Question about External Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Robfire, May 24, 2013.

  1. Robfire macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2013
    Hi guys,
    I have just bought my first Mac today, went for the 13" Retina, over the moon with it!
    I just have a question about external hard drives, i'm currently looking at this one -

    Is this compatible with my Macbook Pro? Will it need reformatting? I need to transfer some files from my PC, will this be possible?
    Sorry if these are stupid questions, i'm just new to this whole mac thing!

  2. mwhals macrumors 6502


    Sep 16, 2012
    If you have USB ports, it should work. You can reformat it as it is likely pre formatted for NTFS or FAT32, which are both Microsoft.
  3. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    Any external HD will work as long as it has the same port(s) as on your Mac.

    If you go for WD, do NOT install their crap software, not necessary and there are posts here which say it actually slows down transfers.

    If you only use it for the Mac, format it as HFS+, if you share this drive with a PC you could choose NTFS,FAT,ExFAT amongst others, beware that NTFS is read only by default but there are drivers for it to make it R/W.

    But, if you share it with one PC only you could also install software on the PC (MacDrive) to read/write Mac HFS+ format.
  4. Robfire thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2013
    Thanks for the replies,

    so just to be clear, can i buy this hard drive, plug into my PC and copy my files, them plug into my macbook and copy to there straight out of the box?
    Thanks again
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    "so just to be clear, can i buy this hard drive, plug into my PC and copy my files, them plug into my macbook and copy to there straight out of the box?"

    I don't buy "pre-assembled" external drives (I always build my own), but I'm going to _guess_ that the drive you buy will come pre-formatted for use with Windows.

    If that's the case, and if you just want to copy files from the PC and "read" these files on the Mac, it ought to work.

    However -
    I would suggest, once you get everything "copied over", that you consider re-initializing the external drive to "Mac format" (HFS+) for future use.

    The reason is that I've seen a number of stories from folks with "hybrid" external drives (drives that are partitioned and contain both Mac and Windows formatted partitions) who have had the Mac side just "disappear" on them. I'll _guess_ that something happened while they had the drive connected to a PC that damaged the Mac partition on it -- then, take it back to the Mac and one gets an alert that "this disk is unreadable" (or at least the Mac partition is).

    That's the risk of keeping a hybrid Mac/Windows drive.

    If you want to use your external for storing data that you value, you probably should do so on a Mac-formatted (exclusively) drive.

    Use something else (perhaps a USB flashdrive) for data transfers between the Mac and the PC...

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