Resolved How can I move files from my PC to my Mac with WD My Passport?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Quenton4, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. Quenton4 macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2015
    How can I move files from my PC to my Mac with WD My Passport and then use the HD as an external backup?

    I have about 1.5 TB of files on the PC and I would like to access them on my MacBook Air but keep them stored on the hard drive.
    I would then like to use the hard drive as an external backup device and a new place to store my music and films.

    Does this require re-formatting in order for the PC to get files on there?
    If so, will I have to 're-re-format' it to read and write from my Mac?

    I am using a MacBook Air 2012 with OSX 10.7.5 2GB RAM 1.86GHz Duo Core 2 Intel Processor.


  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    What's the current format of your external drive? NTFS?

    If so, OS X can read that, so you can copy it on to the computer, then reformat to either exFAT or HFS+ and then use the external drive for the mac.

    exFAT is cross platform, but HFS+ is Mac's native disk format and if the external drive is only going to be used for the Mac then use that.
  3. Quenton4 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2015
    Re: How can I move files from my PC to my Mac with WD My Passport?

    The HD is the WD My Passport for Mac 2 TB, brand new, unused and empty. I don't know how it is formatted by default, but it is targeted specifically towards Mac.

    Does this mean I can't copy the files from the PC to the Hard drive?
  4. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    I've deleted my answer. I didn't fully comprehend the original posting.
  5. Quenton4 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2015
    How about just using the Passport For Mac as a simple storage device, so I can put the 1.5 TB onto it from the PC, plug it into the MacBook Air and sort of use it like a giant USB stick. Would that be possible?

    I want to be able to read and write on the HD from my Mac regularly, but I only need to from the PC once (in order to get the stuff on there, then the PC's job is done).

    Can I not reformat it keeping the data on there?
  6. madeirabhoy, Jan 31, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015

    madeirabhoy macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2012
    someone else will probably answer this better, but in the meantime.....

    there are different formats for drives, all drives can be formatted in any of them but changing format virtually always means deleting all data.

    NTFS - micrsoft's format of choice. works great on a pc. can't be read or write from a mac unless you buy a 3rd party driver and I've had problems in the past with both of the two main options.

    HFS+ - apple's format, so if your drive was bought with a mac sticker on it, its prob this. windows can't see it without buying a clunky app.

    FAt32 - very old format, works on anything, and i mean anything. pc, mac, wii, televisions, anything. however doesnt handle individual files over 4 gigs.

    exFAT- i always have one drive formatted as this so i can access from bootcamp and pc, a modern version of fat32, can handle big files, works on mac and pc. just doesnt work on televisions etc...

    if you definitely never want to use the drive with a pc again, or with bootcamp, then reformat as fat32 or expat, copy the files from pc to drive, drive to mac. then reformat (deleting everything) to HFS+ and use with your mac.
  7. Quenton4 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2015
    Thank you for that post. I am very new to this, so a quick summary was very useful.

    So if I formatted the HD to be exFat, could I get 1.5 TB of films onto it from the PC, (some of which are >4GB in size), then get ~40GB of music onto it from the Mac Mini, and then play the music and films on my MacBook Air?

    Is that possible?

    If so, how can I format my HD to be exFat? Can I just do that with the Disk Utility that comes with all macs?

    Thank you to everyone so far.
  8. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    Yes, use Disk Utility to format it as exFAT. Plug it into your PC. Copy the files to it. Then your Mac will be able to see the files.

    However, exFAT is not the most reliable filesystem in my experience... it's kind of a kludge itself. If you only need to access the external HDD from Macs (not from any Windows PCs), then you might consider transferring the files over the wireless network from to the PC to your Mac (with the external HDD plugged in). It will take a LOT longer, but in the long-term, it might be a more reliable way to store all that data. Or if you have a friend with a spare 1.5TB+ external drive, transfer the files to that drive and then transfer them again to your new drive.

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7 January 31, 2015