New to MAC....external drives • Mac Support Guy

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New to MAC....external drives

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Guest

New to MAC....external drives

PostWed Jan 11, 2012 1:19 pm

Hi all,

 

A first time MAC user as of yesterday, and very happy.

 

I was previously using a PC hooked up to a Seagate FreeAgent external drive, but have now found out that it won't work on the MAC. Bit of research reveals that it's due to the file system i.e. MAC doesn't read/write onto NTFS. So I'm thinking of hooking both computers up with Ethernet (wish me luck!) to transfer the backed up files onto the MAC. If this is successful I'm looking for an external drive to use on the MAC that, like the Seagate, carries auto back-ups in the background for files I select.

My question is - assuming that the new drive has to be FAT32, I'm reading that there is a limit to file sizes that this supports. Is this right? I download movies and sometimes have large files i.e. 4GB.

 

Can anyone allay my fears or point me in the direction of a good external drive that does what I need?

 

Graham

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Guest

Re:New to MAC....external drives

PostWed Jan 11, 2012 2:46 pm

Hi,

 

If you are looking to Use an External Drive exclusively with the Mac as a Backup...

 

Have you Considered Time Machine...

 

TM 101 Link

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1427

 

 


Guest

Re:New to MAC....external drives

PostWed Jan 11, 2012 3:41 pm

Hi and welcome to the world of the Mac, you can use a program to read/write to a NTFS formated hard drive. When you get a new hard drive just plug it in to your iMac and open Time Machine then select your new drive it will format it with the correct format for Time Machine.  This link will help you also, http://www.apple.com/support/switch101/

Guest

Re:New to MAC....external drives

PostWed Jan 11, 2012 5:04 pm

Thanks for the reply....

 

Haven't looked too closely at Time Machine yet, but although it's still a way of backing up it's still internal therefore taking up space on the machine.....am I right? With movies taking up so much space my 500GB internal space will get used up pretty quickly, hence the desire for something external. For me it's as much about storage as back up.

Guest

Re:New to MAC....external drives

PostWed Jan 11, 2012 5:20 pm

Hi,

 

Time Machine is NOT Internal... It requires an External Hard Drive... with a capacity of Twice your Internal...

 

That is, in your case 1TB   or More... is recommended...

 

Cheers,  

Guest

Re:New to MAC....external drives

PostWed Jan 11, 2012 6:22 pm

Thanks for the links everyone.....I'll have a look at them.

 

Can anyone answer though, if MAC has to use FAT32 is there a limit to file sizes? I read that 2GB is about it. In which case some BluRay files may be too big.

Guest

Re:New to MAC....external drives

PostWed Jan 11, 2012 7:58 pm

Ah ok....everything is becoming clear!

 

Rather than hook them up with Ethernet I guess I need an external FAT32 drive - connect it to the old PC, download all the stuff and then connect it to the MAC and use Time Machine from that point on. Trouble is I have heard that the MAC will want to format the drive, which defeats the object!

Guest

Re:New to MAC....external drives

PostWed Jan 11, 2012 8:30 pm

Have a Look Here:

 

Transfer from Old  to New

http://web.me.com/pondini/AppleTips/Setup.html

Guest

Re:New to MAC....external drives

PostWed Jan 11, 2012 9:38 pm

Hi Graham,

 

A mac is perfectly happy to read and write to an external FAT32 drive. It shouldn't offer to format it, but even if it did you should NOT need to. Time Machine won't work with a FAT32 drive.

 

A mac should be fine to read an NTFS drive, just not write to it. If you're transfering some movies/etc to your new mac you should be fine to copy straight to your mac from the NTFS drive.

 

A macs internal drive, and ideally all external drives, are formatted as Mac OS Extended (windows has NTFS, Macs have OS Extended) as there are no size limits or other issues.

 

Now, I'm a little confused as to what you're actually keeping on this external drive... you keep saying "back up" but that its also a drive you keep your movies on. A "backup" is an external duplicate of the contents of your internal HDD so that, in the event your computers breaks/hdd dies/stolen/lost/etc you can restore all of your documents and files onto a new machine - its a copy.

 

But if you're using this external HDD as a place to keep movies (so they don't fill up your internal HDD, which is sensible) then its not a "backup", it's just an external hdd.

 

The way I have it setup is that I have one external hdd that I use with Time Machine - so I have a safe copy of all my documents, photos, music, etc. And then I have ANOTHER external hdd which I keep my movies and other big files on.

 

If the problem is that your seagate is NTFS and you really want to be able to actually add files to it with your mac and actually use it properly then I think this will be your best option:

Buy a second HDD, format it as Mac OS Extended, and use your mac to copy all your seagate files onto this new drive. Again, if its NTFS you should be fine to copy them, just not modify them. Then, when you're happy with your new movie drive, format your seagate, make it mac friendly, and use that as your Time Machine backup.

 

Hope that helps

Guest

Re:New to MAC....external drives

PostWed Jan 11, 2012 9:59 pm

Hi Spoon,

 

Thanks for the reply. I seem to have solved at least part of the problem and am currently transferring files from the old Seagate onto the MAC. I'll get a new external drive better suited for the MAC and then transfer it all onto that.

 

The files were held on the PC and Seagate would back it up weekly by copying them. I'll have Time Machine do the same with the new drive.

 

Cheers.

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