Thinking of buying a new 13" MBP, External Hard Drive Questions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by gpatrick15, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. gpatrick15 macrumors regular

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    Atlanta, GA
    #1
    Right now I'm using an HP Vista laptop. I like it but as of late I have been having a few problems here and there. The build quality sucks; this weekend the screen hinge on the left hand side broke out of nowhere. I noticed that it loosened up a bit a few months ago, but now its barely hanging on the left side while the right side is still in tact. Along with that, it crashed twice a few days prior. Those issues, topped with the horrible battery life, has had me considering the macbook Pro 13" that was released a few weeks ago.

    Now, on to my question: If I transfer all of my media from the HP to an external hard drive then to the Macbook, would that be as seamless as it sounds? Or is there a way to connect the two computers together? I plan on dual booting it with Boot Camp and Vista/7 when its released, as I need windows for a number of things, and I don't find it as cumbersome as most of you do (in fact, up until a few days agop I had no problems at all with Vista, go figure). I can get a student discount on it, so the price is pretty good for what it offers, and I hear that the battery life (very important) is pretty good and the build quality is top notch. Thoughts?
     
  2. gpatrick15 thread starter macrumors regular

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  3. sukanas macrumors 6502a

    sukanas

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    Nov 15, 2007
    #3
    as of transfering a LOT of stuff onto an external hard drive and using that to connect to your mac.. might not work

    i dont know the exact words, if someone else on the forum could help, but the format of the HD windows reads is different to the format Mac OS reads..

    but if it isnt too much, a 16gb flash should be compatible with both operating systems in terms of the OS reading the flash drive


    note for using windows. you didn't specify in your post why you would need windows. but if its something minor, i would REALLY like to stress for you to make windows almost unecessary. i thought id need windows but ive found my ways around..

    when people make the os switch, lot of em say, "Oh! switch was so easy! im already used to it!" sadly this wasnt the case for me. it took me almost 1 year to get used to little things. ie. mouse acceleration, system settings, etc..
     
  4. mrj205 macrumors regular

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    Virginia
    #4
    It would ideally be seamless. However, you may run into some issues with transfer of certain files. There are limitations with file size transfer between an NTFS and an HFS+ formatted drive. I would recommend you take it to the Apple Store and let them do it for you. It would be the easiest way to learn for yourself, plus you know it'll get done right. If you buy a new Mac, you can have the Apple Store help you transfer all files from your Windows/PC machine to the Mac. And it's free! This is regardless of whether you buy in store or online. Good luck!
     
  5. Thiol macrumors 6502a

    Thiol

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    Jan 26, 2008
    #5
    Yes, it should be smooth. Just get an external drive that can connect to both computers.

    The main issue is the hard drive format. Format it in FAT32 if you want both computers to read and write to it (OS X cannot write to NTFS). There is, however, a 32 GB limit to each partition with FAT32. Files also cannot be larger than 4 GB. If either the partition or file size limit prevents you from doing what you need, you'll have to format in NTFS. If all you're doing is reading files with the Mac, however, this won't be a problem.
     
  6. sukanas macrumors 6502a

    sukanas

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    #6
    oh yeah, if the external HD is formated NTFS, Mac can read it right? it just can't write anything onto it?
     
  7. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #7
    If you use something like MacFuse it can read/write.
     
  8. gpatrick15 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    I need windows, primarily, for my Zune (don't shoot me!) and a lot of my teachers don't send mac friendly files on the university email (according to them, but I'm sure its not impossible). And I also link my Media Center to my Xbox 360. The only thing I need windows for really is the Zune. I never liked iPods, and I think the Zune is better, but that's neither here nor there. I may not need windows anyway, as I will still have my HP laptop to sync my music to the Zune
     
  9. pjmburg macrumors newbie

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    Jun 21, 2009
    #9
    I don't think files that "aren't mac friendly" will be a problem. A .doc/.docx/.pdf file is the same no matter what OS is on, so, assuming you have MS Office for Mac or any other modern alternative, there shouldn't be any issues.
     
  10. gpatrick15 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    Yeah I didn't think there would be anyway, just going on what the teacher said and a couple of non techies who probably didn't know any better.

    Around this time last year I was looking into buying a mac, but went the cheap route and bought an HP. Not a good idea in hindsight
     
  11. Sirolway macrumors 6502

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    London
    #11
    FAT16 can only have 32GB partitions - FAT32 can have much larger (1TB+ google is your friend here)

    If you need the drive to be readable by both Mac & Windows, go FAT32
    If you need the drive to be readable only by Windows, NTFS is better
    If you need the drive to be readable only by Mac, HFS+ (Mac journaled) is better

    The twist is that Mac can READ NTFS (but not write to it) & I believe there are some 3rd party drivers out there that will allow Ma to write to NTFS, but I wouldn't bother with all that

    Hope it helps
     
  12. Sirolway macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Oh, also you might want to get an external drive that has both USB & Firewire 800 connectors - Firewire's much better for Mac... (but not essential)
     
  13. gpatrick15 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    Thanks for the info guys!

    Sirolway, I'll keep that in mind when I shop around for it. I'll probably get the drive from new egg, and I'll be sure to look for one with both Firewire 800 and USB.

    Another question, if I take the HP and Macbook to the Apple store, will I need the external drive, or can they do it with just the two computers?
     
  14. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #14
    Umm.. Since your gonna be upgrading your machine and thus will probably keep the old one for a while longer! I don't understand why you can't just grab yourself a network cable and transfer the files via the router? All you really need to do with windows is set the relative folder to 'share'.

    If your current laptop has 1GB LAN it'll be fast and easy, you wouldn't have to mess about with what format the HD's are in for a start plus you can keep the PC as is, perhaps consider it as a backup?

    Getting your ZUME to work on the Mac is fairly straight forward, you can either create a BootCamp partition on the HD or do what I've done (more flexible)...

    For my Sony Walkman, I use VMware for Windows. It'll share the network setting of your Mac it'll allow you drag and drop files between the MacOS and WinOS.. best of all, you can install several version of windows without making any partitions on the drive.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Thiol macrumors 6502a

    Thiol

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    Jan 26, 2008
    #15
    In theory yes, but Windows cannot make partitions larger than 32 GB:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314463

    I found that with google :)
     
  16. gpatrick15 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    Thanks, didn't know I could do the transfer that way. Seems like a more viable solution. I thought about using the other as a back-up, eliminating my need for windows on the mac. I will need all my media files on the mac, but wouldn't mind using the PC for syncing my Zune. Consideration taken. Thanks. Any other suggestions anyone? The easier you guys make it sound, the more I want to pick one up
     

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