!!!Calling All Mac Experts!!!

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Oblivion, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. Oblivion

    Oblivion
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    Hello everyone

    I am about to take my first step into the world of apple and get myself a Mac Mini. I plan to use this as an iTunes serevr, connected to my PW6 for display and my Sony Amp for primary sound duties, plus my wireless network for access to the music library around the house at a later stage.

    I currently have my itunes collection on my windows laptop which is close to 30Gb which wont leave much room on a 40Gb Mac Mini, I know I could upgrade to 80Gb, but i already have a USB 2.0 160Gb External HDD and would like to put it to use.

    So if I connect the external HDD to my Mac Mini, and have my iTunes library on that, could I

    A> Share this drive on my network so that I can access it from my Windows Laptop and from work via a sucre conection?

    B> Hot swap it from my Mac Mini to my Windows laptop for back up / taking my iTunes library away with me?

    Thanks for taking the time to have a read. I know PCs like the back of my hand, but I have never used a MAC

    Cheers

    Paul H
     
  2. cwick

    cwick
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    Paul,

    You should be fine, but you'll have to format the drive as FAT32 so that both OS's can read the filesystem.

    Beyond that, I can't see any problems.

    Cheers, Carl.
     
  3. Oblivion

    Oblivion
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    Cheers for the info.

    On order from the apple website, £20.00 cheaper cause I work in education :thumbsup: Can't wait.

    Cheers

    Paul
     
  4. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    I have a 160gb external firewire drive formatted to the mac file system which is shared and accessible from my windows xp pc.. so I use it as a backup for my 80gb mac mini drive and extra storage from my windows pc. You do not need to reformat the drive to FAT32 for it to be seen in windows.

    I suggest downloading this free bit of software which make the creation of shares for windows pc so easy :

    http://www.hornware.com/sharepoints/

    and software for easily accessing windows shares :


    http://www.labo-apple.org/en/software/smb+manager

    HTH

    The mini is a great bit of kit.. for my itunes I have set up my usual mp3 directory structure. Imported it into itunes but turned off the advanced setting which reconfigured your library and moved your files into itunes. This way its very easy to back up your music to a external drive etc etc..

    Good Luck

    Matt
     
  5. cwick

    cwick
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    Matt,

    What is your drive formatted as then ? I'd always thought that Windows didn't understand HFS+ partitions, and that the Mac couldn't write to NTFS, so figured it had to be FAT32 for everyone to be able to read & write. My research over at MacOSXHints seemed to back up my expectations.

    But if you're saying there's a better way, please share :)

    Cheers, Carl.
     
  6. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    erm... well my XP shuttle is NTFS and my max is HFS (think thats the norm) and I have had shares working in both directions.. I copied all of my music from the xp machine to the mini.. and I have stored files from the xp machine to the external mac drive.

    All I did was use the sharepoints software to set up the share and then mapped a drive via windows explorer :

    //ip address of mac/shared drive

    Nothing special.. Only thing I noticed was that from windows you can see the hidden files in the directory (.DS_Store I think) which you normally would not see on the mac.

    HTH

    Matt
     
  7. cwick

    cwick
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    Ah ... slightly different scenario. It needs to be FAT32 if you're actually going to plug the drive into either machine, whereas you're doing it all via network sharing. So the XP never actually see the drive directly - only ever as an SMB share. In which case, the filesystem doesn't matter.

    Oblivion mentioned hot-swapping the drive between to the two machines, which is where I believe the filesystem format becomes an issue. Have you ever tried that ? Would be interested to know if it actually works as expected (i.e. XP can't read the HFS formatted drive).

    Cheers, Carl.
     
  8. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    Ah no... I have not tried hotswapping...I've got it formatted for mac so I can boot off the drive and run osx from that if I need to.

    cheers

    Matt
     
  9. davrouk

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    I know the 40Gb on the mini is limiting, but it is just a standard 2.5" laptop HDD and is easily upgraded to something a bit larger (and faster!)

    Seagate do a nice 5400rpm 100Gb drive - thats what I'm looking at for myself!
     
  10. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    Check out macworld.com they had a article where they tried to upgrade everything they could in the mini... harddisc was fine but they could not get the 2GB of memory to work!

    Matt
     
  11. Oblivion

    Oblivion
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    Cheers for all the input guys. Looks like it is a FAT32 USB HDD with all my MP3s on like Matts setup.

    Have got my Apple Bluetooth Mouse & Keyboard today, Just need the Mac Mini, Mac Remote and Monster Audio Cable to turn up and then I'll be in business.

    Thanks again

    Paul H
     

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