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What kind of external hard drive should I buy?

241 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Oct 10, 2012 11:48 AM by macfrom2012 RSS
saykeats Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Oct 9, 2012 6:00 PM

I have a MacBook pro and an older iMac desktop at home, and several different PC's at school and work (dells for the most part).

The files I need to move around are very diverse, from .psd and .ai to google sketchup to CAD to mp3s and PDFs.

I need to be able to seamlessly move LOTS of files back and forth (and I would also like to use an external hard drive to backup my personal photos, portfolio of work, and itunes library). I am sick of moving files with my small 20g flash drive, and I want everything in one place on one external hard drive. The last WD passport I bought will not connect to PC, and I hate the built-in backup software.

 

Any suggestions? What hard drives have worked best for you PC to Mac users?

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 9, 2012 6:31 PM (in response to saykeats)

    Well first off you really need a couple of external hard drives to backup your boot drive.

     

    If you detest the corny and hobbled TimeMachine as much as I do, then you will likely prefer bootable clones instead.

     

    So the clones will be GUID OS X Ext J formatted so OS X can boot from them, but the PC's can't read that format easily.

     

    Also one shouldn't be taking risks moving their clones around and hooking them up to various malware infected PC's anyway.

     

    Most commonly used backup methods

     

     

     

    Ok, next your going to need one or two external drives for transporting files between computers of different platforms (one backup), however you need to format this drive into something that the Mac and PC can read equally and with no trouble.

     

     

    The formula is rather simple, take the portable drive(s) to the oldest version of Windows your using and right click and format the drive there for exFAT (not FAT, not NTFS)

     

    Now if you have a XP machine and exFAT is not a option, then it can be downloaded for free from Microsoft's web site.

     

    It's important to format the drive on the oldest Windows PC because XP can't read/format GUID partition maps and Vista and Win 7/8 can. XP uses a MBR partition map instead.

     

    The Mac can read/write to all Windows partition map schemes and drive formats, except writing to NTFS.

     

    Drives, partitions, formatting w/Mac's + PC's

     

    https://discussions.apple.com/community/notebooks/macbook_pro?view=documents

  • macfrom2012 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 10, 2012 11:48 AM (in response to saykeats)

    Seagate Go Flex Desk 2TB. formatted in JHFS file format and installed this driver on Windows machines....

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