility, the application Mac OS X provides for managing internal and external HDD/SSDs and its formats.
  3. Goftrey macrumors 68000


    May 20, 2011
    Wales, UK
    Yep, I bought a used 3.5" cheapo IDE ATA hard drive off eBay (120gb) and then bought a FireWire 400 caddy.

    If you're planning on getting external HDD, don't bother on a USB one when you've got Firewire ports as they're pretty damn quick and are underused by people IMO. Hope this helps.
  4. dodginess, Jan 7, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012

    dodginess macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2011
    I did the same as Goftrey - I got a Lindy external caddy, but mine has both USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 connectors. I then just bought a refurbished 350GB 3.5" IDE drive to go in it off of eBay, but you do need to match the hard drive to the caddy - you can use SATA if you want but the caddy has to support it (at least, I think that's correct). A caddy that supports IDE drives is probably more handy though because if - heaven forbid - your eMac were to fail big-time you can just take the case off, remove the hard drive and plug it in.

    What you might want to keep in mind is that some Macs don't support FireWire so a caddy with USB 2.0 is the safe option, but with FireWire you can network-boot directly from another Mac straight into it.

    If you want to be able to hook-up to a PC as well you should partition the disk into

    1) a FAT32 partition (max. size 32GB)
    2) a HFS+ partition (the remaining disk capacity)

    NTFS support seems inconsistent from what I've read so if you buy a drive formatted like this make sure you've installed and tested the software you need to read/write from/to it before transferring over all your important files.

    I'll just add that only the 1.42 GHz eMacs support USB 2.0 so FireWire is the only viable option for earlier eMacs unless you use Airport - I bought an external DVD rewriter for my 1 GHz eMac and was *slightly* disappointed with its performance over USB 1.1 :rolleyes:

    One final tip - Carbon Copy Cloner is ideal if you want to make an exact duplicate of your existing hard drive on the new one so that you can then boot off of it (using the FireWire connection and a special start-up key combination that I've since forgotten).
  5. stroked Suspended


    May 3, 2010
    I recommend a 2.5" s-ata hard drive enclosure, because they are bus powered, meaning it will not require an external power supply, as long as it is connected to USB2, or the six pin FW 400. If it has just the four pin FW going into the drive, it will not have bus power. Another advantage to one of these, is the drive will power on and off with your Mac, but it will stay on when the Mac is sleeping, if it is USB.


  6. Goftrey macrumors 68000


    May 20, 2011
    Wales, UK
    Yes true that you wouldn't need a power supply but desktop hard drives are always country miles in front of laptop hard drives speed wise.
  7. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    But with Firewire 400 or USB 2.0, that doesn't matter, as 2.5" HDDs are faster than those interfaces. My 2.5" Momentus 7200.4 can get up to 100 MB/s during read/write processes.

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