I have spent the past 5 hours going a bit crazy, trawling through what seems thousands of pages on the internet, I need clarification so I can get to sleep tonight. I bought a Seagate portable 250gb external hard drive today. Plug it in, and start looking on the net about how to format it to my MacBook 10.4.11. Now I don't use my laptop for anything majorly important - music, films, internet etc. I do have some important files. As a freelance illustrator, I use my laptop to scan in drawings, edit them, do graphic design work in Adobe programs, etc. I bought the Seagate in order to free up some space on my laptop and also to back up that small amount of important files. On my quest, I came across talk of partitioning the external hard drive. What I gather from this is that it's a good idea to do if I want to use the Seagate on both PC and Mac (which I do) I need advice. How do I actually format the Seagate? Do I need to back up my whole laptop? i.e. all 70gb of it onto the Seagate? If so, do I make 3 partitions? i.e. 1. laptop backup, 2. Windows use, 3. music/films/creative work How many partitions do I need?!!?!? Also, for some reason I started following some instructions that said to erase the new external hard drive before putting data on it... so I press erase in disk utility, saw that it would take 4 hours & skipped doing it. Was this a cretinous action? Will it affect the Seagate usage? I'm sorry, I'm not very techie - almost a Luddite. But thank you for any help, I'm sure there have been lots of external hard drive questions but I am going crazy. It's my day off too, surely time could be better spent?!!!