Sharing photos between Mac and PC on external HD

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by seanofford, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. seanofford macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2007
    Hi all,

    Can anyone tell me how I go about setting up a system where I can store all my photos on an external HD so that I can access them from my Macbook and when my wife plugs in her PC laptop she can too? I am guessing this isn't possible with iPhoto and that I would need to use some other program on the Mac.

    Any advice gratefully received as I have not used an external HD before.

  2. vistafanboi macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2007
    All will be well if you use a format on the external drive which both OSes can read and write.

    As it is, the MacOS can see files on an NTFS partition, read from them, copy from them, but not MOVE them.
    The Windows OS, on the other hand, can't even SEE HFS+ (or any other Mac format) partition.

    The only format both OSes can read from and write to is FAT32.

    Your wife's computer needs a program such as MacDrive7 or later. This is a Windows program which enables Mac partitions to be read from or written to as if they were native NTFS partition. I can testify to its safety, usefulness, and transparency to the OS.

    With a program like MacDrive 7/8, your wife will be able to read from, write to, copy, move files back and forth on native Macintosh formatted drives.

    You will still have the problem of not being able to write to her NTFS drives, however. I don't really see a fix for this anytime soon from Apple.

    For this reason, it is good to use a common format [FAT32] which both OSes can read or write.

    My suggestion for an external drive: Since both of you will have access to USB2.0 ports on your respective machines, a USB 2 drive would be best.
    But remember, this drive will have to be formatted as FAT32.

    Since neither XP or Vista can create a FAT32 partition larger than 32GB, I would be sure to use Disk Utility to format the drive. It can create such larger FAT32 drives. Neither XP or Vista have trouble READING and WRITING to such larger FAT32 drives. They just can't create them larger than 32GB.

    If both your and your wife's computer have eSATA ports, it would be better to use an eSATA HD, since they will transfer data at 1.5GB/sec-3.0GB/sec, rather than the 400MB/sec transfer speeds of USB2, or the 400MB/Sec-480MB/sec speeds of Firewire 400/800.

    IN fact, running Windows exclusively from an eSATA drive becomes a pleasurable experience at eSATA transfer speeds.

    So, here's a summation:
    1) Use a common format for the external drive [i.e., "FAT32"].
    2) Use a product like MacDrive 7/8 on her machine.
    3) The drive should be one you both have ports for [USB2].
    4) If both machines have eSATA ports, use an eSATA HD as your external shared drive.

    Lastly, I advise you purchasing a minimum of a 500GB HD @7200rpm [stay away from 5400rpm drives if at all possible.]

    Such larger drives are extremely cheap right now. I would certainly take advantage of this if possible.

    Donald L McDaniel:)
  3. Jaschr macrumors member

    May 27, 2008
    I know that this isn't a cost effective solution. But, You could use the usb port on the Airport Extreme Base Station ($180.00) if you (will) have one. Just make sure its formated FAT32. Then it can show up as a share drive and you won't need to hot swap the ext hd back and forth.
  4. rkdiddy macrumors 65816


    Mar 19, 2008
    OC Baby!
    Do you have any suggestions for a good 500gb external, that will connect and work well with the Airport Extreme?
  5. neilhart macrumors 6502


    Oct 11, 2007
    SF Bay Area - Fremont
    File Server rather then an external drive.

    I recommend a LINUX file server and a small LAN. Most home internet gateway devices have a 4 port switch (a LAN) and one routed port towards the DSL or Cable modem. Many also have WiFi included.

    If you have an old PC and can strap on a hard drive large enough to hold the files that you want to share, then you can down load LINUX free and run SAMBA. Your Apple machines and PCs will connect and both types of machines will read and write to server.

    Anyway this can be a very low cost alternative for many.

  6. Jaschr macrumors member

    May 27, 2008
    I've never had a 500GB HD, so I cannot make any recommendations. I have a 250GB 2.5" Iomega, and it works well. But it can get really hot.

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