Western Digital external hd?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mac109876, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. mac109876 macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2012
    I just purchased the base model retina mbp and i love it :)
    I want an external hard drive to not only transfer files from my old mac(over 60gbs) and also I'm probably going to begin downloading games and movies so why not.
    Anyway I'm wondering if the Western Digital My Book Essential 2tb hard drive with usb 3.0 is safe for my mac. Also i read about NTFS or something and you have to format and its easy, but if i do that, will i still be able to use the usb 3.0. the fats speed of the 3.0 is a really factor in purchasing this.
    please help thanks!
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Of course it's safe. Why wouldn't it be?
    The format has nothing to do with the USB speed. If you're going to be using it strictly with Macs, HFS+ is the best choice.

    Format A Hard Drive Using Disk Utility (which is in your /Applications/Utilities folder)

    Choose the appropriate format:

    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)

    NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
      [*]To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
      • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
      • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
      • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
      • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.

    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
    • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.
  3. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    If you have some home network I would recommend NAS capable storage with space for two or more harddrives. That way you get access from everywhere. Can easily access movies from a TV or whatever.
    With two or more drives you can run a RAID 1 for more reliability if you store lots of files that would really hurt if lost.

    If you don't need or want that I would recommend getting small 2.5" external drive. Better get two of those before one 3.5". They are much more portable and produce less clutter as they don't need their own power supply. Less noisy too.

    USB 3.0 is naturally safe to use but unless you have a 2012 Apple Notebook you only get the 35MB/s of USB 2.0. I wouldn't recommend spending money on anything Firewire capable. That is unreasonably expensive and really not worth it. FW is a dying breed. Just get USB 3.0 anyway and live with the slower transfers.

    NAS is fast over Gbit LAN with up to 110MB/s. Usually they also support USB 3 and sometimes other stuff like FW or eSATA. Over wifi it is slower but for media storage fast enough and extremely convenient as the box can sit in another room with the router; no noise is bothering you.
  4. mac109876 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2012
    awesome. thanks for the help guys, i think im going to purchase it, its really a steal for only $130 and it transfers real fast at 5gbs !
    another question though, ive been thinking about downloading vista and running bootcamp or what ever to do so and obviously this large drive will make things easier, but how do i go about setting it up and using it ?

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