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Noob Needs Help: Finding a mac external hd

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July 31, 2008 9:03:57 PM

Hey guys, my girlfriend's birthday is coming up, and shes REALLY into music and music videos and things. One problem shes been having is her hard drive is full and she has been deleting things she didn't want to delete to make more room for new music and stuff.
So for her birthday I want to get her an external harddrive. I knew a little about computers, but I know NOTHING about Macs...and she has a mac.

What do I have to worry about for compatibility for a mac external harddrive?
What are some good brands for mac external harddrives?
Any suggestions on what I should get / look for?

Thanks guys.
July 31, 2008 9:28:38 PM

what kind of $ are you looking to spend? what kind of mac does she have? also how important is speed?
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July 31, 2008 9:31:10 PM

western digital or LaCiE.

Look for one that has firewire 800.

You can format it to whatever dumb filesystems macs use.
July 31, 2008 9:33:25 PM

there are lots of choices that come formatted for mac but price, size and speed will determine what you want. one option is to google search and read reviews or give more details.

Western Digital or someone makes a My passport studio formatted for macs but it is relatively slow and uses minifirewire.
a b G Storage
July 31, 2008 9:40:26 PM

Any external hard drive should work with a Mac. The caveat is that you must format the hard drive HFS+ (Mac file system) instead of FAT32 or NTFS.

Here's a brief summary of my own limited knowledge of the different file systems you could possibly put on an external drive.

FAT32 = bothe PC's and Mac's can read and write, but you are limited to 4GB file sizes
HFS+ = Mac file system, Macs can read and write, PC's can't without some tweaking
NTFS = PC's can read and write to, but Macs can only read

Maybe you should just upgrade the internal hard drive on your woman's Mac?
August 1, 2008 2:09:38 AM

I found this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I looked up the models specs on google and I've read that it has 7200 rpm and a 16 mb cache


Western Digital My Book Studio 500GB 3.5" USB 2.0 / IEEE 1394a / IEEE 1394b / eSATA

does IEEE 1394a mean firewire 800?
and does IEEE 1394b mean firewire 400?


What does it mean when it says "back up", like is the computer going to copy all its info onto the drive? I want to get it for her so she can put music and videos onto it, because her harddrive is full.
August 1, 2008 12:24:18 PM

That one looks good to me. I think the reverse on the firewire question. Go for it. Oh, BTW, it does say on newegg that it supports Mac natively.
!