External hard drive/transferring files from windows to mac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jordyh, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. jordyh macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    #1
    I have recently made the plunge into mac kingdom and very pleased so far.

    I am going through the pain staking task of transferring music, photos etc.. from my windows laptop to my new macbook pro.

    I started off by setting up file sharing and copying files but it is taking absolutely ages.

    Ideally I would like to use my 500gb mybook external hard drive but given an experience I just had when putting a memory stick in my mac straight after loading it up from my pc am I likely to lose all my current external hard drive data?

    Complete ball ache if thats the case as all my films are on there and burning it all to DVD would take forever.
     
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #2
    There shouldn't be any problem plugging the drive into the Mac. It can natively read FAT and NTFS formatted drives.

    That's assuming the steps taken which resulted in data loss on the memory card aren't repeated (for instance: erase after importing).
     
  3. jordyh thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 10, 2009
    #3
    Please can you just explain this a bit more?

    I can't seem to get the memory stick to be readable on both MAC and Windows now?

    So what procedure should I take to ensure my external hard drive is fine for use on both?
     
  4. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #4
    It sounds like you reformatted it for Mac (Mac OS Extended). Without a 3rd party app, Windows cannot read Mac formatted drives.

    You shouldn't need to do anything when plugging in your external drive. The only limitation is that NTFS formatted drives are read-only (without 3rd party software).

    Here are a couple of prompts you might be presented with, but rest assured the drive won't automatically reformat or erase itself without user interaction:

    You might get a message asking if you wish to use it for Time Machine backups. You need to respond "no", otherwise it will ask to reformat the drive for OS-X - and erase what's on the drive.

    If you import images to iPhoto, you might be asked if you wish to erase the source drive after importing.
     
  5. harry*333 macrumors 6502a

    harry*333

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #5
    well connect it to your pc and somehow find the properties of the drive
    if its ntfs or fat formatted and it should otherwise your pc wouldnt be able to read it
    It shouldn't erase everything and if it does it will take awhile so you could cancel it right away
     
  6. jordyh thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 10, 2009
  7. jordyh thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 10, 2009
    #7
    What about being able to write from the MAC to the hard drive, should this be an issue?

    I like to use it as my film library
     
  8. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #8
    If it's formatted as FAT32, you don't need to do anything. You can both read and write to it from OS-X (except, you will be limited to files <4GB in size).

    If it's NTFS, might want to look into 3rd party software for the Mac which will allow it to write to a NTFS drive (I forget the name, unfortunately). If you are going to use it only on the Mac (and don't want to use the above mentioned 3rd party software to write to NTFS), you would need to backup your files, reformat the drive as Mac OS Extended, then copy your files back onto it.
     
  9. jordyh thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 10, 2009
    #9
    Thanks

    It is a shame time capsules are so expensive
     
  10. jordyh thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 10, 2009
    #10
    I have discovered my external hard drive is NTFS, so I understand I can copy from HD to Mac but not the other way around unless I obtain third party software, does anyone know the name of the best 3rd party software for this?
     

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