Need advice on hard drive & Blu-Ray

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by sp1rit, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. sp1rit macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2019

    First off, I'll be ordering from Newegg Canada:

    1. I want an external hard drive that holds at least 4TB. It'll be for backing up music and movies. I would like it to not only be compatible with my MacBook Pro, but Windows PCs as well, in case I get one down the road!

    2. I'm looking for a Blu-ray drive I can plug into my MacBook Pro. Right now I have an external DVD drive from Apple, and it's fine, but it doesn't support Blu-ray.

    Any advice? Thanks! :)
  2. HDFan macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2007
    Your main issue, other than the correct connection type (USB 2, USB 3, thunderbolt, etc.), is the disk formatting. Windows is normally NTFS, Mac is either Mac OS Extended (Journaled) or the newer APFS. There are drivers on both OS's to allow you to read the other - either NTFS or Journaled. APFS wouldn't apply since it isn't going to be an SSD.

    Costco Canada has a 6 TB USB 3 drive for ~$145.

    As for reliability, checkout the latest backblaze report:

    There are quite a few available. One differentiator is whether or not you want to rip 4K UHD disks.
  3. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    Couple of things to think about:
    - Play or burn Blu-ray?
    - You're moving lots of bits, so best to make sure it's USB-3

    I have an external LG burner from a few years ago. Regular HD, not 4K. I may have used it with my 15-MBP, but mostly for my Mac Pro.
  4. sp1rit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2019
    I got a 4TB Seagate drive that apparently works with both Mac and Windows.

    The Blu-Ray is purely for making backups of Blu-Ray movies.
  5. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    "Apparently works with both Mac and Windows" - yes, they nearly always put this on the box. It doesn't mean much. If it has a USB connection it can be connected to Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix... What matters after connecting it is what disk format was applied at the factory. If the format happens to be incompatible with your operating system, it takes a few minutes to erase/reformat the drive to suit the OS.

    Things would be much clearer if they labeled the box, "Comes pre-formatted as exFAT (or FAT32, NTFS, HFS+ aka Mac OS Extended Journaled, APFS...).

    Here's a cross-compatibility list for the possible formats:

    FAT32 - Fully cross-compatible, recommended for drives of 32 GB or less (thumb drives, etc.)
    exFAT - Fully cross-compatible, recommended for drives over 32 GB
    NTFS - Fully compatible in Windows, read-only in OS X/macOS (read/write capability can be enabled using third-party drivers)
    HFS+ ("Mac OS Extended Journaled")- Mac-only
    APFS - Mac-only

    My short answer? For maximum flexibility between Windows and Mac, format drives larger than 32 GB as exFAT.

    While you can install third-party software that supports NTFS-formatted drives on macOS, any Mac you move that drive to will require that software to be installed before you can write to the drive.
  6. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    Any hard drive should be Mac and Windows compatible. As @HDFan pointed out. It comes down to disk formatting. In which case if you want to be able to move the drive between Windows and macOS. Use a more universal format such as ExFAT.
  7. HDFan macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2007
    Is there a reason that you don't make digital backups (rips?) Keeping all of those disks around becomes a hassle managing them, and with a digital copy you can use a media player to play them. There are also inexpensive cloud backup services which will allow you to backup there as well.

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6 June 7, 2019