Formatting and then reformatting or just go with "FAT"

I just bought Passport Essentials [smartware] 500gb and my friend used it on my new Asus/ Windows7 to load on 47Gb of material. When I then installed the WD Passport on my Mac w/Tiger running and tried to load some files to it by drag and drop I get the message: “My Passport cannot be modified”
I understand that I can reformat the Passport in both Windows7 and on the Mac to use on either independantly or to opt for the “Fat” option to use on both simultaneously.
My question is can I reformat it for either Windows7 or Mac and then reformat it again back to the original format. In this case it is working in Windows7 but on the Mac I get the “my Passport cannot be modified” message. So if I reformat it in Mac to select Mac OS Extended [Journaled] partition can I then reformat it to Windows7 MasterBootRecord?
I want to load QuickTime movies on it so that I can upload them to the Internet by bringing the WD Passport Essentials [SmartWare] to an internet cafe and uploading the QuickTime movies there?
My Mac is a desktop and my PC is a laptop. Even to get the movies on to my PC maybe helpful… I am so lost here and frustrated The solution seems to be with having my Mac back on a Broadband Server to upload directly from the Mac. Any help here will be so greatly appreciated. I hate to see my life energy dissipated w/no solution as I try to solve this perdicament day by day. Aloha

If the drive is formatted for Windows, in NTFS, then your Mac may see it, but won’t be able to do anything with it.  For both Mac and PC’s to read and access the data on the same drive, the drive needs to be formatted in FAT 32.  So, you will need to copy the data off the drive, repartition and format the drive on the Mac in MSDOS (which will do it in FAT 32), then you’ll be able to copy the data back to the drive for the Mac to see and access it.

However, there are a couple of things to consider:

  1. FAT 32 has a files size limitation of 4 GB’s, so any file larger than that will not copy and will give an error saying you’re out of memory.
  2. If you use the drive back and forth between Mac and PC’s, there will be a tendency for it, or the data, to become corrupted.  Therefore, you will need to keep backup copies of your data, in case of corruption.