Switching from PC to Mac (External Hard drives?)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Swamp Donkey, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. Swamp Donkey macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Location:
    Scotland
    #1
    Hi Guys.

    Just made the long awaited move from PC to MAC.

    I currently have a 1.5TB external hard drive ive been using with my PC, (approx 90% full) which i believe is in NTFS format.

    I have heard rumours i may have to re-format this to Fat32 in order for it to function correctly with my Mac.

    Is this correct? can anyone shed some light on the situation?

    Cheers

    Leo
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    You'll be able to read off of NTFS. There's NTFS-3G as well for OS X.
     
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #3
    Mac can read NTFS, but can't write to it. For read/write capabilities from both Mac and Windows, reformat to FAT32.
     
  4. Swamp Donkey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Location:
    Scotland
    #4
    Ok so if i can temporarily move all my data to another hard drive then format the empty one to fat32 put it all back on to it. it will be fully functional to read and write with the Mac?
     
  5. emptyCup macrumors 65816

    emptyCup

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    #5
    Personally, I would reformat HFS+ Journaled and then use Boot Camp or one of the virtualization programs to handle the Windows stuff I wanted to keep.
     
  6. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #6
    If you have moved to Mac, so you have or will junk your PC, I'd say move the stuff off, reformat to HFS and move it back. Thats what I've done with the two external drives from my old PC. Mind you, with 1.3Tb or so finding the space to do that could be a problem :)
     
  7. LTX macrumors regular

    LTX

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    #7
    You can read/write NTFS from your Mac. Download MacFUSE and you'll be able to without reformatting. It'll be slower than HFS+ or using it on Windows, but it'll be usable.

    Edit: noticed you're moving to Mac (not sharing between PC and Mac). Back up all the data on it and reformat it to HFS+.
     
  8. Swamp Donkey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Location:
    Scotland
    #8
    I will be totally ditching the PC and dealing with Mac from now on.

    I do have a place to put the stuff for now.
    To be honest its 1.3Tb of Avi`s, Mp3`s and jpegs nothing more.

    When you say reformat to HFS what does this mean? is it the same as reformatting to fat32? Sorry not the greatest with all the terms.

    This sounds like the best option though for me.
     
  9. LTX macrumors regular

    LTX

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    #9
    FAT32 was the file system used with Windows 98 and supports a maximum file size of 4GB (unacceptable in 2009 :p) and a maximum volume size of 2TB. HFS+ is Apple's main file system for Macs and supports way more than that. When you format the external in Disk Utility, you would choose the file system Mac OS Extended (Journaled), which is HFS+.
     
  10. ziggyonice macrumors 68020

    ziggyonice

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    Rural America
    #10
    By default, a Mac can read an NTFS formatted drive, but cannot write to it. (This can be changed via LTX's suggestion above.)
    By default, a Mac can read AND write to a FAT32 formatted drive.

    If you're going to be using the hard drive on both a Mac and a PC, I'd recommend choosing FAT32.

    If you're looking to use the drive to backup your files using the Mac's Time Machine feature, you'll have to use the "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" format -- aka "HFS+" . Note that this will not allow the drive to work on a PC.

    So as an alternative, you can partition the drive: have one partition as the "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" for Time Machine, and the other as FAT32.


    To make any of these changes to the formatting of the drive, use Disk Utility -- in your Utilities folder (which is within Applications). Note that you'll want to take anything you want to keep off the drive first and have it in another safe place, formatting the drive will also ERASE it.
     
  11. Swamp Donkey thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 11, 2009
    Location:
    Scotland
    #11
    Excellent

    Its all clear now.

    Thanks very much for your help guys, its much appreciated.

    cheers
     

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