External HDD from PC to Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by MrMinor, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. MrMinor macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2008
    I do not yet own a Mac, but will be buying a MBP soon. Right now I have an old PC laptop with a small hard drive. A few years ago I bought an external hard drive to give me more space. I have my iTunes library on it as well as all my photos and some other stuff. The external drive is NTFS.

    1. How can I (or can I) transfer my iTunes library over to the MBP?

    2. What do I need to do to get the data from the NTSF external over to the MBP and then make the HDD usable on the MBP?

    3. I understand that the first time I plug the external into the MBP, time machine will ask if I want to use that drive for backup. If I say no, can I designate it to use for backup at a later date (I am assuming yes, but I don't want to assume)? Does the drive need to be empty to use as backup or would I be able to use it for time machine with all the data that is currently on there?
  2. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    1. Plug the drive in. Copy the iTunes folder from where ever it is on the hard drive, to Macintosh HD/users/YOUR_NAME/music

    2. Copy everything over. Use the mouse to drag and drop. Once you have copied everything over, you'll need to open disk utility and format the drive to either Fat32 or HFS+ (fat32 being usable by windows, and OS X, HFS+ being OS X only). Note: This will erase everything on it, so make sure you transfer everything over first. Until you format it, OS X will not be able to write to the NTFS drive.

    3. The drive does not have to be empty to work for time machine, but it does need to be HFS+ formatted. You can always add the drive later on.
  3. MrMinor thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2008
    WOW thank you so much for such a quick and detailed answer. You must have started typing before I even finished posting the message :)

    So I will be able to transfer things even though the drive is NTFS. That is good to know. Thanks again. This sounds like it will be a lot easier than I expected. I guess that is one of the points of a Mac.
  4. MrMinor thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2008
    Oh sorry, one other question. You said that for Time Machine it needs to be HFS+. Does that mean I could not use it if it was Fat32?
  5. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    If the OP needed to share with various Windows machines and has files over 4GB in size. The OP could use NTFS if used with MacFuse coupled with NTFS-3G. I use it all the time for reading and writing to NTFS with my Macs.

  6. MrMinor thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2008

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