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Sat May 16, 2015, 10:46 PM

External harddrives not interchangeable between Windows & Mac?

I'm going to be scanning slides for my sister and had planned to save the images to an external hard drive. I just starting shopping for them and I think I've found a problem. She uses a Mac; I use Windows 7.

Her husband has a Windows (7 or 8, not sure which) laptop but I don't think they have any way to network the two computers or transfer stuff directly from one to the other.

Does this mean that if I get a hard drive that works on my computer she cannot access it on her Mac?

If it will not work, I'll have to figure out how to transfer several thousand images some other way.

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Reply External harddrives not interchangeable between Windows & Mac? (Original post)
csziggy May 2015 OP
FBaggins May 2015 #1
csziggy May 2015 #2
discntnt_irny_srcsm May 2015 #3
hobbit709 May 2015 #4
csziggy May 2015 #6
ChromeFoundry May 2015 #5

Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sat May 16, 2015, 10:58 PM

1. Depends on the formatting

You'll probably need to switch to a FAT32 format so that both operating systems can use it. It isn't hard... just google it.

There are some limitations (file size, partition size, and security), but if this is just for file transfer and none of the files are larger than 4gb... then you should be fine.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #1)

Sat May 16, 2015, 11:13 PM

2. Yes - I just found an article about reformatting

If I can find someone with a Mac I can get it reformatted to FAT32 with a 2TB partition size - much more practical than the 32 GB size available from Windows 7!

I was looking at 3 to 4 TB external drives on the Best Buy site. I figure if I get one locally I might be able to get them to do the reformatting for me. I don't know anyone that has a Mac other than my sister - or anyone else that I discuss computers with, anyway.

While the images themselves will not be that large, the folders they are in might be. I have to decide whether to scan to TIFF which is the usual format I use for archiving photos or if I should use JPEG or some other format that will be easier for my not very computer savvy sister and brother in law to use. Once the images are scanned I can use PhotoShop to batch covert or re-size.

I've got a feeling that I will need to do like the old Kodak PhotoCDs and provide multiple sizes for printing, viewing on computer and email or web use. If I do that, I wonder about the possibility of burning each group of slide scans to DVD with the different sizes?

GAH! I'm going to have to research Mac computers and what they can read! I HATE APPLE COMPUTER.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sun May 17, 2015, 08:54 AM

4. The main problem is that both Apple and MS pretend the other file system doesn't exist.

NTFS has a maximum volume size of 2 Tb so if you get a larger drive it will have to be partitioned.
Windows 8 uses the GPT system so it can read/write to partitions larger than 2 Tb. Windows 7 doesn't like it.
A Mac will read NTFS but you have to change a setting in the Mac to write to it.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #4)

Sun May 17, 2015, 11:52 AM

6. I'm starting to think that cloud storage would be the way to go

Since in the larger scheme of things, the several GB of data - even if it's in the tens or hundreds of GB - is not that huge would be easy to store in the cloud and easy to access for my sister, her husband and me.

Another option would be a photo storage account, such as PhotoBucket, but I am less comfortable with that.

The last solution would be for me to upload the images to my webspace but I am not clear about how to grant them access without letting them into the entire site. And I am not sure how to keep the files from being found by web searches and made available to the public.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sun May 17, 2015, 10:19 AM

5. Format it with exFAT

This offers the best compatibility options between all systems.

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