External hard drive for use between mac and pc?!?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by yOyOYoo, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. yOyOYoo macrumors 6502a

    yOyOYoo

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2005
    Location:
    CA
    #1
    Help!

    I just purchased a Maxtor Onetouch 4 mini.

    I wanted it to be able to:

    1. Backup all of my data from my iMac onto Time Capsule.
    2. Use it as a data storage device to transfer data files (mp3s, pictures, programs, etc) between my PC and my Mac.

    When I first plugged the drive into my Mac, a popup from Time machine told me that the data inside the drive would have to be erased to allow it to be used with my iMac. i said OK and it backed up my data.

    Now when I plug the drive into my XP computer, the software detects that there is a "USB Mass storage device" connected to the computer. However, I cannot seem to locate the drive or it's contents. it is not appearing in "My Computer"

    I called support at Maxtor and they tell me that no such external hard drive device exists to be able to transfer data between a MAC and a PC. I am sure they are wrong! I've never had an issue with flash drives passing data between a mac and a pc and I assumed that I could use this external hard drive to do the same. Am I wrong?!?

    Someone help please! Thanks.
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #2
    Your disk has to be formatted HFS+ for time machine to work. Windows cannot read HFS+ without additional (non-free) software. You choices are:

    1) Buy Mac Drive for Windows
    2) Repartition your drive into two partitions, one HFS+ partition for Time Machine only and one FAT32 partition for file transfer. If you do this you need to decide up front how much space to allocate to each.
     
  3. rkdiddy macrumors 65816

    rkdiddy

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    OC Baby!
    #3
    Hi Everyone,

    Mac newbie here and I guess I'm not understanding this.

    My old setup:
    Linksys Router
    Dell XPS 210 PC (XP) w/ Maxtor external HD attached
    Dell Inspiron PC (Vista)
    MBP

    With this setup each computer could view, save, transfer files etc to the hard drive.

    New setup:
    Time Capsule (500 GB)
    Dell XPS 210 PC (XP) w/ Maxtor external HD attached
    Dell Inspiron PC (Vista)
    MBP

    With this setup all computers can view, save, transfer files etc to the TC. However I can't see the external HD on my MBP? :confused:

    The only thing I'm not happy about is the TC seems really slow. For example, if I click on the folder it takes 10-15 seconds to show the folders.

    So I'm thinking about ditching the TC and getting an Airport Extreme and attaching a 500 gig WD Book HD.

    It was my understanding the HD would need to be Fat32. Why do I need Mac Drive? Does the AE + External HD seem like a better solution than a TC?

    What am I missing here?

    Help.

    Cheers,

    Rick
     
  4. yOyOYoo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    yOyOYoo

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2005
    Location:
    CA
    #4
    So if I do not want to use time machine, can I simply use this external hard drive like a portable data storage unit? to transfer data back and forth between different macs and PCs??
     
  5. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #5
    Yes, simply format it as FAT32.
     
  6. CWallace macrumors 601

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #6
    A few points:

    There is a free program to read HFS+ drives under Windows. It is called HFS Explorer from catacombae software. It's clunky and inelegant, but it does work.

    Windows XP will not format a FAT32 partition larger then 32GB. So if you want to make one larger tgen 32GB, do not choose a file system/format. You can then use a third-party tool to format it as FAT32. I use a command line tool called FAT32 Format, but there is a GUI tool called FAT32 Formatter.
     
  7. skiffx macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    #7
    I dont know what you are talking about guys, but I have an Airport Extreme Base Station to which I connect my external 200gb Seagate via usb. I turned off Time Machine, formatted and partitioned in OSX thus my hdd has one HFS+ partition in total. Airport Extreme disk section even has fields for windows network, I just input the workgroup that network is part of, and I can easily read/write files onto the external hdd from Windows as well as OSX despite HFS+. There is absolutely no need for FAT32 atrocity. Since Time Capsule is pretty much Airport Extreme with a hdd inside Im sure its capable of sharing for windows as well as osx with it being partition HFS+.

    P.S. Im running OSX 10.5.3 and Windows XP SP2.
     
  8. coopermac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    The below may help you to know what is possible. I am not an expert by any means but a little research (and probably some luck) helped me to get this working fairly quickly.

    I have a 500Gb TC connected in bridge mode to by a,b,g network router. The TC is in n only mode. I have a MBP connected wirelessly to the TC using the airport setup, a notebook running XP connected wirelessly to my g router and did have a desktop running XP connected to the router via ethernet.

    All were able to read and write to the TC and open files that were common to both e.g. avi, jpeg and documents. I can connect a printer or a HDD to the USB port on the TC and they can also be used by all components. So it would seem just to be a matter of selecting the right network/Mac/PC settings to make it work for you.

    I have recently converted my desktop to run the Ubuntu o/s which currently does see the TC but nothing stored on it, but it will print to the USB port and can see/access files on the notebook. I will have to do some more research to get this working to acces the files on the TC.
     
  9. Chris Rogers macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Location:
    my house
    #9
    Setup: Airport extreme connected to external 750GB HDD
    Devices: iMac 10.5.4, Vaio w/ XP, Laptop w/ Vista

    1. Ideally I'd like to have all 3 connected to the external hard drive but for some reason, I'm unable to access the external drive from my Vista computer. Shouldn't I be able to? Vista is a big POS

    2. I'm also unable to connect time machine to the external drive unless I connect directly to the iMac.

    3. Vista no longer recognizes the external drive when I plug it in. The solution is not clear to me from reading the above.

    This stuff is fun to figure out but I'm about ready to throw in the towel :mad:

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  10. meagain macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    #10
    "I just input the workgroup that network is part of"

    That's my problem. Could anyone tell me how to do that part of it? I have no idea what I should name it to give access to the drive from a PC in the house.
     
  11. skiffx macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    #11
    Do you have a windows network setup already?
     
  12. meagain macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    #12
    I think we have it figured out but just didn't have time last night to get it going. He has to enter the name of it in his Windows lappy - then once that's done, it'll recognize it.

    My ultimate goal is for him to switch to Mac so these nightmares can end.
     

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