Give me the ultimate answer - portable HD

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by sim667, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. sim667 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    #1
    I want to buy a portable hard drive, about 1tb...... I need to move 80 gigs of stuff off my freinds PC, onto my mac.

    I wanted to buy a western digital passport, but it seems they come preformatted for either mac or pc, as you choose.

    Can you reformat a WD passport to work on both, without using a fat 32, which has got the a. 4gb file size issue, and b. has the 32gb partition size issue
     
  2. EricT43 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    #2
    Yes, you could get a "PC" drive and reformat it on your Mac. The pre-formatting is just a convenience, it's not a limitation.

    Format with the ExFat option, and it will work on both Mac and PC.
     
  3. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #3
    You can also format it as NTFS, which your Mac will read (but not write). Once you have the data off of it that you need, you can reformat it to Mac format for on-going usage.
     
  4. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #4
    To expand on that, Paragon NTFS is a handy program that allows Mac users to format drives as Windows friendly, including NTFS. They have a full, no limit trial last time I checked (before I bought it).

    http://www.paragon-software.com/home/ntfs-mac/
     
  5. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    #5

    Don't use NTFS, just don't. Use ExFAT as suggested by EricT43.
     
  6. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #6
    You have to expand on that, you can't just say don't use it like that like it's evil. If it's bad and ExFAT is great, please explain so we know.

    Thanks.
     
  7. hallux, Jun 7, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2013

    hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #7
    For one, ExFAT can be read AND written on BOTH Windows and OS X with no extra software to purchase. It also won't have the 4 GB single-file size limit of FAT32.

    Here's a little reading, it took 2 seconds to search on Google.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExFAT

    The OP could buy either a "for Mac" or a standard drive. I have the standard WD My Passport drive and formatted it as OS X Extended (Journaled) to use for TM. Buying a "for Mac" version is a waste of money unless the software is THAT important to the OP.
     
  8. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    #8
    Yes, Sorry. I was in a bit of a hurry when I wrote that on Friday.

    It's not that NTFS is a bad file system (In all honesty, it's probably better than HFS+), but it's far from ideal for this given application. The biggest drawback is the lack of native write capabilities on OS X. As mentioned, you can install kernel extensions to add write capabilities. I've never used Paragon NTFS, but I have had issues with NTFS-3G.

    Fat32 has native read/write, but as we all know, it has trouble with larger files and larger partitions.

    ExFAT (Extended Fat) is great for this usage as it has both read/write capabilities on both Mac & PC and it doesn't suffer from the same file/drive size limitations as FAT32.

    Rather than formatting NTFS and having to install software on every machine with which you would use the drive, I think ExFAT is the way to go.
     
  9. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #9
    Thanks.
     

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