Seagate ext hard drive ntfs - fat32

November 29, 2011 at 12:13:03
Specs: Windows XP
Hello forum,

Iam new to forums. Fairly computer literate, can follow well written instructions etc. Hopefully you clever folk out in the ether can help me and my plight.

My dilema. I have a pc laptop. I use a seagate 1 tb external hard drive. It stores my entire music collection and photo librarys. The hard drive is formated in NTFS. upon right clicking the ext hard drive and format, the only options are ntfs and ex fat.

I have just bought my wife a mac book for her birthday. we are both new to mac, although I love itunes and use my ipod etc. Ive read on the net that the ext hard drive needs to be formated in Fat 32 to be able to work between the too (pc and mac book)??? Now I am nervous to just simply try this as I have 2000 albums and loads of photos and dont wont to lose or disrupt the files etc.

Now I have been daring and put a simple 2gb usb stick into the mac with 20 photos and it works fine etc. and interacts without issue between mac and pc.

The crunch -

Can I use my ext hard drive as it is in its current ntfs format and plug it into the usb in the mac book with one hundred % garantee that none of my precious music or photos files will be lost or mal functioned ??? or do I need to re format the ext hard drive to fat 32 first? If so can it be formatted into the fat 32 if this is not one of the options (only options being ntfs or exfAT).

I really look forward to everyones awesome advice in this learning process. Forever hopeful and learning?

Kind regards

and many thanks in advance.

Fingers crossed the answers come forth and hit me right between the eyes.


Jon Smith

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November 29, 2011 at 12:53:50
I suggest you just share the external on the PC, share it, then connect to the share on the Mac. It seems like the easiest way.

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November 29, 2011 at 13:02:02
Hi Razor2.3

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Your answer seems extremely simple!

Ive never done/used/understand the "share the external hard drive on the PC, then share it, then connect to the share on the Mac.

If its not too much trouble, could you give me a step by step- click click instruction tutorial pls.

Kind regards


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November 29, 2011 at 14:06:15

Take a look at this article. A Mac can read NTFS, but you cannot write to it without a third party driver. This article names a few and I've heard of one called MacFuse. Google that too. It seems like you have a lot of data on that drive. As with any hard drive, you always run the risk of a crash eventually. Your best bet is to store stuff on a cd or dvd. Nothing is bullet proof, but removable media is much more reliable. Good Luck.

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November 29, 2011 at 15:35:27
THANKS Grasshopper,

great article.

Firstly I shall get backing up onto dvd pronto.

May even buy a 2nd ext hard drive too, so I have one to play and experiment with. Sounds like I opt for the 3rd party driver I like/get on with, download it to the mac, then plug in the external harddrive and go go go ... hey sounds too easy lol,

Any recommendations on ext hard drives, for my 2nd one i might get a buffalo mini station 500gb, these do not have a power supply do they? any thoughts.

Very much thanks for all your help and advice



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November 29, 2011 at 16:43:45
jonsmith77: If its not too much trouble, could you give me a step by step- click click instruction tutorial pls.
My post linked to Apple's article on the subject, telling you how to do the mac end. That article also links to Microsoft's article on setting up shares on WinXP. Outside of that, I cannot help you; I simply don't have experience with OS/X.

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