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External hard drive to switch between pc and mac

by techquestion49 / March 26, 2011 9:01 AM PDT

Are there external hard drives available that can be used interchangeably with pc and mac? We have a couple of externals that are compatible with both pc and mac but cannot use one between the two interchangeably because if the drive currently has pc data on it, when switch to mac it has to reformat and therefore would wipe all the pc stuff off. Currently we have a dedicated drive for each but would like to have one for pictures and movies that we can use interchangeably. I thought I saw something about one that does that in passing in the store one day but now cannot remember where it was I saw it.

Thanks!

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Who is telling you this?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 26, 2011 12:24 PM PDT

For years I was able to format a drive FAT32 (not my preferred formatting) and exchange with ease. THAT STILL WORKS.

Today I can format NTFS and current Apples have no trouble with that.

Who is telling you this story?
Bob

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external hard drive
by techquestion49 / March 26, 2011 2:29 PM PDT

When I have tried to add something (document or whatever) to the one dedicated to the pc from the mac or vice versa,it wants to reformat the drive. It's been a while now so I don't remember what it said specifically but the message was clear. Decided then we would just have to have dedicated external drive to the pc and to mac. Recently in passing I saw one that seemed to say it was interchangeable but didn't have time to stop and look. Today I was in Costco and asked if the GoFlex would be interchangeable and was advised no but that the Western Digital would. I would like to have an external dedicated just to pictures and music that we could use as a central backup for all our pics, movies, and music from both pc and mac. The current drives we have are in fact Western Digital though one is a couple years old and the other three or four years. They are both the My Book one at I think about 300 G.

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Very strange indeed.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 26, 2011 2:33 PM PDT
In reply to: external hard drive

As I have used such drives for years between machines I'm left to wonder if there is some parts of the world that are filled with mis-information and few that will show you this working.

The only time I've had Windows ask me to format the external was when there was some person that formatted the drive on the Apple (when I asked them to just drop files on it.)

Even then it's NO CHALLENGE at all to get the files out. I use one of the suggestions at the top of this forum to boot Ubuntu from CD and copy the files out.
Bob

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