help to access external HD from PC and Mac - Storage

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  1. help to access external HD from PC and Mac

    I'm regularly a PC user but have just purchased a second computer
    which is a MAC. I backup my data to a 500GB External HD with 5 NTFS
    partitions of 100GB each. Each partition contains a different type of
    date, ie Music, Videos, Docs, etc. I used separate partition to avoid
    the risk of corrupting all my data if murphy visits. (This has
    happened.)

    With my new mac, my goal now is to be able to use this so I can have 1
    common storage for both my PC and Mac. I want to be able to access the
    data in the HD from both computers. NTFS doesn't work because it is
    not supported natively by Mac.

    I'm stumped. At first I had planned to do repartition and reformat
    with FAT32 since it's accessible by both systems but since FAT32 has
    size limits my 100GB partitions can't be formatted as Fat32. I can't
    do NTFS because Mac can't access it. I can't do HFS because PC can't
    access it. I need 1 HD accessible by both PC and Mac.

    Help! Any suggestions? I really appreciate it because I'm stumped.
    Thanks.

  2. Re: help to access external HD from PC and Mac

    Gizzo wrote:
    > I'm regularly a PC user but have just purchased a second computer
    > which is a MAC. I backup my data to a 500GB External HD with 5 NTFS
    > partitions of 100GB each. Each partition contains a different type of
    > date, ie Music, Videos, Docs, etc. I used separate partition to avoid
    > the risk of corrupting all my data if murphy visits. (This has
    > happened.)
    >
    > With my new mac, my goal now is to be able to use this so I can have 1
    > common storage for both my PC and Mac. I want to be able to access the
    > data in the HD from both computers. NTFS doesn't work because it is
    > not supported natively by Mac.
    >
    > I'm stumped. At first I had planned to do repartition and reformat
    > with FAT32 since it's accessible by both systems but since FAT32 has
    > size limits my 100GB partitions can't be formatted as Fat32. I can't
    > do NTFS because Mac can't access it. I can't do HFS because PC can't
    > access it. I need 1 HD accessible by both PC and Mac.
    >
    > Help! Any suggestions? I really appreciate it because I'm stumped.
    > Thanks.

    Use a Linux tool to re-format the partitions as FAT-32, they don't have
    the size limit.

    I use System Rescue CD , a live CD to do this
    stuff. Gparted is the tool.

    Cheers,
    Gary B-)

    --
    __________________________________________________ ____________________________
    Armful of chairs: Something some people would not know
    whether you were up them with or not
    - Barry Humphries

  3. Re: help to access external HD from PC and Mac

    Backup Mac as Mac -> SMB -> PC -> NTFS external disk.

    --
    Maxim Shatskih, Windows DDK MVP
    StorageCraft Corporation
    maxim@storagecraft.com
    http://www.storagecraft.com

    "Gizzo" wrote in message
    news:60d8541d-d69c-4e05-b445-20d6decc270e@h1g2000prh.googlegroups.com...
    > I'm regularly a PC user but have just purchased a second computer
    > which is a MAC. I backup my data to a 500GB External HD with 5 NTFS
    > partitions of 100GB each. Each partition contains a different type of
    > date, ie Music, Videos, Docs, etc. I used separate partition to avoid
    > the risk of corrupting all my data if murphy visits. (This has
    > happened.)
    >
    > With my new mac, my goal now is to be able to use this so I can have 1
    > common storage for both my PC and Mac. I want to be able to access the
    > data in the HD from both computers. NTFS doesn't work because it is
    > not supported natively by Mac.
    >
    > I'm stumped. At first I had planned to do repartition and reformat
    > with FAT32 since it's accessible by both systems but since FAT32 has
    > size limits my 100GB partitions can't be formatted as Fat32. I can't
    > do NTFS because Mac can't access it. I can't do HFS because PC can't
    > access it. I need 1 HD accessible by both PC and Mac.
    >
    > Help! Any suggestions? I really appreciate it because I'm stumped.
    > Thanks.



  4. Re: help to access external HD from PC and Mac

    Sorry but what do you mean by your text diagram below?


    On Jul 20, 3:53*am, "Maxim S. Shatskih"
    wrote:
    > * * Backup Mac as Mac -> SMB -> PC -> NTFS external disk.
    >
    > --
    > Maxim Shatskih, Windows DDK MVP
    > StorageCraft Corporation
    > ma...@storagecraft.comhttp://www.storagecraft.com
    >
    > "Gizzo" wrote in message
    >
    > news:60d8541d-d69c-4e05-b445-20d6decc270e@h1g2000prh.googlegroups.com...
    >
    > > I'm regularly a PC user but have just purchased a second computer
    > > which is a MAC. I backup my data to a 500GB External HD with 5 NTFS
    > > partitions of 100GB each. Each partition contains a different type of
    > > date, ie Music, Videos, Docs, etc. I used separate partition to avoid
    > > the risk of corrupting all my data if murphy visits. (This has
    > > happened.)

    >
    > > With my new mac, my goal now is to be able to use this so I can have 1
    > > common storage for both my PC and Mac. I want to be able to access the
    > > data in the HD from both computers. NTFS doesn't work because it is
    > > not supported natively by Mac.

    >
    > > I'm stumped. At first I had planned to do repartition and reformat
    > > with FAT32 since it's accessible by both systems but since FAT32 has
    > > size limits my 100GB partitions can't be formatted as Fat32. I can't
    > > do NTFS because Mac can't access it. I can't do HFS because PC can't
    > > access it. I need 1 HD accessible by both PC and Mac.

    >
    > > Help! Any suggestions? I really appreciate it because I'm stumped.
    > > Thanks.



  5. Re: help to access external HD from PC and Mac

    Hi Gizzo!

    Don't know what Shatskih really meant, but to use a external network
    storage (with some of the common network filesystem protocols like CIFS
    (aka SMB), NFS, HTTP) is a good approach to solve the problem.

    There are some (at least one) tools (eg. MacDrive) to learn windows to
    use HFS. Don't know how stable these tools work.

    Another approach - at one's own risk - is the free NTFS driver for
    linux/mac/bsd ... http://www.ntfs-3g.org/
    btw. i use the 3g driver with linux and never had problems with it.

    --
    With best regards
    Dieter Stumpner

    PS: sorry 4 tofu posting

    Gizzo wrote:
    > Sorry but what do you mean by your text diagram below?
    >
    >
    > On Jul 20, 3:53 am, "Maxim S. Shatskih"
    > wrote:
    >> Backup Mac as Mac -> SMB -> PC -> NTFS external disk.
    >>
    >> --
    >> Maxim Shatskih, Windows DDK MVP
    >> StorageCraft Corporation
    >> ma...@storagecraft.comhttp://www.storagecraft.com
    >>
    >> "Gizzo" wrote in message
    >>
    >> news:60d8541d-d69c-4e05-b445-20d6decc270e@h1g2000prh.googlegroups.com...
    >>
    >>> I'm regularly a PC user but have just purchased a second computer
    >>> which is a MAC. I backup my data to a 500GB External HD with 5 NTFS
    >>> partitions of 100GB each. Each partition contains a different type of
    >>> date, ie Music, Videos, Docs, etc. I used separate partition to avoid
    >>> the risk of corrupting all my data if murphy visits. (This has
    >>> happened.)
    >>> With my new mac, my goal now is to be able to use this so I can have 1
    >>> common storage for both my PC and Mac. I want to be able to access the
    >>> data in the HD from both computers. NTFS doesn't work because it is
    >>> not supported natively by Mac.
    >>> I'm stumped. At first I had planned to do repartition and reformat
    >>> with FAT32 since it's accessible by both systems but since FAT32 has
    >>> size limits my 100GB partitions can't be formatted as Fat32. I can't
    >>> do NTFS because Mac can't access it. I can't do HFS because PC can't
    >>> access it. I need 1 HD accessible by both PC and Mac.
    >>> Help! Any suggestions? I really appreciate it because I'm stumped.
    >>> Thanks.

    >


  6. Re: help to access external HD from PC and Mac

    Gizzo wrote:

    ....

    I had planned to do repartition and reformat
    > with FAT32 since it's accessible by both systems but since FAT32 has
    > size limits my 100GB partitions can't be formatted as Fat32.


    I believe that's incorrect. While Win98SE and earlier Scandisks have
    problems with partitions larger than 120 GB or so, and the original
    Win98SE and earlier fdisks report sizes incorrectly above 64 GB, my
    impression is that (aside from such issues with old utilities) all
    systems that can handle FAT32 at all can handle partitions up to at
    least 2 TB in size.

    Perhaps you're being misled by the fact that in its infinite wisdom
    Microsoft decided that WinXP (and its predecessor Win2K) should not be
    able to *create* FAT32 partitions larger than 32 GB, thus 'encouraging'
    people to use NTFS for larger partitions (for their own good, of course
    - the idea that they might have actually have had a reason to want to
    use FAT32 for such partitions apparently not having been considered).
    So just consider that a deficiency of XP and use something else to
    create the partitions (Wikipedia says you can even use XP's format.exe
    command-line utility), after which any Windows system that supports
    FAT32 (and presumably Mac) should access them just fine (and most of the
    reasons that Microsoft likely had for attempting to discourage such use
    don't apply to the kind of backup use that you're planning).

    - bill

  7. Re: help to access external HD from PC and Mac

    > Perhaps you're being misled by the fact that in its infinite wisdom
    > Microsoft decided that WinXP (and its predecessor Win2K) should not be
    > able to *create* FAT32 partitions larger than 32 GB,


    Correct. A bad decision.

    BTW - Vista/2008 can format 128GB to exFAT.

    > create the partitions (Wikipedia says you can even use XP's format.exe
    > command-line utility),


    No. Creating a partition using Windows Setup booted off Windows CD can probably
    work, but not command-line FORMAT which also has the artificial limitation.

    >after which any Windows system that supports
    > FAT32 (and presumably Mac) should access them just fine


    Yes. There are plenty of laptops where Windows is installed on a 40-100GB FAT32
    partition.

    --
    Maxim Shatskih, Windows DDK MVP
    StorageCraft Corporation
    maxim@storagecraft.com
    http://www.storagecraft.com


  8. Re: help to access external HD from PC and Mac

    You guys are right. After research, the 32GB is indeed an artificial
    limit. Now, I'm still back to my problem. What is the optimal option
    (each got its tradeoffs):

    1. format it in fat32. access from PC and Mac thru USB/Firewire. Pro:
    easy. Con: performance issues?
    2. format it in HFS. install macdrive in PC. access thru USB/Fireware.
    Pro: whatever benefits of formating with HFS (I'm not very familiar
    since I'm a mac newbie and initial research indicates there are
    inherent benefits as there are with NTFS over Fat32. Con: I have no
    experience with HFS nor Macdrive to judge their reliability. and $50
    on Macdrive.
    3. no need to reformat or repartition. Share the drive using native
    network tools in both PC and Mac. Pros: no reformating. Con: I don't
    know how to do it in a home environment of 1 pc, 1 mac and 1 wireless
    router.
    4. Other options?

    Which do you think is the most optimal?

    On Jul 20, 9:45*pm, "Maxim S. Shatskih"
    wrote:
    > > Perhaps you're being misled by the fact that in its infinite wisdom
    > > Microsoft decided that WinXP (and its predecessor Win2K) should not be
    > > able to *create* FAT32 partitions larger than 32 GB,

    >
    > Correct. A bad decision.
    >
    > BTW - Vista/2008 can format 128GB to exFAT.
    >
    > > create the partitions (Wikipedia says you can even use XP's format.exe
    > > command-line utility),

    >
    > No. Creating a partition using Windows Setup booted off Windows CD can probably
    > work, but not command-line FORMAT which also has the artificial limitation.
    >
    > >after which any Windows system that supports
    > > FAT32 (and presumably Mac) should access them just fine

    >
    > Yes. There are plenty of laptops where Windows is installed on a 40-100GBFAT32
    > partition.
    >
    > --
    > Maxim Shatskih, Windows DDK MVP
    > StorageCraft Corporation
    > ma...@storagecraft.comhttp://www.storagecraft.com



  9. Re: help to access external HD from PC and Mac

    Gizzo wrote:

    ....

    > 1. format it in fat32. access from PC and Mac thru USB/Firewire. Pro:
    > easy.


    Another pro is that you needn't leave it connected much of the time,
    thus both reducing potential exposure to corruption by errant or
    malicious software and allowing you to keep it physically separate from
    the primary material that you're backing up.

    > Con: performance issues?


    Probably not serious ones (though you might want to defragment it once
    in a while if performance deteriorates over time - depends on how you're
    using it): while USB 2 can't stream data to/from a contemporary drive
    as fast as the drive can handle it (typically 40 - 80 MB/sec), it should
    be able to handle around 30 MB/sec.

    > 2. format it in HFS. install macdrive in PC. access thru USB/Fireware.
    > Pro: whatever benefits of formating with HFS (I'm not very familiar
    > since I'm a mac newbie and initial research indicates there are
    > inherent benefits as there are with NTFS over Fat32.


    Exactly which of these do you think would be significant to your planned
    use of this drive?

    Con: I have no
    > experience with HFS nor Macdrive to judge their reliability. and $50
    > on Macdrive.
    > 3. no need to reformat or repartition. Share the drive using native
    > network tools in both PC and Mac. Pros: no reformating. Con: I don't
    > know how to do it in a home environment of 1 pc, 1 mac and 1 wireless
    > router.


    If you're using wireless don't plan on getting too much bandwidth
    through it from the machine to which the backup drive isn't connected
    directly. For that matter, even wired Ethernet would be the main
    bottleneck unless it was Gigabit.

    - bill

  10. Re: help to access external HD from PC and Mac

    Can I partition the drive so that those that I primarily use in the
    mac, ie videos, music, photos are formatted in HFS and those I
    primarily use in the PC, ie docs, pst files are formatted in NTFS. I
    will lose the ability of cross platform access but I can have my
    computers do specialized tasks: mac for media. pc for work. Has
    someone tried this before? What are the pros and cons? Thanks


    On Jul 21, 6:12*am, Bill Todd wrote:
    > Gizzo wrote:
    >
    > ...
    >
    > > 1. format it in fat32. access from PC and Mac thru USB/Firewire. Pro:
    > > easy.

    >
    > Another pro is that you needn't leave it connected much of the time,
    > thus both reducing potential exposure to corruption by errant or
    > malicious software and allowing you to keep it physically separate from
    > the primary material that you're backing up.
    >
    > > Con: performance issues?

    >
    > Probably not serious ones (though you might want to defragment it once
    > in a while if performance deteriorates over time - depends on how you're
    > using it): *while USB 2 can't stream data to/from a contemporary drive
    > as fast as the drive can handle it (typically 40 - 80 MB/sec), it should
    > be able to handle around 30 MB/sec.
    >
    > > 2. format it in HFS. install macdrive in PC. access thru USB/Fireware.
    > > Pro: whatever benefits of formating with HFS (I'm not very familiar
    > > since I'm a mac newbie and initial research indicates there are
    > > inherent benefits as there are with NTFS over Fat32.

    >
    > Exactly which of these do you think would be significant to your planned
    > use of this drive?
    >
    > * Con: I have no
    >
    > > experience with HFS nor Macdrive to judge their reliability. and $50
    > > on Macdrive.
    > > 3. no need to reformat or repartition. Share the drive using native
    > > network tools in both PC and Mac. Pros: no reformating. Con: I don't
    > > know how to do it in a home environment of 1 pc, 1 mac and 1 wireless
    > > router.

    >
    > If you're using wireless don't plan on getting too much bandwidth
    > through it from the machine to which the backup drive isn't connected
    > directly. *For that matter, even wired Ethernet would be the main
    > bottleneck unless it was Gigabit.
    >
    > - bill



  11. Re: help to access external HD from PC and Mac

    Ok I tried the network option and let me share my experience for the
    benefit of others who may be in the same situation.

    I reformatted the external HD to HFS (very easy in mac) and created
    folders to mirror folders that contain my critical data. I also
    created the same folders in my iMac. I shared these folders thru SMB
    (so they can be accessed by my Windows based laptop.) Voila! I can now
    see the folders in the iMac.

    Problem started when I started copying files from PC to Mac. (PC thru
    wifi, mac thru ethernet, 1 linksys router.) For some odd reason, the
    router throttles or cuts the connection whenever I'm copying because
    after 5 minutes of copying I suddenly lose connection and regain it
    once unplug/plug the router.

    Is this a known issue? What's causing this

    On Jul 21, 10:55*am, Gizzo wrote:
    > Can I partition the drive so that those that I primarily use in the
    > mac, ie videos, music, photos are formatted in HFS and those I
    > primarily use in the PC, ie docs, pst files are formatted in NTFS. I
    > will lose the ability of cross platform access but I can have my
    > computers do specialized tasks: mac for media. pc for work. Has
    > someone tried this before? What are the pros and cons? Thanks
    >
    > On Jul 21, 6:12*am, Bill Todd wrote:
    >
    > > Gizzo wrote:

    >
    > > ...

    >
    > > > 1. format it in fat32. access from PC and Mac thru USB/Firewire. Pro:
    > > > easy.

    >
    > > Another pro is that you needn't leave it connected much of the time,
    > > thus both reducing potential exposure to corruption by errant or
    > > malicious software and allowing you to keep it physically separate from
    > > the primary material that you're backing up.

    >
    > > > Con: performance issues?

    >
    > > Probably not serious ones (though you might want to defragment it once
    > > in a while if performance deteriorates over time - depends on how you're
    > > using it): *while USB 2 can't stream data to/from a contemporary drive
    > > as fast as the drive can handle it (typically 40 - 80 MB/sec), it should
    > > be able to handle around 30 MB/sec.

    >
    > > > 2. format it in HFS. install macdrive in PC. access thru USB/Fireware..
    > > > Pro: whatever benefits of formating with HFS (I'm not very familiar
    > > > since I'm a mac newbie and initial research indicates there are
    > > > inherent benefits as there are with NTFS over Fat32.

    >
    > > Exactly which of these do you think would be significant to your planned
    > > use of this drive?

    >
    > > * Con: I have no

    >
    > > > experience with HFS nor Macdrive to judge their reliability. and $50
    > > > on Macdrive.
    > > > 3. no need to reformat or repartition. Share the drive using native
    > > > network tools in both PC and Mac. Pros: no reformating. Con: I don't
    > > > know how to do it in a home environment of 1 pc, 1 mac and 1 wireless
    > > > router.

    >
    > > If you're using wireless don't plan on getting too much bandwidth
    > > through it from the machine to which the backup drive isn't connected
    > > directly. *For that matter, even wired Ethernet would be the main
    > > bottleneck unless it was Gigabit.

    >
    > > - bill



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