Need Advice - A usb drive that works with mac and windows

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by kristenanne77, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. kristenanne77 macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2009
    I am looking for a backup storage usb drive that will work with both windows and mac. By work I mean be able to be read by both systems. Would I have to partitian the disk into "two different formtats" , one for each system (this would be a nightmare!) ? Looking for easy solution.

    Any advice on a good usb drive that can do this? What brands seem to work good? What type of formatting etc. I have usb 3 capability on both mac and windoz machines and am looking for about a Terrabye size.

  2. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Purchase any drive or dongle you like..

    Insert the drive into your mac. Launch disk utility and format it to exFat. It'll work fine with both os's
  3. priitv8, Nov 3, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013

    priitv8 macrumors 68030

    Jan 13, 2011
    Just Win XP needs special treatment, from Vista onwards, windows has exFAT driver already built-in.
  4. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    As a data drive, yes. As a backup drive, no. Time Machine requires Mac OS Extended format.

    OP - you can partition the drive into two parts; one for Mac and one for Windows. However my suggestion is get separate disks for each machine.

    If the Mac is a desktop (iMac or Mini) and the Windoze machine is running Pro (not Home) OS, you could also leave the drive attached to the Mac and back up to the drive via sharing.
  5. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    There is no mention of time machine use in the op's post!
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    As another posted mentioned above, I, too, recommend that you use SEPARATE backup drives for the Mac and for the PC.

    For your Mac backup, I'd suggest using CarbonCopyCloner. If you need Time Machine as well, I suggest you:
    1. Partition the backup drive.
    2. Put a CCC cloned backup on the first partition
    3. Use the second partition for Time Machine.

    Can't advise with the PC (I've been a Mac user since 1987). But again, DON'T "mix" Mac and PC backup drives.
  7. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    There have been a number of problem reports posted here and elsewhere about sharing a backup drive between windose and Mac.

    If you can't make a single exFAT drive work for you, as others have said, don't mix. In the long run it would be less money and aggravation to buy two 500GB drives and dedicate one to each system than trying to share one 1TB drive. USB drive are less than $100 now days.
  8. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Yes, but. The OP wants backup and Windows/Mac-compatibility. Time Machine is the OS X built-in functionality. It is therefore reasonable to give advice that addresses Time Machine.

    Quite frankly, I think that the OP is asking the wrong question and, therefore, it likely to get less than optimal answers. The OP should explain how the backup will be used. It will also be helpful to know why Windows/Mac-compatibility is desirable.

    Back when we moved files by covered wagon, I satisfied my cross-platform file storage needs using an NTFS-formatted USB Flash drive. A single 16 GB Flash drive can hold 3 DVDs worth of data. For my computer at home, I backup to a 1.5 TB FireWire drive.

    That was then. This is now. I still have and use the 1.5 TB drive. However, I now use Dropbox. With Dropbox, my cross-platform files are available on every device for which I have a login account. Furthermore, I can access my files from any device with a web browser. The beauty is that I have yet to exceed my free allocation of Dropbox capacity.
  9. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    "I am looking for a backup storage usb drive"

    Yes, there are backup methods other than Time Machine. But anyone likely to be using them, would not be asking the question.
  10. scbond macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2010
    Nottingham, UK
    Best solution I've come across:

    HFS+ formatted drive and then install Apple's HFS+ drivers for Windows. Never had any problems, whereas I have with solutions working the other way (ie. NTFS and then MacFuse etc.).
  11. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    I use a Synology NAS for just this sort of thing. Much better than messing with USB cables and file systems.

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