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IPAD and Mini Mac use with external hard drive

This is a discussion on IPAD and Mini Mac use with external hard drive within the iPad FAQ forums, part of the Apple iPad Discussions category; Im very new to apple but a quick convet now that I added my mac mini with my 2 ipads, I am in need of ...

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    IPAD and Mini Mac use with external hard drive

    Im very new to apple but a quick convet now that I added my mac mini with my 2 ipads, I am in need of help about using an external hard drive with my mac mini and also my ipad.

    I have always used an extrnal hard drive to back up photos and documents with my windows desktop and now I would like to use those files with my mac mini and ipad, do I just plug and play or will this reformat and erase the extrnal hard drive contents?

    I have pages, imovie, and Iphoto already and am wanting to rid myself of windows machines but need to make sure I can use these files on my macs first. For ipad I have the usb camera connector so can i use my external hard drive usb to it and transfer files to ipad as well as do I just hook up usb from ext hard drive to mac mini?

    any help would be very appreciated! Todd

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