Portable hard drive for use on both Mac and PC?

Started May 3, 2013 | Discussions
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Kyogle Contributing Member • Posts: 554
Portable hard drive for use on both Mac and PC?

My friend and I will be traveling Scotland taking lots of photos. She has an Apple laptop and I have only a PC at home. When I fill SD cards at the end of each day  the idea is for my friend to download the files from my SD cards  via her laptop onto a portable hard drive. That much is simple enough.

However to retrieve the files I will need to plug the portable drive into my PC when I get home. Is it possible to use the same portable hard drive on both systems without having to reformat and losing the images stored there?

My friend suggests I buy a Seagate as she thinks it will work on both Mac and PC but is not at all  certain about this.  Any help will be much appreciated.

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David, an Australian living in the Highlands of Scotland a few months each year.

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Klipsen Veteran Member • Posts: 6,144
Here's a thread that answers your question:

It can be done, but requires software:

http://forums.cnet.com/7723-21564_102-547699/can-i-recover-data-from-a-mac-hard-drive-to-a-pc/

You could also download a Linux, e.g. Ubuntu, that can be run directly from a USB key or from a DVD without installing it on your PC - and without destroying files on your PC. Ubuntu will probably be able to read Mac drives, just like it can read both FAT and NTFS drives.

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newtoy Regular Member • Posts: 391
Re: Portable hard drive for use on both Mac and PC?

Just format the drive on the Mac using MSDOS (Fat) format. (Using the buildin "Disk Utility"). Then you can read and write to the drive with PC and Mac. Its that easy!

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newtoy Regular Member • Posts: 391
Re: Portable hard drive for use on both Mac and PC?

newtoy wrote:

Just format the drive on the Mac using MSDOS (Fat) format. (Using the buildin "Disk Utility"). Then you can read and write to the drive with PC and Mac. Its that easy!

Forgot to mention, maximum 32GB only!!!

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Kyogle OP Contributing Member • Posts: 554
Re: Portable hard drive for use on both Mac and PC?

newtoy wrote:

newtoy wrote:

Just format the drive on the Mac using MSDOS (Fat) format. (Using the buildin "Disk Utility"). Then you can read and write to the drive with PC and Mac. Its that easy!

Forgot to mention, maximum 32GB only!!!

For a moment there I was feeling quite elated However only 32GB is as you know not enough. I was hoping to use a 500GB portable hard drive and add 8-16GB each day to it.

Thank you for your reply.

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David, an Australian living in the Highlands of Scotland a few months each year.

 Kyogle's gear list:Kyogle's gear list
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Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Veteran Member • Posts: 9,420
Re: Portable hard drive for use on both Mac and PC?

I only use Win 7 so I don't know if this will work or not but I turned it up with a quick Google search.  Apparently Macs can read a Windows NTSF formated hard drive but not write to them.  To do that you need to add an application.

Enable writing to NTFS hard drives on Mac OS X

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Grump Junior Member • Posts: 27
Re: Portable hard drive for use on both Mac and PC?

Kyogle wrote:

newtoy wrote:

newtoy wrote:

Just format the drive on the Mac using MSDOS (Fat) format. (Using the buildin "Disk Utility"). Then you can read and write to the drive with PC and Mac. Its that easy!

Forgot to mention, maximum 32GB only!!!

For a moment there I was feeling quite elated However only 32GB is as you know not enough. I was hoping to use a 500GB portable hard drive and add 8-16GB each day to it.

Format the drive with exFAT instead and you won't have the 32GB limit.  I share a drive between Mac and Windows and use exFAT with no problems.  Both OS's can read/write it, assuming Mac Snow Leopard or later and Windows 7 or later.  I don't remember if Windows XP supported it.

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Dave

leecamera
leecamera Contributing Member • Posts: 734
Re: Portable hard drive for use on both Mac and PC?

Paragon do one of the best NTFS formatting methods for Macs.

I now format all my drives this way (use the erase and format option in the Mac Disc Utility) and select the NTFS option after you've installed Paragon.

Drives work speedily and without issues.

Kyogle OP Contributing Member • Posts: 554
Seagate Backup Plus Portable Drive

Thanks to all who responded. After further research I discovered that Seagate Backup Plus  can, and I quote,  "Use the drive interchangeably on your PC or Mac computer without reformatting."

See http://www.seagate.com/au/en/external-hard-drives/portable-hard-drives/standard/backup-plus/

I will  buy one of these in Melbourne for $89

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David, an Australian living in the Highlands of Scotland a few months each year.

 Kyogle's gear list:Kyogle's gear list
Fujifilm X-E2 Fujifilm X-T1 Voigtlander 15mm F4.5 Super Wide Heliar Voigtlander 21mm F4 Color Skopar Pancake II Voigtlander 25mm F4 Color Skopar Pancake +6 more
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