Message such as http://reviews.cnet.com/5208-7588-0.html?forumID=70&threadID=110842&messageID=1259472 are non-stop about such drives that the contents vanish.
If you need the drive to work across such a collection, connect it to the DOS based Windows Machine and prepare it there and test for compatibility on the XP machines.
Keep what you can't lose on a set of CDRW or DVDRW disks.
We have 3 machines in our house, 2 Win XP home HP laptops and an older Dell Win ME desktop. I'd like to be able to back them all up with the same 80 GB external USB hard drive.
Hooking it up to the XP machines is easy, as is formatting the drive for NTFS. Of course, then the ME machine can't read it.
What's the best way to format the drive? From the XP or ME machine? From the XP machine, I can only find NTFS if I use Computer Management. From the ME machine, I can't seem to find the drive, as no lettered drive shows up.