Portable Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Jimmieboy, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. Jimmieboy macrumors 6502


    Oct 30, 2005
    Hi all,

    I'm heading overseas in about 10 weeks time for a few months. I'm going to be buying a portable external hard drive before I go, so I can backup my photos from my DSLR as I go. I have two in mind and I'm after your suggestions. The one I'm most interested in is this one, the Western Digital my passport drive:


    And the other is a seagate:


    Now I have a question about the format of the drives. I'm using a few macs at home and I intend to import the photos to Aperture when I return. However, I expect that the large majority (if not all) computers I'll be using on my travels will be PC's. So I need a drive which I can use both I guess. Now it's my understanding that this all depends on the format of the drive. I find it strange that both are NTFS, but only the seagate one claims support for both mac & PC without reformatting. So I put it to you. Do I get the seagate or western digital? How about I just reformat the western digital one to FAT32?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    Macs can read NTFS but without additional 3rd party software can not write to NTFS drives. In either case, if it's not already formatted to FAT32, just go ahead and reformat it to FAT32 (with Disk Utility) and that will give you the most compatible drive for PCs and Macs. The one caveat with FAT32 is the maximum individual file size is 4GB.
  3. MacForScience macrumors 6502


    Sep 7, 2010
    Avoid that Western Digital HD like the plague it has built in software which is a pain to disable and can never be fully disposed of. The "SmartWare" I think they call it makes the drive unusable until you go through this process of disabling it. (I am speaking from experience because I bought one.) Go with the Seagate.

    If I may I would actually recommend abandoning both for something like this: http://www.apricorn.com/products.php?cat_id=50

    I have had a fantastic experience with these drives; granted they can be pricey but they are in my opinion worth the money. As far as formatting as much as I hate saying it go with the FAT32 format.

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