External hard drive question! Easy one from a newbie!

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by zen, Dec 26, 2005.

  1. zen macrumors 68000


    Jun 26, 2003

    I want to buy an external Firewire/USB2 hard drive to provide some much needed additional storage to my iBook G4 (800Mhz, 30GB HDD, OS X 10.4.3, 640MB RAM).

    Is there any difference between hard drives "made" for Windows PCs and Macs? For instance, here is a 300GB drive:


    The specs on this page, and on the Seagate website, only talk about Windows. But if I were to plug this into my iBook, would it work? Or do I need to do something special?


  2. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    It should work fine, though you might have to format (quick and painless) when you plug it in.

    Remember, though, that if you get a USB2 drive it will never be able to boot your computer (handy at times).
  3. zen thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jun 26, 2003
    I suppose, as that drive I linked to is a Seagate 300GB drive inside an enclosure, I could get a Firewire enclosure instead? Would I be able to boot from that?

    In terms of formatting, is that just done using Disk Utility? Would the drive mount the first time, or would I need to look for it the first time I plug it in?

    Sorry for all the questions - external drives are a completely new world to me!
  4. xsedrinam macrumors 601


    Oct 21, 2004
  5. zen thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jun 26, 2003
    Yeah, they do look cool, but I'm on a bit of a budget so I need to go for a cheap and not quite so elegant option!
  6. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C

    I 2nd that, i bought a LaCie 160gb today. Its great, it has FW 400 and 800 and USB2

    and it was priced very well and works so great.

    EveryOne should have an external drive to back up music and other important files
  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    You want a Firewire drive, definitely, not a USB. I would go with a Seagate bare IDE (Parallel ATA) drive (for the 5 year warrqanty) and an empty enclosure like a MacAlly Firewire/USB combo (which will have 1 year warranty).

    (in fact, the reseller you linked to is simply putting the Seagate drive into an inexpensive import hard drive case - same as a Startech case - but they are ripping you on the warranty. Only 12 months - pffft.) Do it yourself...

    But here is the DEFINITIVE answer:

    Proving the worth of the Search function in the MR forums
  8. zen thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jun 26, 2003
    Thanks for the links. I did actually search, but my specific question was actually whether a hard drive had to be Mac-specific, or whether my Mac would recognise any drive that is connected.
  9. neut macrumors 68000


    Nov 27, 2001
    here (for now)
    The drive (and most others) will work (any included software may not) ... it's suggested you reformat and not use FAT32. Best Buy has a 300GB FW/USB2 external for ~$150 after rebates ($50 + $70 MIR).

    peace | neut
  10. motherduce macrumors 6502

    Oct 3, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I have a 200GB IDE Seagate in a Macally FW/USB enclosure, and I love it. I can hook it up to my old Windows laptop with the USB, or to a Mac with the firewire, and the case is VERY sturdy, solid, and looks nice. I higly recommend this setup, especially with the rebates and discounts on Seagate drives right now (see Outpost.com). I got the enclosure from Newegg. Total cost of enclosure plus 200GB HD was around $100.
  11. lucface macrumors regular


    Mar 4, 2005
  12. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Do you know if that is an in-store only deal? I don't see it online.

Share This Page