External Hard Drive PC><Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by luffytubby, May 31, 2008.

  1. luffytubby macrumors 6502a

    luffytubby

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    #1
    Is there any way for a External Hard Drive to work both on Mac and PC at the same time?


    In the past when I have tried, it has messed up my 250 GB external Maxtor drive(used it on pc, but tried to plug it in Mac)!


    I also have a FAT32 Western Digital My Book(1 TB)... is there a way that I can make it work consistently on both Windows and Mac(OSX)?
     
  2. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #2
    The easiest way is to format the external Hard Drive as FAT32.
     
  3. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #3
    FAT32 is both read/write compatible in Mac OS X and Windows but it has a 4GB file write limit.

    NTFS is only readable in OS X but you can either use "Mac Fuse + NTFS-3G" (open source) or NTFS for Mac OS X (shareware) to enable write access to NTFS in OS X.

    HFS+ or Mac OS Extended (OS X's default file system) is not readable at all in Windows but you can use HFSExplorer (open source) to allow read access or MacDrive (shareware) to allow read/write access to HFS+ in Windows.
     
  4. luffytubby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    luffytubby

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    #4
    What does that mean? that I can only take 4GB over to a mac? or that I can only transfer max 4 GB at one time?

    so if I have a file that is bigger than 4 GB i cant take it over?
     
  5. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #5
    thats right. sorry its hard to explain and i didnt word it properly.

    yep. if you can split the file into < 4 GBpieces you can do it that way. otherwise use NTFS or HFS+.
     
  6. luffytubby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    luffytubby

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    #6
    long term, do you have a suggestion of what will be the best method?

    easiest, most secure, most stable etc...


    I just dont want to destroy anything(files, pc, mac, hard drive etc):D
     
  7. fredsherbet macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Location:
    Hertford, England
    #7
    FAT32 is fine and simple. Anything can read it, without loading up special software. Just to make sure it's been explained properly, the limit of FAT32 is that you can't have any files larger than 4GB.

    For instance, you can fill the hdd up with small files (as many will fit on the drive) but you can't put a single DVD image, or HDD image (e.g.) that are larger than 4GB.

    If that is regularly going to cause issue, use one of the software solutions, but be aware that if you take the hdd round to a mates/work/whatever, you may have to load software on their machine. It depends on what you'll be using the drive for.

    For more versatility, you could partition the drive... depending on what you want to do.
     
  8. luffytubby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    luffytubby

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    #8
    another question mate...:)

    if I have two hard drives with 1 TB each in fat32, will I be able to use raid 0 on them, and connect them to my mac?


    Like... I need ALOT ALOT ALOT ALOT of space for all my music...

    I dont know if thats possible.


    When you use raid 0, two hard drives combine into one, and become faster right? at least I think thats how they do on pc.

    but could it be done with external drives.. and on mac?
     
  9. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #9
    Others have covered the limitations of FAT32 regarding max file size.

    In the Windows world, most use the NTFS file system because it is a better file system than FAT32. Unfortunately, the Mac OS cannot read directly from an NTFS partition. As has been mentioned there are third party solutions that might work well for you.

    However, based upon your comments, if you are going to need to access files from both Mac and Windows, and want a RAID type solution, maybe looking at a dedicated server or NAS would be a good option for you to consider.
     
  10. luffytubby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    luffytubby

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    #10
    hmmm.. both hard drives are the same. USB 2.0 1 TB each.. they start up automaticly when I start up the computer! I would just like them to store my music, images and movies... and I would like to get quick and painless acces to them.

    I would also like to download to them.

    So I figured that if I used RAID 0 they would work as one and I would get one, 2 TB hard drive thats much faster...

    but can I make it work in OSX and boot camp flawlessly... in RAID0 consistently?

    I dont even know how to enable RAID... can it be done in disk utility?
     
  11. fredsherbet macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Location:
    Hertford, England
    #11
    don't use RAID 0. If either drive fails you'll lose all the data on both of them.

    It also adds unneccesary complication. The idea of using FAT would be to keep life simple, being able to plug the drives into anything and still be able to read and write.

    If you have terabytes of media, then I'd have thought you'd want to keep it safe, to save accumulating it all again in the event of a hard drive failure, which could happen at any time with no warning. I would suggest investing is some RAID 5 NAS system, or a drobo, or something similar. The investment will be worth it with that amount of media, especially when one of your drives dies.

    Just remember, none of these systems protect your data from fire/theft or multiple drive failures, for which the probability increases if you buy all the drives at the same time, from the same manufacturer, and then use them all about the same amount :p
     
  12. luffytubby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    luffytubby

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    #12
    RAID 5 NAS system? That sounds complicated mate... Im not some NASA guy! I can barely spell my name in the sand as it is!!!


    I just got alot of music, alot of video(gonna do a bit of editing) and pictures...
    All I want is my digital libary and to be able to have acces to them both.

    I got two of these: http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?driveid=353

    one of them is six months older than the other.



    then what if I just plugged both of them into my Imac as just standard USB... Would the Mac then be able to recognize the hard driives, even when I am in boot camp?

    so like... They will be able to co-excist with each other?

    This is confusing.
     

Share This Page