Maxtor External HD Question...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ViToMiNs, Jan 26, 2007.

  1. ViToMiNs macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2007
    Hello all,

    This may be a simple question, but here it goes:

    I have a 300 GB Maxtor External HD that I formatted with Windows XP and which I keep all my music and videos on. This weekend I am getting a MacBook, and will attempt to sell my current Notebook PC. What will happen when I plug that FireWire cable into my new MacBook? Will I have to format the drive with OS X in order for it to work? Basically put, will I lose all the files on my external hard drive by switching from a PC with XP to a Mac with OS X??

  2. richgaccione macrumors newbie


    Jan 10, 2007
    if the hard drive is a cross platform drive, meaning that it could have been used for a mac or pc initially, you should have no problem just plugging it into your mac and not having any problems.

    i did this with my ACOM data 160gb firewire hard drive and had no problems and was able to go back and forth from pc to mac to pc to mac no problems.

    hope this was helpful.
  3. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    You will not loose any files.

    But, if the external HD is formatted in NTFS, and not FAT, then you can only read from the HD under Mac OS X (and not write).

    Best thing to do is to backup all the files on it, and reformat it. FAT-32 (or MS-DOS File System as Disk Utility calls it) if you want to use the disk with PCs and Macs, Mac OS Extended (Journaled) if you only will use it with your Mac**.

    **One advantage with this is that you can partition it up, and if you make one partition the same size as the MacBooks internal disk, you can use SuperDuper! (or similar) to clone the entire disk and thus getting a bootable backup solution. This is highly recommended as HDs fail (mine did it just before Christmas, but with a 4 day old clone I didn't loose anything important, like my iPhoto library or extensive iTunes library, which would be a pain to re-rip). :)
  4. ViToMiNs thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2007
    Thanks for the response!

    Will I notice any difference in read/write speed if I format the HD to FAT32??
  5. Silentwave macrumors 68000

    May 26, 2006
    Gainesville, FL
    Probably not, but you will have a 4GB file size limit- no file can be larger than 4GB in Fat32, so if you have any very large videos on there it might be a problem.

    I would definitely partition the drive, however. I Also have a maxtor 300GB drive (One Touch II FW/USB), and though I've formatted it HFS+ (Mac OS Extended Journaled) for both partitions, I have it split with about 90GB for my bootable clone (I always have at least 14GB free on my 100GB internal, which is really a bit under 93GB) and the rest for media backups.

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