Help transferring files from Windows to Mac using a LaCie Hard Disk

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by jonkevin, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. jonkevin macrumors member

    Jan 1, 2009
    I just purchased my first macbook and bought a 500GB LaCie Hard Disk Designed by Neil Poulton external hard drive. When I was formatting it with my PC, it asked me to partition the drive so I can use it with a Mac but I noticed that it only let me partition 32GB for a Mac and the remaining 468GB was for Windows. This is also my first time using an external hard drive so this is all new to me. Can I only backup 32GB total from a Mac? Am I only able to transfer 32GB from my PC to my Macbook? If so, is there anything I can do to partition more storage space for the Mac? Any help will be much appreciated, thanks!
  2. firestarter macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    The Mac and PC use different formats for their file-systems. Although you can use additional software to improve compatibility, the basic situation is:

    HFS+: This is a Mac only format that only Macs can read
    NTFS: This is the PC's favoured format. PCs can read and write, Macs can only read this
    FAT 32: This is an old file format with some issues (no files over 2GB size) but it can be read and written by both Mac and PC. To encourage the death of FAT 32, Windows will not create FAT partitions over 32GB.

    You can create FAT32 partitions of any size on the Mac, so you could reformat the entire drive on your Mac as a single FAT32 partition.

    Alternatively, have the PC create 2 NTFS partitions, then get the Mac to just reformat one of them.

    It really depends on what you want to do with this drive in the long run. Are you going to be continually transferring files backwards and forwards, or are you moving off Windows for good?
  3. jonkevin thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 1, 2009
    I am using it primarily to back up my files and will not be continually transferring files back and forth. Also, we will still have a PC in the house so I would still need to be able to back up the files on the PC.
  4. Emerica macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2006
    If you are just trying to transfer files then format the whole disk as NTFS and put all of the files that you want to move to the Mac on there. Once the files are on the Mac, you can reformat the drive for Mac and replace the data.

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