First Time External Hard Drive User--A Few Questions

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by LandryA, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. LandryA macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    #1
    I just ordered my Macbook Pro and it should be arriving within a few days. I got the thirteen inch and the only upgrade I opted for was the 128 GB SSD, since I'm a student and needed a bit more durability and was interested in investing in an external hard drive already anyway.

    I also just bought a Seagate Free Agent GoFlex Ultra Portable 1 TB external hard drive. I know some people have reported problems with these but almost all of the things I noticed were done with use of the software and not the hardware, and some suggested removing the Seagate software altogether. Since I've never used a drive like this before and invested a bit of cash in it, I'd like to not screw it up right out of the box. First off, is removing the software coming with the drive and simply using it without it a smart decision? If so, how would I go about doing that?

    Second, once that happens, I would like to move my ITunes library (around 60 GB) to the external hard drive exclusively, even if it means having to have it connected to listen to anything. With the smaller SSD I just would like to not have to worry about space being taken up by my library. I have all of my media on my family's iMac desktop right now and am wondering if I could transfer all of it to the external drive before my Macbook Pro arrives and then just move the ITunes Media folder to the external drive once it does arrive and not have to worry about moving them from the desktop to the laptop to the external drive and copying all of those files multiple times. Would this be smart to do or even possible? I guess I should also ask if formatting the drive on my desktop would be okay to do before I receive my Macbook Pro, or if I should wait to format it with my MacBook.

    Also, in someone's experience, is it smarter to utilize the Mac only or Mac+PC interface? I more than likely wont need to use it with a PC, but is it still smart to use this in case? Would I still be able to use Time Machine? On that subject, would I be able to use Time Machine and back everything up on my laptop AND use it to store my ITunes media where it would be readily available?

    Those are all the questions that come to mind. I know some people here really know what they're talking about and being a first time user of a peripheral like this, I really need some help. Any answers would be greatly appreciated and if I need to elaborate or clarify, just ask! Thank you!
     
  2. soco macrumors 68030

    soco

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Yardley, PA
    #2
    1. Of course you can use it without the software. I always do. Simply erase it like you would anything on any other HDD.

    2. I think this is possible as long as the HDD is networked. As far as smart or not is up to you and what works for your situation. I love my NAS.

    3. What do you mean by Mac + PC interface? If you mean pure Mac versus a mix of OSes in your home, I've been pure Mac for a while now and have no issues. Why would they put an OS out to market that couldn't survive without Windows?
     
  3. RMo macrumors 65816

    RMo

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    #3
    I'm guessing the OP means the FAT32 (or FAT64) file system by "Mac+PC interface."

    I'd recommend no and sticking with the Mac's usual file system, HFS+. In fact, you need HFS+ in order to use TimeMachine. However, if you were planning to partition the drive, you can make the TimeMachine partition HFS+ and the others whatever you want.

    Both Windows and OS X can read and write FAT-type volumes, but NTFS is usually better for Windows (and better in general). The downside is that OS X cannot write NTFS, only read. Of course, the other side of this is that Windows can neither read nor write HFS+ volumes. (You can make either of these scenarios work with a third-party driver, but I've never tried.)

    But unless you plan on using it with a PC, I wouldn't bother. By the way, this also is relevant only if you plan on using it locally on the PC--i.e., by direct connection with USB or whatever your interface is. If it's connected to a router (say, the AirPort Extreme Base Station with USB port), then it depends on what file system the router supports, and the computer doesn't care. However, it sounds like you're using it locally (which is also the only supported method for TimeMachine, aside from the Capsule).
     
  4. LandryA thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    #4
    Yes, I did mean the FAT32 file system, thank you for the clarification. So to use almost exclusively with a Mac I should format it at HFS+? I will only be using it locally. Sounds good to me. And if I partition the drive I can have Time Machine run on one and be able to access my ITunes media on the other?
     
  5. RMo macrumors 65816

    RMo

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    #5
    Correct. Of course, there's no reason you have to partition it, but if you want to access the iTunes media from Windows, you might want to (so the TimeMachine one can be HFS+ and the other something Windows understands).
     

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