use external drive with mac and pc?? files recognised by both>

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by bob2131, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. bob2131 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    i have two external hard drives, with stuff from my pc on them.

    can i plug them into my macbook? and just copy files?
    usb hard drives.

    one i think is one or the other, mac or pc, not both at same time, unless i partition and format i think. maybe the other one too.

    i have a 8gb file on my pc, im trying to get into my macbook.
    how can i???

    i have a 160gb ipod, its only 30gb full, and pc says not enough space on it.
    why is this???? the file is only 8gb......and theres over 100gb free on my ipod.

    anyone help?

  2. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    It depends on the current format of the disk. If they're FAT your Mac can both read and write to that disk; if the disk is NTFS you Mac will be able to read bit now write.

    I, personally, would just plug it in and see if it works.
  3. wheezy macrumors 65816


    Apr 7, 2005
    Alpine, UT
    As he said, if the drive is a FAT partition both should be able to read it just fine. If it's partitioned NTSF then it might be tricky on the Mac side of things; I last recall hearing that NTSF was proprietary for M$ and Apple couldn't read it, but that was a few years ago.

    I would recommend putting the file back on your PC, and then format your USB external drive on your Mac choosing HFS+. Then, install MacDrive on your PC so it can read and write to an HFS+ drive. After you've done that you can move the file back from the PC to the drive, and then to your Mac.

    Yeah, that's a few steps but I think you're better off having your drives formatted HFS+.
  4. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    guys......thanks so much.

    some of that i dont even understand fully.

    but i jsut plugged in my external drive into macbook, and it recognised all the pc data on it!!!!! awsome!!!!!

    the 1TB drive was jsut to back pc up.....cause i was so paranoid it would die any now i can just pick and choose stuff and put onto my macbook. just explore it in finder and drag and drop files right??? drag and drop just copies files?

    (i have another 250gb external drive, so probably format that specifically for macbook backing up, when time machine back up. thsi is to external drive yeah? not internal??
    does time machine clone the whole system, or just back up files???
    like norton ghost or like syncback on pc......
  5. msheldrick macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2008
    You can exclude certain files/folders in Time Machine preferences as shown here:

    Attached Files:

  6. NStocks macrumors 65816

    Apr 3, 2008
    I need to transfer all my files from the Pc to a Mac when i get one. This wil include Photo's mucis documents and video. Will I have any problems putting these onto the Mac, as they are not system files or applications, and both Pc's and Mac's can use these files.

  7. belunos macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2008
    Here's the skinny.. Leopard actually can read and copy from NTFS volumes, it just can't write to or change files on those drives. So, if all you're doing is copying files FROM the ntfs to the Mac, then you should be good to go. Just don't expect to write to the drive until you format it or get a 3rd party utility.
  8. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    ive got a 250gb external usb drive ive used for pc back ups.
    i dont need those back ups anymore.
    i wanna use it specifically with time machine and new macbook.

    someone said to format it with disk utility in this correct?
    i can format it and use it like this?

    can someone explain the basics of how to do this??
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Plug the drive in
    Open Disk Utility from Applications : Utilities
    Choose the correct hard drive from the list on the left
    Choose Erase
    Choose Macintosh Extended (Journaled) as your formatting type

    Or open Disk Utility and choose Disk Utility Help from the Help menu

  10. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    "macintosh extended journaled" means waht exactly? name
  11. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
  12. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    i did what you said...and it all went
    when i said to erase, it said unable to mount disc, and it kinda just did nothing....said system i force quit the disc utility......

    someone else said to partition it, not erase it, to choose to do one large partition.

    now when i connect the external drive to mac, it says
    not readable....initialize, ignore, eject (i have these 3 options)

    have i messed up the external drive??

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