Windows + Mac Compatible Hard Drive [With Time Machine]

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Twilight Elk, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. Twilight Elk macrumors regular

    Twilight Elk

    Aug 31, 2007
    Hello friends.

    I want to know if there are any hard drives that can work on a Windows and a Mac simultaneously?

    Also: Will this same hard drive work with Time Machine?

    I ask because the many external hard drives I find don't specify clearly whether a multi-OS compatible unit could run with Time Machine.

    Thanks as always,
  2. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    All drives are multi-OS compatible (or nearly all). What matters in the format, which is where the sticking point comes in. To use a drive for a Time Machine backup, it must be formatted in HFS+ Journaled, which Windows does not know how to decipher. Thus, it cannot be used for both, without extra software.

    Your best bet would probably to buy MacDrive, which is Windows software that allows you to use a Mac-formatted drive (HFS+ as described above) with Windows. You could then use any hard drive.

  3. 11800506 macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2007
    Washington D.C. Area
    Another option could be to get any external hard drive, but then reformat it using Disk Utility into 2 partitions, one being HFS+, and one being FAT32 so that you can use them it on both computers without having to buy any software.
  4. MLWings19 macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2006
    Severn, MD
    I have a two hard drives setup in a RAID 1 array on an old XP machine for a data server. I am trying to set up TimeMachine to back up to the RAID drive over the network. The drive was originally formatted NTFS but I used Macdrive 7 to format to HFS+. Now instead of one drive showing up there are two. One is with a red apple icon. Is this normal or did the drives somehow separate?

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