PC External Hard Drive - How do I get my files onto a Mac?

Joe Dyble

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 10, 2008
7
0
Hello!

Sorry if you've seen this a hundred times but...

I have a MacBook Air and all my media files are on an external hard drive which I previously used on a PC laptop. I've heard something about NTSC (?) and that mac's can read but not write to these. So two questions...

1. If I want to buy an external hard drive which will work very nicely with my macbook air (preferably wirelessly), what do I buy?

2. Can I simply drag and drop the files from my PC external hard drive to my new one, wait a few days for it all to transfer, then start using it with no bother??

Thanks a bunch!
 

blodwyn

macrumors 65816
Jul 28, 2004
1,148
1
Portland, Oregon
- The most recent (i.e. for at least the last decade) standard format that Windows uses for disks is NTFS
- The older standard format that Windows used for disks was FAT32
- The standard format that Mac uses for disks is HFS+

As standard:
- Windows can not read or write HFS+ disks
- Mac can read but can not write to NTFS disks
- Both Macs and PCs can read and write to FAT32 disks, BUT FAT32 does not support files sizes >4GB

- Macs can be made to read and write NTFS disks using MacFUSE
- PCs can be made to read and write HFS+ disks using MacDrive

1. If I want to buy an external hard drive which will work very nicely with my macbook air (preferably wirelessly), what do I buy?
Almost any external hard disk will work with a Mac using USB or Firewire. If you want a wireless hookup then you're looking to either connect to another system that has the drive connected to it, or use a NAS box. I consider using wireless to connect to hard disks to be more trouble than it's worth so I like the direct connect approach

2. Can I simply drag and drop the files from my PC external hard drive to my new one, wait a few days for it all to transfer, then start using it with no bother??
Pretty much, although I don't see why it should take a few days

Hope this helps
 

Joe Dyble

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 10, 2008
7
0
Sorry guys, going to bore you with this now.

I've installed MacFuse... no joy. I still get Error - 61. So... I've got a new USB Hard drive on the way.

Even though my previous hard drive is NTFS, can I drag all the files from it to my new hard drive via the MacBook Air with the new hard drive staying HFS+???

Thanks a bunch!!
 

BigHungry04

macrumors 6502
Mar 14, 2008
456
4
Tennessee
Sorry guys, going to bore you with this now.

I've installed MacFuse... no joy. I still get Error - 61. So... I've got a new USB Hard drive on the way.

Even though my previous hard drive is NTFS, can I drag all the files from it to my new hard drive via the MacBook Air with the new hard drive staying HFS+???

Thanks a bunch!!
You should be able to. Macs can read NTFS, so you should be able to copy your previous hard drive to the hard drive on your MBA.
 

Les Kern

macrumors 68040
Apr 26, 2002
3,072
76
Alabama
Media files? They can fill up a drive quick as I am sure you aware. Also, leave 10% of the disk empty for better performance, and I am sure you are also aware.
OR
Use the external drive to hold the media files, and leave the Air with a little breathing room. Buy that second drive as a backup for the Air AND for the media files separately.

Of course by "media files" I group that into music and video.
 

Joe Dyble

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 10, 2008
7
0
Thanks guys.

The problem is I also want to delete some files so...

If I drag all the files (which are music, movies etc) from my NTFS drive to my new Apple external hard drive, will I then be able to go into the new drive and over-write it (i.e. delete old files and add new files)?

Or is it that the files themselves are NTFS and I can't edit them? If that's the case, is there any reason MacFuse didn't work for me?

D'you guys reckon I'm best off taking it in to an expert and parting with a few pennies to get it sorted?

Thanks again!!!
 

logana

macrumors 65816
Feb 4, 2006
1,385
1
Scotland
Once you have copied over all your files and are happy that everything is there then why not format the disk as HFS+ - that way your Air can happily read and write to it ?

But make sure you have everything you need first !!