external hard drive PC to MAC best practices?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by airtas, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. airtas macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2009
    I have two hard drives both NTFS format

    I want to use the hard drives with MAC and PC, is it safe back and forth?

    will it even work?

    I know I could just connect it to my mac to see but I am worried about data loss
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Mac Guide on External Hard Drives

    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 in HFS (Mac OS Extended) or FAT32 or NTFS-3G can be done with the Mac OS X Disk Utility.

    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
    • No individual file larger than 4GB.
    • Read/Write HFS from native Mac OS X
    • To Read/Write HFS from Windows, Install MacDrive
    • To Read HFS (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
  3. curlefry macrumors newbie


    Jul 31, 2010
    GA, USA
    If you're migrating to OSX then NTFS seems like you're best bet to start off with, which is what I did for example to migrate my iTunes library from Windows to my new MBP. GGJstudios's post makes me think NTFS-3G will be best for you. :)
  4. airtas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2009
    GGJ.......thanks for the write up

    do you see any problem connnecting to PC and Mac back and forth on the hard drive?

    also is mac usb the same speed as PC, everywhere I look it says to connect via firewire
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    No, as long as the drive is formatted properly.
    Yes, USB is the same speed, regardless of the computer. The same is true for firewire. The reason you see firewire recommendations is that it is much faster than USB.... especially Firewire 800... more than twice as fast. That makes file transfers much faster, but USB will still work.

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