Mac Vs PC External Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Macnificant, Dec 25, 2009.

  1. Macnificant macrumors 6502a

    Feb 26, 2008
    I am looking to purchase an External Hard Drive and I was looking on Western Digitals website. They show Mac and PC hard drive.

    Are they interchangeable?

    I didnt know one couldnt be used with the other
  2. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    The price difference is often due to interfaces. "PC" drives usually only have USB. "Mac" drives often have USB and firewire both. The PC drives may be formatted as NTFS, while Mac drives formatted as HFS+. The formatting isn't important - you can quickly reformat when you setup the drive. The interface for firewire is often faster than usb. Firewire drives can be daisy chained.
  3. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    Just buy whatever is cheapest, theres no difference.

    Lots of great deals here:

    You should be able to find 1TB for about $80-100.

    I see theres a Lacie for $90 right now, not my favorite, but as good as any.
  4. EndlessMac macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2009
    What I would like to add to this discussion is that yes you can use a hard drive on both Mac and PC if it's formatted as FAT32 but it really is a pretty limiting format and I would suggest you only do that if you really need to go back and forth between Mac and PC. FYI most USB flash memory sticks are formatted as FAT which is why you can use it back and forth between Mac and PCs.

    Also keep in mind that if you can get a Firewire 800 hard drive then it's much faster than USB 2 and Firewire 400. This is a nice luxury when you are transferring many gigs of data.
  5. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009
    My mac mini running tiger 10.4.11 seems to read mtgs just fine
  6. abean17 macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2009

    Where can you get the information to reformat the hard drive to FAT32 so it is compatible with PC and a mac? I need it to be interchangeable as I transfer a lot of files between work (PC) and home (mac).
  7. EndlessMac macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2009
    Use Disk Utility's erase option.
  8. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    Msdos format in disk utility is actually fat32. If you want ntfs, you unfortunately have to boot into windows.
  9. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    What is "mtgs"?????

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