external hard drives "formatted for mac"

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by thetussinmonstr, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. thetussinmonstr macrumors member

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    Jan 14, 2008
    #1
    what's the difference between a regular external hard drive and the ones i see advertised as "formatted for mac os x" ?

    cant you just plug-and-play with any working external hard drive? i mean you dont have to buy a specific flash drive "formatted for mac os x" hard drive space is hard drive space, eh?
     
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    Montreal, QC
    #2
    About $40.

    That's right. The "Mac hard drive" bit is just the idiot tax.
     
  3. thetussinmonstr thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 14, 2008
    #3
    dude i read up and read up on what the hell they were ACTUALLYYY doing differently and couldnt find SH*T in the way of a true technological advantage of using one of these over-priced, over-marketed pieces of crap except for the fact that they seem to come in cooler looking boxes at best buy (where i worked until last week).

    i even asked this kid that works over in computers (i was an HT specialist... love my HT :D) and he swore to me that the mac-specific one "just worked better" with mac. kid's pretty well-versed in computers and had never steered me wrong before that but when he couldnt explain to me the REAL difference i knew it had to be bullsh*t so i started looking into it.

    whatevs. thanks for the confirmation.
     
  4. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

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    Near London, UK.
    #4
    Most HD's (and all flash drives) will come FAT formatted which will just plug and play.
    However if the drive comes as NTFS formatted you'll either have to install additional drivers to be able to write to it (Mac will read it ok), or reformat it as Mac native, which is what I've done with all my externals as I dont need to plug them into a Windows system.
     
  5. thetussinmonstr thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 14, 2008
    #5
    true i did read that a couple different places, but the way i interpreted it was that if its NTFS formatted all you have to do is re-formatt once when you first get it.

    i think you can do it with time machine.

    if you dont mac will only be able to read, not write.


    -correct me if any of that is wrong-
    :D
     
  6. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #6
    I always reformat (and zero) any new drives I buy, even if they're already in the format I need. It may not be necessary, but it's quick and protects me from corrupted filesystems and such.

    Right.

    What does Time Machine have to do with anything? It's just a backup program.

    Without additional drivers (MacFUSE and NTFS-3G), that's true.
     
  7. thetussinmonstr thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    using time machine?
     
  8. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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  9. sammich macrumors 601

    sammich

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    #9
    Using Disk Utility.
     
  10. thetussinmonstr thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 14, 2008
    #10
    when you first plug it in it will give you the option to use with time machine, and then to reformatt?
     
  11. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #11
    A drive will only give you the option of using it as a Time Machine drive if it is formatted with HFS+ (Mac OS Extended).

    It won't do it with NTFS and FAT32 formatted drives. Time Machine needs HFS+ formatted drives for it to work properly and use the advantages of this file system.
     
  12. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #12
    ... therefore, it will ask if you want to reformat the drive during the setup process. Is that what you meant?
     
  13. thetussinmonstr thread starter macrumors member

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    #13
    yesssir.
     
  14. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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  15. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #15
    Sometimes the difference is due to it having firewire.
     
  16. EndlessMac macrumors 6502

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    Aug 20, 2009
    #16
    It's more for people who are new to Macs and don't know how to reformat external hard drives themselves for Macs which is very easy to do. They do charge a premium for that so it is wasted money if you know how to do it yourself. I always buy the PC hard drive version and just reformat them. I find better prices that way.

    That's really the only reason why I would even consider getting a Mac version because I have noticed firewire is faster then USB 2 for me. Although it's usually cheaper to get an internal hard drive and then get a firewire enclosure case.
     
  17. davidg4781 macrumors 68010

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    Alice, TX
    #17
    From what I saw a few months ago when I was shopping for an external is the Mac version will usually have Firewire 400/800 and have a different casing, for example aluminum (colored?) instead of plastic, to match Apple's Mac line of products. You may also get a bit more accessories. The Seagate Go version came with a docking station and case, while the standard version required you to purchase it separately.
     
  18. bay2sacto macrumors member

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    Nov 6, 2008
    #18
    This is where the extra price comes in. Most "PC" versions of externals have USB 2/FW400/eSATA connections. They also will include all the cables needed (like FW400 to FW800). I like Firewire 800 much more than USB 2 so I like to spring for the "Mac" version of externals for the extra speed over USB 2/FW 400. If the non-Mac versions would also support FW 800 I'd grab one of those over the Mac version for the $40-$50 savings.
     
  19. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #19
    Almost every "PC" (windows) external has ONLY USB connectors.
    You don't usually see Firewire until you get a Mac version.
     
  20. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #20
    Seagate and WD have three tiers of external hard drives: "home" with USB, "pro" with USB/eSATA/FW400, and "Mac" with USB/FW400/FW800.
     

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