What external HD should I buy that will be able to...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by thedirtyduo, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. thedirtyduo macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2007
    Hello, I need a external hard drive that I can hook up to my PC to take off about 400 gigs of music and transfer it to my MAC PRO!

    So I basically need to know if I can do that without reformatting the ext. H.D.?

    Ebay has a LaCie 500 Gig for $130. USB 2.0 is the only way for me to go because my PC is old.

    Any suggestions? Sites?
  2. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    I think all external hard drives should do that equally well, which is actually less than perfect.

    You have to format the harddisk in a way that both Mac and PC understand. There are three file systems: HFS+ is what Macs usually use, unfortunately PCs don't understand it. FAT32 is the old Windows file system, and the Mac can understand it as well, but it has problems with harddisks of that size. NTFS is the new Windows file system. Macs can read it, but not write it.

    It is quite likely that a disk comes NTFS formatted. If that is the case, you can copy all the music over and import it on the MacPro (remember to turn on "copy files during import"), but you can't easily use the disk on the Macintosh, so you might want to reformat it afterwards. And it only works if you have enough space for the music on your Mac.

    You can try to format the disk as a FAT32 drive on the Macintosh; I have heard that Macs can format big drives as FAT32, and Windows should then be able to use them. Can't guarantee that it is true but worth trying, because you would have a drive that you can use on Mac and Windows.
  3. Spikeanator6982 macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2007
    you can do that without reformating the hd if the hd is already in the MS-DOS, i think thats the right letters, format also known as Fat32 but if u reformat i believe that windows limits Fat32 to a partition 32GB in size while macs do not. so reformat on the mac side then go get your music etc.

    please anyone correct me if i am wrong

  4. djbahdow01 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2004
    Northeast, CT
    Why don't you just network them and pull from the PC to the Mac, i do it all the time. No need to get an external HD, unless you don't have the space in the Mac Pro.
  5. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    Is there some reason why you can't have both machines physically in the same room at the same time? Because if they're near each other, just buy whatever HD you like for you mac and then set up a network between the 2 computers. Then just drag the songs from the PC's hard drive which is shown on your Mac desktop, and drop the songs onto your new HD which is also shown on your Mac desktop. Then the songs will travel over the ethernet cord into your Mac and get written to the new HD.

    If you have 100 ethernet on both machines it may take a few hours, if you have 1000 ethernet on both machines then it will be quite fast.

    This just seems like a much better choice than buying a HD just based on compatibility for 1 transfer and then having to worry about reformatting and blah blah. Just buy whichever HD you like most, and do the transfer over a network.

    Edit: djbahdow01 beat me to it! But I gave more detail, so nyah! :p :)
  6. thedirtyduo thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2007
    thanks! that helps a bunch

    thanks, that helps a bunch. I just needed a HD for my PC anyways cause the space is getting low! I'll transfer it via ethernet.

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