Western Digital My Passport Essential Portable Hard Drive Question

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by M-B-P, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. M-B-P macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    #1
    Hey,
    I was looking at this ( http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?driveid=700 ) portable hard drive and had a few questions. I'm looking to use it to make a time machine backup for my MBP . Will be using it for pictures and movies. And WILL be also using it for windows (reading and writing).

    I see that under the overview section on the website, it says that this specific version is for the PC and there is a different mac version (I must by the PC version- please don't ask why.... long story). *So, Will this be compatible (for read and write) with my Mac AND PC by default or will I have to format the hard drive in disk utility to some different format? If I will have to format it somehow please help by telling me how I would go about doing that.

    Please help me, I am looking to order by tomorrow night, Thank in advance:)
     
  2. ovrlrd macrumors 65816

    ovrlrd

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    #2
    It should work just fine. It sounds like the Mac version would come formatted for HFS (OS X's filesystem) and the PC version would come formatted with FAT32 (Most common Windows filesystem, doubt it's NTFS).

    Either way you just have to launch Disk Utility if you want need to reformat it, there is no big deal.

    The main difference between the two would be the software included, which you really don't want to run anyway.

    Update: Just read on the site that it comes pre-formatted with NTFS. By default OS X will only be able to read files off NTFS drives, but not be able to write to them. Installing MacFuse with NTFS-3G will fix this, or you can easily reformat it with FAT32 using the Disk Utility.
     
  3. M-B-P thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    #3


    Thanks for the quick reply! So let me try to clarify, since it is in NTFS format I will need reformat it with FAT32 using Disk Utility and that should get it going with my Mac AND Windows PC right?

    What type of software will I be losing by reformatting it with FAT32? Will it have password protection (sorry for the noobish questions, I never used a external hard drive and am on my 1st mac)?
     
  4. ovrlrd macrumors 65816

    ovrlrd

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    #4
    Yes, formatting it to FAT32 will allow you to read/write in both Windows and OS X.

    In terms of password protection (or encryption), I am not really familiar with software to do that which works in both OS X and Windows. The software that comes bundled would work in Windows, but it would probably make it not work in OS X. Similarly, the software you can find in OS X (FileVault) will not work in Windows. Maybe someone else will have a better solution if this is something you want to do.

    To be honest I don't like to add encryption to my drives because it slows them down too much for my tastes. I prefer to just have the usual login/password required to login to the OS, which is more than enough security for most people. I then create encrypted & password protected files/folders for specifically important stuff like my banking information.
     
  5. M-B-P thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    #5
    Thanks again, Ovrlrd. I appreciate it. So this sounds good and I will be ordering it soon. On a different note, how do you set up password protection for certain files / folders on a mac?
     
  6. ovrlrd macrumors 65816

    ovrlrd

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    #6
    The way I do it is using Disk Utility. Note that I am not sure how to read these in Windows, but it might be possible to use some software to do it, or use some other software entirely that is crossplatform to do something similar.

    Apple Support: How to create a password-protected (encrypted) disk image in Mac OS X 10.3 or later
     
  7. M-B-P thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    #7
    Once again, thanks! I'm sure you developed a lot of good Karma today.
     

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