External Hard Drive

TWR Motorsport

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 25, 2011
38
0
Hi there,

What 1tb (or bigger) external hard drive should i buy for my Mac? I want it to work with windows aswell. With full read and write capability on both systems.

At present i have a WD one which only allows me to read and write in windows and read only in OSX. To solve this i installed Tuxera NTFS which was trial period and has now ended. I do not want to pay the cost of the full version and i need a bigger HDD anyway

I have heard that you can format it into FAT32 but then the single file size cannot be bigger than 2gb??? This WILL be a problem so is of no use to me whatsoever.

So then, what do i buy?

Jesus
 
Nov 28, 2010
22,684
27
located
Can this help?


____________________________________________________________

Overview of the four major file systems (called "Formats" in Mac OS X) used on Windows and Mac OS X, compiled by GGJstudios. You can use Disk Utility to format any HDD to your liking.

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 can be done with the Mac OS X Disk Utility, found in the /Applications/Utilities folder. Here are your formatting options:

FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
  • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
    [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
  • Maximum volume size: 2TB
  • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.
NTFS (Windows NT File System)
  • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
  • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
    [*]To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
    • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
    • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
    • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
    • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
    • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, but is not advisable, due to instability.
  • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
  • Maximum file size: 16 TB
  • Maximum volume size: 256TB
  • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.
HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)
  • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
  • Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper! backups of Mac internal hard drive.
    [*]To Read/Write HFS+ from Windows, Install MacDrive
    [*]To Read HFS+ (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
  • Maximum file size: 8EiB
  • Maximum volume size: 8EiB
  • You can use this format if you only use the drive with Mac OS X, or use it for backups of your Mac OS X internal drive, or if you only share it with one Windows PC (with MacDrive installed on the PC)
exFAT (FAT64)
  • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
  • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
  • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
  • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
  • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
  • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
  • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.
____________________________________________________________

Btw, you can format any HDD via Disk Utility to your liking.


____________________________________________________________

Links to guides on how to use Disk Utility, the application Mac OS X provides for managing internal and external HDD/SSDs and its formats.
____________________________________________________________
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,634
9,258
California
It does not really matter. But whichever brand/configuration you like and partition/format to suit your needs.

The big decision is do you want a portable drive with no power supply, or a larger, powered desktop drive.

For backups I usually just buy whatever USB portable drive I find on sale.
 

CWallace

macrumors 604
Aug 17, 2007
6,771
2,687
Seattle, WA
For powered 3.5"-based desktop drives, I'm a huge fan of the Western Digital My Book Studio series since the silver color blends well with Macs and they have FireWire 800.
 

Ifti

macrumors 68020
Dec 14, 2010
2,326
458
UK
For 3.5" external powered take a look at the WD My Book Studio Edition II.
Two drives in one unit set up in RAID - either striped or mirrored.

For 2.5" self powered take a look at the WD My Passport Studio drives.
The newer drives are a full metal enclosure.

Both the above are designed for use with the MAC, but can also be reformatted and used by Windows.
Both drives can be used via USB2, but also via FireWire800, which is much faster.
The My Book drive also comes with eSATA connectivity, should you ever need it.

My YouTube videos show both units, if interested in a short review.
 

Badrottie

Suspended
May 8, 2011
4,317
332
Los Angeles
Not sure if you are looking for powered or not hard drive. I am happy with Seagate GoFlex portable hd. They have many different kind of upgrade cables like USB/Firewire 800/any future new upgrades.

Seagate Upgrade cables
 
Last edited:

radiogoober

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2011
972
1
Not sure if you are looking for powered or not hard drive. I am happy with Seagate GoFlex portable hd. They have many different kind of upgrade cables like USB/Firewire 800/any future new upgrades.

Seagate Upgrade cables
Just a note on the Seagate external drives:

Sure, they are nice external hard drives. But do not, under any circumstances, install the software that come with the HD, and do not download and install their software for the HD. The software is a brutally written turd that can literally ruin your computer.

I had been using the HD for months with no problems. Then I saw a link and downloaded their software because it would make the harddrive lights act as a "gauge". It brought my computer to screeching halt. Finder would crash. The HD would freeze when trying to copy to it. Reboots took almost 5 minutes. I had to google search how to get rid of the software. A clever search in finder allowed me to eliminate it from my system, because the horrible software doesn't even have an uninstall. Luckily a user on the seagate forums identified the problem and posted how to undelete the software. This is over 6 months ago and Seagate hasn't fixed the crappy software (that literally renders your computer useless) and still has it for download.

P.S. Really weird: after I deleted their crappy software and rebooted, my bluetooth preferences pain disappeared. I had to shut down, clear the PRAM and then everything was back to normal.

DO NOT INSTALL THE SEAGATE SOFTWARE!

Info:

Google search: remove seagate freeagent software mac
 

Badrottie

Suspended
May 8, 2011
4,317
332
Los Angeles
Just a note on the Seagate external drives:

Sure, they are nice external hard drives. But do not, under any circumstances, install the software that come with the HD, and do not download and install their software for the HD. The software is a brutally written turd that can literally ruin your computer.

I had been using the HD for months with no problems. Then I saw a link and downloaded their software because it would make the harddrive lights act as a "gauge". It brought my computer to screeching halt. Finder would crash. The HD would freeze when trying to copy to it. Reboots took almost 5 minutes. I had to google search how to get rid of the software. A clever search in finder allowed me to eliminate it from my system, because the horrible software doesn't even have an uninstall. Luckily a user on the seagate forums identified the problem and posted how to undelete the software. This is over 6 months ago and Seagate hasn't fixed the crappy software (that literally renders your computer useless) and still has it for download.

P.S. Really weird: after I deleted their crappy software and rebooted, my bluetooth preferences pain disappeared. I had to shut down, clear the PRAM and then everything was back to normal.

DO NOT INSTALL THE SEAGATE SOFTWARE!

Info:

Google search: remove seagate freeagent software mac
I am glad I didn't use Seagate software when I bought it. :) but thanks for the warning though.
 

jay69

macrumors newbie
Jan 4, 2012
3
0
Problems with my hard drives

Having problems with external hard drives.

Imac was moved and hard drives were not ejected properly. Now I consistantly get the Message "The disk not ejected properly" on my screen. Have tried re formatting hard drives but still get this message. These drives are used for my time machine backups. What do I have to do to get rid of message.

Have tried re booting but to no avail.

Any help appreciated.

Imac 2 GHz intel core duo version 10.7.2
 

Attachments

jay69

macrumors newbie
Jan 4, 2012
3
0
Problems with my hard drives

Yes, Have tried Hardware reset, and everything in disk utility but to no avail. Have unpaged, ejecting correctly , erasing drive but still receive the same message. Time machine is backing up to the drives but the message will sometime crash the program I am in when it appears.

Any help appreciated
 

Attachments

jay69

macrumors newbie
Jan 4, 2012
3
0
Problems with my hard drives

Yes

"Resetting the SMC for intel based iMac"

1. Shut down the computer.
2. Unplug the computer's power cord.
3. Wait fifteen seconds.
4. Attach the computer's power cord.
5. Wait five seconds, then press the power button to turn on the computer.