External Hard-Drive with a PC and a Mac... ?


macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 3, 2004
Toronto, Ontario
So I (unfortunately) still have a PC desktop that I will eventually be replacing with some sort of Mac desktop. I also have an iBook. I am going to be buying an external drive to store media on (mp3's and avi's mostly). Is there a way to do this so that I can just plug it into the Mac AND the PC and have the avi's and mp3's read on both? Or because the drive will be formatted in either Windows or Mac will it not work on both?
As a possible solution I was wondering if I could just partition the external drive and have one in NTFS and the other in Mac (whatever it is)... this would work because (for the most part) the music is on the Mac and the videos are all on the PC.

I'm just looking for a solution here... hopefully someone can help me!

Westside guy

macrumors 603
Oct 15, 2003
The soggy side of the Pacific NW
FAT32 will work fine for the uses you mention. If you want to also use it for backup, though, FAT32 won't really play well with Mac's HFS+.

What I'm using is an external LaCie Firewire drive that's been formatted as HFS+. Then on our Windows box I installed MacDrive, which is $39 if you use the coupon that comes with the LaCie drive.

So far it seems to be working quite well.


macrumors 68020
Feb 20, 2004
FAT32 works like a charm - I just copied all my music and movies to an external USB 2 drive for my Mom's PC.