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External HDD


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Jordan
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I am going to buy an external HDD to use between my PC Desktop and my iBook. I want to use the hard drive as a central place to store my mp3s and photos and to make my OS X and Win. XP backups to. I have a couple of questions beforehand:

1) Will I have any problems sharing data between my PC and Mac? for example, could my Mac and PC read the same jpeg or mp3 file stored on my external HDD?

2) I would rather not have to connect the HDD to my desktop PC and then have to share the drive so my Mac can access it. Is it possible to connect both to the drive itself (excluding buying an expensive ethernet connected HDD)? I've noticed that some offer both firewire and USB connections - could I connect my mac to it via firewire and my PC via USB at the same time and use it this way?

3) Who makes a decent HDD? My friend keeps buying low quality drives that tend to crap out on him. I want something that will last but I don't have too much cash to spend on an expensive drive. Which producers should I be looking at? I want about 80 gigs or so.

Many thanks as usual. Looking forward to your thoughts.

Jordan
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Macman

 
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1. no problem, just format it as fat32.
2. if you get a triple or multi interface hd, like the beautiful ones by LaCie, you could connect it as you described above.
3. Lacie is one of the best, maxtor is a good brand, and a few more, though those are the 2 best IMO.
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deus_ex_machina

 
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deus_ex_machina is just really nicedeus_ex_machina is just really nicedeus_ex_machina is just really nicedeus_ex_machina is just really nicedeus_ex_machina is just really nice
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heres a link for connecting them
http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/sharefwdrive.html
1. jpgs and mp3s are recognized by both platforms
3. maxtor and seagate have been good to me - you can find comparisons of specific models at http://www.barefeats.com/

macman is faster...
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James

 
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I recomend a good LaCie d2 drive, very well built, very fast quality drive that doesn't cost an arm and leg. Formated in fat 32 both pc and mac can read and write to it. I love mine...

http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?pid=10023

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Jordan
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Hey thanks all. I think that I am leaning towards the LaCie 80 gig External drive and will format it as FAT32. I don't need to work with files larger than 4 gigs and don't see any of the drawbacks affecting me so I think I am good to go. The only problem is that I just don't want to spend the money for both USB and Firewire to connect both (my PC and Mac) simultaneously. I guess I will just have to share through my desktop PC. I suppose it might be a good idea for me to upgrade to USB 2.0 on the desktop. I can't see it being that difficult though.

Thanks again guys.

Jordan
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Macman

 
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I have the LaCie d2 160 gb triple interface, so it can be daisy chained, and comes with USB, firewire, and firewire 800 cables, so the 80 gb may come with them if it has multiple connections.
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James

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jordan
The only problem is that I just don't want to spend the money for both USB and Firewire to connect both (my PC and Mac) simultaneously. I guess I will just have to share through my desktop PC. I suppose it might be a good idea for me to upgrade to USB 2.0 on the desktop. I can't see it being that difficult though.

Thanks again guys.

Jordan
You evidently have never used firewire or you wouldn't say that..it is about twice the speed of usb making file transfers fly. You will want to upgrade your usb to v2 for sure. 7.68 gig of files transfered at 10 minutes on usb2 and it only took 5 minutes on firewire 400 on my system.

If i were you i would check out the LaCie 160 gig d2 triple interface. For only about 80 bucks more you get an extremely fast usb-firewire 400-firewire800 unit with twice the storage space and able to use all three interfaces, much better buy than a simple 80 gig single interface. Comes with all the cables for each interface. Lot of bang for the buck and a very solid well built unit.

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Macman

 
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exactly, thats what I have, its also able to be daisy chained with other devices, which is useful if your usb or firewire ports are limited.
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Jordan
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The LaCie D2 is obviously the better option for me, I totally agree. however, finances are tight - really tight so I hate to say it, but the d2 is not going to happen for me any time soon.

My understanding of the USB vs. Firewire debate was that Firewire seems to be the faster option for the Mac and USB seems to come out on top for PCs. Maybe I am totally misinformed. Anyhow, I am not that concerned with transfer speeds as I won't be doing that much transferring after my initial setup of the external drive with my music (the primary reason that I want the HDD) and a backup from each system.

I suppose I could install a firewire connection on my PC but I thought that since so many peripherals use USB 2.0 that I may as well have that instead.

So then, it looks like I will get the regular 80 gig LaCia USB and just share it on my PC. Is that the conclusion that we have reached? Or is there a better way (excluding spending more for the better HDD)?

Jordan
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Jordan
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I guess the other option would be to just buy an internal HDD for my PC and share that. Then, when my PC craps out I could just remove the drive and put it in a case and use it as an external drive then. Any thoughts?

Jordan
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