Thinking about buying an External Hard Drive for my MBP

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Jsd45, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. Jsd45 macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2014
    I have a Mid 2012 MBP 13in with a 750gb storage. I have a lot of files and stuff I want to get rid of on my MBP. At my bestbuy there's 2 different Seagate external hard drives that I'm thinking about getting. They're both 1TB and they're both Windows (black) and Mac (silver) compatible. The only problem is that the Silver seagate says it's meant for the mac and I'm sure the black is meant for windows, but like I said they're both compatible with whatever OS. I'm a student and all of the computers at my school are windows. If I buy the silver seagate and plug it into a windows computer, will I have to download a software for the hard drive to work?

    With the black seagate, do I have to download a software on my MBP for the hard drive to work?
  2. bigrell486 macrumors 6502


    Jul 10, 2006
    You should not need to download any software to get any Hard Drive to work. At worst you will need to format it when you plug it in.
  3. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    If you format it for your Mac (HFS+) then it won't work properly when you plug it into a Windows machine, unless you buy some software that has to be installed on the Windows machine(s).

    If you format it NTFS for Windows, then your Mac can read but not write. You can buy software to allow your Mac to read and write NTFS.

    I'd say you have three choices:

    1. Format the entire drive NTFS and buy an app for your Mac

    2. Create a NTFS partition and a HFS+ partition and use each as appropriate

    3. Format the drive for ExFAT, which both Windows and OS X can read and write to. You could also format it in FAT, but that's a waste of time -- FAT can't handle big files. ExFAT can.

    There may be other options, but these are the only ones I know about.
  4. charlyham macrumors regular


    Jun 30, 2012
  5. Blackstick macrumors 6502


    Aug 11, 2014
    Sunny South Florida
    ExFAT is your answer. It'll work like a giant USB thumb drive and read/write on PC/Mac easily. About the only drawback is that on the Mac, Time Machine requires HFS formatting, but honestly, I'd use off-site backup like for that.

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