External Drive for both my Macbook and Pc

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by BlueDemon13, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. BlueDemon13 macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2008
    So I first owned a PC and then I decided to get a 2.4GHz 160gb macbook for college, and now I am looking for an external drive that can work for both my pc and mac. I am new with the external drives, I don't know much about them.

    I usually transfer music files from my PC itunes to my mac without a problem and all the pictures that I use are jpeg so I am always able to move them back and forth between my pc and mac with a flash drive. For now I only plan on backing those types of files my itunes music and pictures.

    My plan is now to get an external hard drive and transfer all those files from my PC so I can use it with my macbook (it's way better then my PC) without using to much space from my macbook's internal hard drive.

    So my questions are: is it possible to use the external hardrive kind of like an internal drive, in the way that I can pull the music files and pictures that I want to use without to much delays? can I view whats inside the external drive?

    How can I do this? and which external drive would work the best?

    I am sorry if this is confusing, I would really appreciate the help tho.

  2. StuBeck macrumors 6502

    May 6, 2008
    Just get an external USB drive (since Apple is seemingly dropping firewire), format it as FAT 32 (or MS-DOS as Apple puts it) and connect it up. It'll be relatively fast and work for what you want to do.
  3. tompon1923 macrumors 6502


    Jun 16, 2008
    15°35'30.45S 54°31'22.17E
    I have an 500gb WD external hdd hooked up to my Aiport Extreme, I formatted one partition in FAT32 (which works both in OS X and Windows) and one partition in HFS+ for Timemachine. For me it's working perfectly, you can also try to share the pc on your network. This way you can acces files without storing them on your MacBook's hard drive.
  4. BlackLight macrumors regular


    Nov 21, 2008
    try macdrive ..just install it on your windows partition/PC and everything is ok ure external drive will work on both PC and Mac ..thats what i did and im using my external hard drive on both mac and pc :)
  5. nytivofan macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2008
    A friend of mine told me about MacFUSE. I don't fully understand everything it does, but one of its features is it gives Macs the ability to write to NTFS formatted drives (normally, they can only read from them). I regularly have to move around files over 4gb in size (FAT32's limit), so having a NTFS external drive that I can use w/ OSX and Vista w/o limits is a big help since FAT32 drives can't do that. Better yet, MacFUSE is a free small download and it's from Google. So far it seems to be working for me.
  6. BlueDemon13 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2008
    will any external drive give you the option to partition the drive or is it something you have to do manually?
  7. SHADO macrumors 6502a


    Aug 14, 2008
    Yea I have a Lacie 500GB external w/FireWire and USB 2.0 (and eSATA...wish my comp had an eSATA port lol) and I use it to back up both my Leopard partition and my XP Pro partition, and it works fine. Didn't even need to format it!!
  8. golfgod130 macrumors newbie


    Dec 12, 2008

    has anyone used paragon before? I think that gives you write access to NTFS.
  9. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    The external drive will likely work out of the box with both Mac and PC, since they're usually pre-formatted to use FAT32. But FAT32 is the lowest common denominator and doesn't support files larger than 4GB.

    If you want to connect directly to each computer, just download NTFS-3g - http://macntfs-3g.blogspot.com/ - and install it on your Mac, and format the external drive with NTFS. NTFS-3g comes with MacFUSE. No need to install anything else or pay for MacDrive or Paragon.

    You don't have to worry about how it works, it just does.

    On the other hand, formatting with HFS+ is best for Macs. You could do that, keep the drive connected permanently to the Mac, and enable it as a share. You can access the drive via SMB and the Mac will handle passing the data back to the PC.
  10. GfulDedFan macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2007
    You can partition any drive but it's always done manually. You can use Disk Utility which is on your Mac or I like Drive Genius which is not free but a great utility program.

    I can only assume that vista has some sort of disk partition tool but I've never used it. In order to format a partition as NTFS as mentioned above, you'd have to use windows.
  11. Bloake macrumors 6502


    Dec 2, 2008
    This is what I did. Works great. You can also use MacDrive 7 and install it in your PC so you can have access to the Mac partition. :)
  12. trevorplease macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2009
    Sorry for bumping an old thread but I have a similar question.

    I have a WD external harddrive for my Windows Vista desktop PC currently set to NTFS with all my media files on it. I'm planning on getting a Macbook but I'm worried the two won't be fully compatible. So if I want to transfer my mp3's from my external onto the mac, and be able to download on the mac and put it back on my windows desktop through the external harddrive; all I need is that NTFS-3G program?
  13. trevorplease macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2009
    Can anyone help me?

Share This Page