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External HD formatting help for a newbie

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Member Since: Dec 29, 2009
Posts: 1
pocono_pete is on a distinguished road

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I recently received a Western Digital 2TB MyBook HD containing 1.7 TB of lossless audio files. The files were copied from a PC. When I hooked up the drive to my mac running 10.4.11, only about half of the data was accessible on the drive. The inaccessible data's folders were there, but empty upon opening. I then proceeded to hook the drive up to a PC and all of the data was present on the drive.

I did some research and I assume that the problem lies in the formatting of the HD. I understand that FAT32 is the format that can be read by both mac and PC, and that many HDs come with one large FAT32 partition that may not be the entire size of the drive itself. (The other data is in the NTFS format?) I assume that this is the reason that only half or so of the data is recognized by the mac. So here is what I am looking for help doing.

1.) What is the easiest/ safest way to transfer the files to a new properly formatted HD (I read somewhere that I might have to copy to the pc first before transfer to new HD)

2.) What is the best format (I'm guessing FAT 32)

3.) Is the best way to format the entire new HD( to FAT 32) to use disk utility and select MS-DOS file format?

If someone has had any experience doing something like this I would appreciate it if they could walk me through what exactly to do to transfer the files. I am afraid of losing the data, frizzle-frying the drive, or something worse! Paranoid maybe? Thanks in advance, Pete
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