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  1. #1
    External Hard Drive in a shared Mac/Windows Home

    Member Since
    Apr 04, 2007
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    External Hard Drive in a shared Mac/Windows Home
    I would like to purchase an external hard drive to back-up the data on my laptop and to store home videos for editing through iMovie. I was debating if I needed to connect it with Firewire 400 or USB 2.0, as far as speed is concerned. I have learned from another thread, the USB 2.0 is fast enough to save/edit the movie directly from the camera through iMovie onto the external hard drive. Plus someone made a good point, which I forgot, and that was I am already using the one Fire400 connector on my Macbook Pro to connect my video camera to so, I have to use the USB 2.0 connection.

    Ok, so here is my new question. I am primarily buying this external drive for my Mac but it would be nice to be able to also hook it up to my wife's Windows machine to back up her files. So what are my options for how to format the drive. From what I have read, it needs to be formatted in FAT32 in order for my Mac and my wife's PC to be able to read and write to it, but from reading other post the FAT32 can be problematic (some guy lost all of his stuff when he did not properly eject the drive before powering down) and there are file size limitation (I read some were 4GB). The best option for the Mac appears to be HFS+ (which I assume is the native Mac File system). So if I use that file system, I am assuming that I will not be able to plug the drive directly into my wife's Windows machine. I don't have much of a problem with that, if I am able to connect the drive to my Mac, share it over the network and then connect to the drive on her Windows machine and copy the 500 Meg to 1 GIG or so of data that she cares about. I am primarily going to be using this hard drive on my Mac, so what are my options?

    Thanks in advance,
    Richard

  2. #2
    External Hard Drive in a shared Mac/Windows Home
    eric's Avatar
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    the easiest option might be to use two partitions. one HFS+ and one FAT32. you can always store what she needs on the fat side.

    there are also program options on windows for reading an HFS+ drive. can't think of the name off the top of my head though...
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  3. #3
    External Hard Drive in a shared Mac/Windows Home

    Member Since
    Apr 04, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric View Post
    the easiest option might be to use two partitions. one HFS+ and one FAT32. you can always store what she needs on the fat side.

    there are also program options on windows for reading an HFS+ drive. can't think of the name off the top of my head though...
    I had not thought about that. That is an option. But I am still curious, if I were to format the whole drive as HFS+, could I then set up a folder for her on that drive and share it and could she not read and write to the folder through a windows shared folder?

  4. #4
    External Hard Drive in a shared Mac/Windows Home

    Member Since
    Feb 15, 2008
    Posts
    4
    If it is shared on a network she can access it like any other network drive and write to it no problem.
    If you want to use it directly on a windows machine and it is formatted HFS you can try a program called macdrive. It will enable you to read mac formatted drives on a windows machine.

  5. #5
    External Hard Drive in a shared Mac/Windows Home
    Kash's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 03, 2006
    Location
    Irvine, CA
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    9,385
    Specs:
    Black Macbook C2D 2GHz 3GB RAM 250GB HD iPhone 4 iPad 3G
    An even easier option is to format it as NTFS and then install the free MacFUSE that will let your Mac write to an NTFS drive (it can only read NTFS by default). This is better than using MacDrive as it's free.

    June 2007
    July 2009

  6. #6
    External Hard Drive in a shared Mac/Windows Home

    Member Since
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location
    Chi-town
    Posts
    10
    Specs:
    Macbook 2.2Ghz Intel Core Duo 2 (Santa Rosa) with 1gb (will be upgraded to 4Gb), 120GB hard drive
    is there a good step by step process on how to install macfuse and ntfs3g? I tried and it will not mount the drive on my mac.

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