Is there an external HD that is compatible with both Mac and PC?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by blackwalla, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. blackwalla macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    #1
    I'm planning on buying an external hard drive soon. I browsed through the forums and I saw a couple threads discussion about external HDs. My question is, is there an external HD that you can read/write on a Mac AND a PC? I know formatting to FAT32 is one way of doing it, but I was just wondering if there are any HDs out there that doesn't need formatting for you to be able to read/write on a Mac and a PC.

    Thanks!
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    Yes, ALL external drives can be used with both Mac and PC, provided they're formatted properly. FAT32 or NTFS (with 3rd party apps) will do the trick. All hard drives must be formatted before you can use them. Some may come pre-formatted, but they're still formatted.
     
  3. blackwalla thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    #3
    A friend of mine has the Seagate FreeAgent Go external drive (Mac version) and I'm planning on getting the same thing since it's one of the "best" external HDs out there for Mac. But... since it's on HFS, I can convert it to FAT32 right? How do I do that?
     
  4. scottness macrumors 65816

    scottness

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    #4
    Sometimes you'll see external drives that are pre-formatted for the Mac--don't get one of those. Everything else will work for both platfoms out of the box, no problems.
     
  5. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #5
    By using Disk Utility you can partition and format the external HD as desired.

    Why do you say this?
     
  6. scottness macrumors 65816

    scottness

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    #6
    You can get one pre-formatted for the mac, but you'll just have to reformat it. Use Disk Utility to format (and partition if desired).

    Easier that way if unfamiliar with Disk Utility and needs to use with both platforms. No other reason.
     
  7. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #7
    Many of the "For Mac" drives have FW800 interfaces which are second only to eSata in speed.
     
  8. Dan73 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    #9
    Formatting isnt a big deal.

    On a Mac use disk utility. On windows go to my computer, right click the drive and hit format. Simple as that.
     
  9. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #10
    Disagree with this.

    Agree. It's not that difficult to format to FAT32 via the Mac using Disk Utilities or via Windows.
     
  10. Laurencia7 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    #11
    Most if not all drives are compatible with both.
    Try Western Digital, IO, SeaGate, searches to find the best one that fits your GB size, and prize range.
     

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