Help Using External HardDrive With Mac

AbsenceOfTruth

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 10, 2007
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I just recently purchased the Seagate FreeAgent Pro 750 GB USB / eSATA External Hard Drive for my MacBook Pro. I understand that the software that came with it isn't compatible with Mac. I just wanted to know what is the best way for me to set this up because at the moment it's formated as FAT32. Seagate says I should format it to a MAC hard drive for best performance, etc. But there's one problem, I want to be able to share this hard drive throughout the network as I have 4 other Windows PCs connected. Seagate says I should download a program called MacDrive... do I install it on all the windows pc's or something? Or should I do something else? Also how do I share a drive on a Mac?

What should I do? I'm new to Mac and external hard drives. Please let me know before I do anything... I appreciate any help. Thanks!!! :D:apple:
 

iBookG4user

macrumors 604
Jun 27, 2006
6,596
2
Seattle, WA
Well, Fat32 is the only format that both Mac OS X and Windows can both read and write, so if you're sharing the hard drive you'll want to use that format. On the sharing of the hard drive, you might want to look at a router with a USB port to share it, like the airport extreme Apple sells.
 

AbsenceOfTruth

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 10, 2007
181
0
Well, Fat32 is the only format that both Mac OS X and Windows can both read and write, so if you're sharing the hard drive you'll want to use that format. On the sharing of the hard drive, you might want to look at a router with a USB port to share it, like the airport extreme Apple sells.
Why does Seagate recommend me to format it to Mac and then install a software called MacDrive? Is there any performance differences compared to FAT32 and a Mac format?

Also, there's no way to share a harddrive like in Windows over the network through OSX? I have to purchase a new router for that?
 

robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
24,638
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Harrogate
Why does Seagate recommend me to format it to Mac and then install a software called MacDrive? Is there any performance differences compared to FAT32 and a Mac format?

Also, there's no way to share a harddrive like in Windows over the network through OSX? I have to purchase a new router for that?
FAT32 would not even be recommended on Windows! It has a pretty small maximum size per file and wastes tons of space on large drives.

And yes, you can network share it from a Mac via SMB to Windows clients. If you do this then the drive can be formatted in HFS+ happily. The windows machines are not talking directly to the drive, they are talking SMB (Windows file sharing protocol) to the server (your Mac). The drive format does not matter: it just has to be something your Mac can read and write to.
 

iBookG4user

macrumors 604
Jun 27, 2006
6,596
2
Seattle, WA
Why does Seagate recommend me to format it to Mac and then install a software called MacDrive? Is there any performance differences compared to FAT32 and a Mac format?

Also, there's no way to share a harddrive like in Windows over the network through OSX? I have to purchase a new router for that?
Seagate probably thinks that you are only going to be using it with Macs, if that was the case, then you should format the hard drive to HFS+ (Journaled). FAT32 has some limitations like no file over 4GB can be transferred to it. I have never shared an external hard drive over a network, but I found this guide, it should be able to help you.
 

swiftaw

macrumors 603
Jan 31, 2005
6,309
20
Omaha, NE, USA
Yes, Windows can read/write mac formatted (HFS) drives over a network, but not if they are connected directly to the windows machine.
 

AbsenceOfTruth

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 10, 2007
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I just formated using Mac OS Extended (Journaled)...

*EDIT* i just figured it out... thanks a lot everyone!!! :D
 

AbsenceOfTruth

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 10, 2007
181
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I'm still a little confuse on how to directly share the external hard drive on the network. I messed around with windows sharing but that seems to only share my computer and not the external hard drive. how should I do this?
 

AbsenceOfTruth

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 10, 2007
181
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Quick Question... can I try to hook up my hard drive to Windows and backup some files even though it's in HFS+? I'm trying to back up some large files that are 100GB worth... if I can't what should I do? I tried doing it over the network but it's extremely slow. Thanks.
 

swiftaw

macrumors 603
Jan 31, 2005
6,309
20
Omaha, NE, USA
Quick Question... can I try to hook up my hard drive to Windows and backup some files even though it's in HFS+? I'm trying to back up some large files that are 100GB worth... if I can't what should I do? I tried doing it over the network but it's extremely slow. Thanks.
Only if you install MacDrive on your PC
 

iBookG4user

macrumors 604
Jun 27, 2006
6,596
2
Seattle, WA
Quick Question... can I try to hook up my hard drive to Windows and backup some files even though it's in HFS+? I'm trying to back up some large files that are 100GB worth... if I can't what should I do? I tried doing it over the network but it's extremely slow. Thanks.
Just note that this transfer that you want to do is going to take hours even if you connect the drive directly to your PC.
 

AbsenceOfTruth

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 10, 2007
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Literally only took an hour for 100GBs to transfer. I thank you all again. :D

MBP + External Seagate Hard Drive = Secks. :p
 

ToastMaster

macrumors regular
Nov 10, 2005
217
0
Tacoma, WA
I'm getting a 320GB Seagate FreeAgent pretty soon. I was almost going to post a new thread, but then saw this one...

So can I use this same process (or a similar method) to use an external HD on both my OSX and Windows XP partitions on one computer? Like should I install MacDrive on the XP partition?
 

smartalic34

macrumors 6502a
May 16, 2006
947
6
USA
I'll be getting a 320GB Seagate FreeAgent Pro also very soon, and was wondering: if I just want to use my drive on my MBP, what's the best format for it? Mac OS Extended (Journaled)? Is this HFS+?
 

AbsenceOfTruth

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 10, 2007
181
0
I'll be getting a 320GB Seagate FreeAgent Pro also very soon, and was wondering: if I just want to use my drive on my MBP, what's the best format for it? Mac OS Extended (Journaled)? Is this HFS+?
Yeah, Mac OS Extended (Journaled) is HFS+

Also, do you guys recommend that whenever I get a PC later on and connect my external Hard Drive to rather than to my MBP, is it best to run MacDrive on it instead of NTFS on Windows? Is there any performance differences between the two on Windows? Or should I just reformat it back to NTFS? I just don't want transfer my files back and forth...

thanks.

Anyone? :eek: