External HD

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by jimjonson, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. jimjonson macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2011

    So im in the market for an external HD.

    The biggest factor is that I need the HD to be Windows and Mac compatible. I will be moving files from both systems, so the HD would need to work with both systems at the same time. I am ideally looking for a 1TB HD, which should give me plently of room to operate with.

    Friends that I have spoken to have told me Seagate and Western Digital are tops in the HD game.

    So I was wondering which external HD do you recommend?

    I look forward to hearing your input

  2. pjarvi macrumors 65816


    Jan 11, 2006
    Round Lake, IL
    I just bought 2x 2TB Verbatim external drives over the weekend. They have a 7 year warranty and USB3.0 (backwards compatible with USB2.0). Have not had any problems yet, they came pre-formatted for FAT32 and Snow Leopard detected them without issue. The USB cable they come with is really short though, a little over a foot long at most (due to the USB3.0 support I presume). They are horizontal in layout though, so wouldn't recommend them if you want something pretty to sit on top of your desk.

    I've used WD and Seagate without issue, I would probably recommend the WD over Seagate in terms of style and performance, Seagate tends to provide more connectivity options in a single device.

    Just about any drive these days will ship formatted with FAT32 for best compatibility.

    However, for 2 systems to access a drive at the same time it would need to be a NAS, you can't connect 2 computers to a single drive via USB/Fireware/ESATA, etc...
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    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 in HFS (Mac OS Extended) or FAT32 or NTFS-3G can be done with the Mac OS X Disk Utility.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
    • Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    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: Install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free)
    • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx 33USD).
    • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard, 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
    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended)
    • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
    • Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner 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
    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • exFAT partitions created with OS X 10.6.5 are inaccessible from Windows 7
    • 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

    I've had great success with these:

    OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro™

    OWC Mercury On-The-Go Pro

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