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External HD for iMac backup

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July 10, 2010 7:02:38 PM

So I saw a great deal on a Seagate FreeAgent 1.5TB external hard drive - $99. I had been looking for one to use for backing up my iMac because my old 500GB is just too small. When I connected it via USB, it didn't appear and so I looked online and discovered I had bought the "pc" version. Seagate also has a "mac" version of the same hd. I thought the only difference was that it had PC software, but it still doesn't work. Now I am thinking that the iMac doesn't read that particular hard drive (because it's ntfs maybe?), or is it some stupid Seagate thing? I thought that a HD was a HD and all that Seagate did was provide the enclosure. Can I make this work without returning the hard drive.

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a c 119 G Storage
July 10, 2010 8:13:30 PM

It's better to get the right type of external storage for the Mac, or else down the road you may run into an unexpected problem resulting from future updates to the Mac system.

If you are trying to fix what you got now, you are dealing with presently known issues; not future unforeseen updates.
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July 14, 2010 9:13:46 AM

Yes, I believe that you could make it work.

First and foremost, you are correct - it needs to be formatted in HFS+ (ie, Mac OS Extended).

Connect it via USB and then run Disk Utility (found in the Applications>Utilities folder). Click on the orange Free Agent icon
in the left hand pane. When you have it selected, click on the "Partition" partition to the right. Under "volume scheme," select
one partition (you can add more later). Give it a name and format it as "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)." You should be
good to go. It will take a very short time to format.

If you don't see the drive to begin with under Disk Utility, make sure the USB port is reading it correctly - go to System Profiler
(also in the Utilities folder) and click on USB under Hardware in the left pane. You should see Seagate Free Agent somewhere
among the listed devices.

If *that* doesn't work, then you should return it. But if your computer recognizes that a drive is connected all you need to do
is format it.

By the way, the marketing of "PC version" or "Mac version" is a load of crap - the only difference is that the PC version comes
formatted as NTFS (or FAT), while the Mac version comes formatted as Mac OS extended. That's it! Even if it comes with special "Mac" software, don't install it! Just use Disk Utility to initialize or partition the drive.

I hope this was clear - I don't usually throw up "tutorials" but the previous guy's advice wasn't particularly valid, and if you feel that you got a good deal, why go through the hassle?

Let me know if you need further guidance. Hope this helps.

best,

Anthony


jryan388 said:
So I saw a great deal on a Seagate FreeAgent 1.5TB external hard drive - $99. I had been looking for one to use for backing up my iMac because my old 500GB is just too small. When I connected it via USB, it didn't appear and so I looked online and discovered I had bought the "pc" version. Seagate also has a "mac" version of the same hd. I thought the only difference was that it had PC software, but it still doesn't work. Now I am thinking that the iMac doesn't read that particular hard drive (because it's ntfs maybe?), or is it some stupid Seagate thing? I thought that a HD was a HD and all that Seagate did was provide the enclosure. Can I make this work without returning the hard drive.

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0
l
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