External Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by drummer, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. drummer macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2012
    #1
    Hi guys,

    Have another question regarding data transfer from PC to Mac.

    I am thinking of investing in an external hard drive to transfer my media (music, movies, documents, photos) from my PC to my new Mac. I've done some hunting for suitable external Hard Drives, and I've noticed that some specify that they are "For Mac."

    Without getting into a detailed explanation on the differences between Mac and Windows files, I'm really looking for an answer on whether or not transferring stuff from PC to Mac is as simple as:

    1) Connect external hard drive to PC
    2) Transfer files to hard drive
    3) Disconnect external hard drive from PC
    4) Connect external hard drive to Mac
    5) Transfer files from hard drive to Mac

    I understand that the hard drive will need to be formatted depending on which machine it connects to, but will that render the files useless if I transfer them from one to the other? I.e. if the hard drive is formatted "for PC" for steps 1 and 2, when I connect it to the Mac for steps 4 and 5, will it give me problems?

    Sorry for the 'dumbed down' questions. I've tried multiple methods for transferring files from PC to Mac, and it's proving to be much more of a hassle than I anticipated. Some insight and recommendations would be much appreciated. If anyone can speak to the above points and/or recommend a suitable hard drive, it'd be much appreciated.

    I've been looking at WD's "My Passport" series, but I've been a bit confused regarding the distinction between the 'For Mac' ones vs. the ones that do not specify an OS.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Stooby Mcdoobie, Oct 1, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012

    Stooby Mcdoobie macrumors 6502a

    Stooby Mcdoobie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    #2
    Don't buy one of the external drives labeled as 'for Mac' - Windows cannot (natively) write to HFS+ drives, so you would have to format it as NTFS or FAT32/64 anyway.

    To answer your question, yes, transferring files from Windows to Mac is as easy as:

    1) Connect external hard drive to PC
    2) Transfer files to hard drive
    3) Disconnect external hard drive from PC
    4) Connect external hard drive to Mac
    5) Transfer files from hard drive to Mac

    If you want to set the drive up to work the other way around, you will need to format it as exFAT/FAT64, or purchase software that allows you to write to NTFS drives on your Mac.

    Here is a helpful bit of information compiled by GGJstudios:

     

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