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External Hard Drives


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#1
ShadowPhoenix

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I am looking at purchasing a new external hard drive for use at school. I'm going to a video production school, and so I need a large drive (1TB) or so. Now, I've been hearing that I should avoid the Western Digital MyBook line like the plague, and so I came across the Segate FreeAgent series.

Now, my question comes in terms of formatting. The computers that I use at school are Mac Pros, but I have a Toshiba laptop at home. If I get a drive that is formatted for Mac, will I be able to access its files on my PC at home?

Also, is it worth it to get the drive pre-formatted for Mac or just do it myself? (The "Mac Ready" version of the FreeAgent come in brushed aluminum whereas the PC version comes in black...)

FreeAgent Desk (For Mac)

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#2
Granz00

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You also have the option of buying an internal HDD and an external enclosure (build yourself an external HDD). From what I've read though, when you get your HDD, you want to go on the MAC, and reformat it as a DOS extended partition.
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#3
ShadowPhoenix

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Yeah, I was looking at an enclosure. I just need to make sure that it's portable so that I can lug it to and from school in one piece. And, now that NewEgg has a Canadian site, I can get a deal!

And, how might I do a DOS partition? I was reading that you take the drive and hook it up to the Mac, and use the "Disk Management" utility or something like that and just format it. And hopefully you can just reformat an NTFS drive to HTF+ because the PC drives are cheaper than Mac drives.
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#4
The Admiral

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Talk to your school about their Macs - specifically if they have NTFS-3G installed to allow NTFS read/write capability. If they do, just buy a drive that's formatted NFTS, no biggie. If not, formatting FAT32 is an option, as it is readable by both OSX and Windows. If you want it to be HFS+ for the best compatibility with the Macs at school, you'll need to get a program like MacDrive on your laptop to read the HFS+ partition.
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#5
Granz00

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Doesn't FAT32 have a 4GB file limit, and something like a 40GB partition limit? If so, that doesn't seem like a good option for someone with his needs. Other then that, I don't really know too much about the different formats.

Also, I don't remember internal HDD's being pre-formatted usually. Then again, I could be wrong.

Finally, I would imagine that you could reformat any HDD into another format. I've gone back and forth between Windows, and Linux a few times without any problems.
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