I recently purchased a new external hard drive to help me consolidate my music/movie/photo library from the various places it is around the world (e.g. my Dad’s computer, Mum’s laptop, my laptop, backed up on a few servers etc…).
Since new hard drives are getting ridiculously cheap (from what I used to remember) I picked up a new one for just about £50 from Amazon
which has 1TB of storage and is powered by USB (basically a small wallet sized device that powers itself wherever I go!).
There is an issue with all hard drives as to which file format to use.
I run both a Windows desktop (for development) and have a Mac Book Pro laptop too. I also have Linux based servers (as well as Windows) so I need to have something where I can plug my hard drive into everything and it just work and mounts correctly.
I plugged it into my Windows machine first which automatically formats it to NTFS which is READ ONLY on Mac. So I formatted it on the Mac to FAT32. This means the file size is capped at 4GB, but is easily usable on both Windows and Macs. Supposedly you can remove the cap on file size by using exFAT format which you can do by formatting the hard drive on a Windows machine only.
Once this problem with getting it to work between the machines was solved I found the hard drive very quick on USB 3.0 and has been very reliable since.
Note: to format a hard drive on Windows –
- Go to My Computer
- Right click on the hard drive and select format
- Turn to the file system you want and hit Start – this should be very quick!
Note: to format a hard drive on a Mac –
- Use the searchlight (the Apple key and the space bar is the shortcut – or just go to the top right hand corner) and search for disc utility
- Select the drive you want to format and go to the Erase tab
- Change the name of the drive and the format and hit Erase – this should be quick!
I also have a slightly older My Passport 1TB HDD also made by WD (Amazon).
Similarly the My Passport has been fantastic over the past year or so that I have had it. Again powered by USB so I don’t have to bring a charger with me which is nice and very compact. I recommend both hard drives as good value for money.