Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Notebooks > MacBook Air

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Dec 10, 2011, 10:36 PM   #1
saintforlife
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Unable to copy files to an external HDD

I've a 1TB HDD that I use for extra storage. Today I tried to connect it to my MBA for the first time to transfer some files. While I can copy the files from the external HDD to the MBA without issues, I am not able to transfer files from the Macbook Air to the external drive. Copy+Paste, Drag and drop nothing seems to work. It is a Seagate external hard drive if it matters.

Can anybody tell me if I am doing something wrong? What do I need to do to be able to transfer files over to the external drive?
saintforlife is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 10, 2011, 10:38 PM   #2
ezramoore
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Washington State
How is it formatted? If it is NTFS, OS X won't write to it, but WILL read from it. If you have the status bar enabled in Finder you will see an edit pencil with a bar through it (an icon) in the bottom right of the finder window, indicating that you cannot edit the contents of the drive.
ezramoore is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 10, 2011, 11:04 PM   #3
saintforlife
Thread Starter
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Yes it is formatted as NTFS. I have been using it for over a year now with my Windows machines. I came formatted as NTFS I think, because I don't remember doing anything with it before I started using it.

I can't possibly go an format it again because it has over 500GB already written to it. I have no place else to put those files. The pains of a first time Mac user just keeps getting worse. Why can't stuff just work like they are supposed to?

Is there any program I can install that allows me to transfer the files over to the external HDD? What are my options other than to buy a new HDD just so that I can use it with my Mac?
saintforlife is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2011, 01:13 AM   #4
ezramoore
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Washington State
Quote:
Originally Posted by saintforlife View Post
Why can't stuff just work like they are supposed to?
No need to get dramatic. You could download NTFS-3G which is a compatibility layer for OS X.

http://macntfs-3g.blogspot.com/
ezramoore is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2011, 04:18 AM   #5
saintforlife
Thread Starter
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
My comment wasn't directed at you. I was just frustrated. But after doing some research, I've come to the conclusion that the the correct solution is to format the external HDD using exFAT before using it. exFAT offers the best compatibility between Windows and Mac without the limitations of FAT 32 like 4GB max file size etc. http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1047194

I moved all my data from the external HDD to a computer that had a huge hard drive. I then reformatted the external HDD to the exFAT format. And transferred all my files back to the external HDD. I then connected the external drive and checked file read/write both on a Windows 7 machine and on my MBA and it has worked flawlessly so far. My only complaint I guess is that it seems to create a lot of "._" type files. Just need to figure out if I can somehow stop that from happening. For now I've been deleting them manually.

If formatting is not an option, NTFS-3G is definitely the way to go.
saintforlife is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2011, 04:28 AM   #6
GGJstudios
macrumors Westmere
 
Join Date: May 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by saintforlife View Post
I've come to the conclusion that the the correct solution is to format the external HDD using exFAT before using it.
You can certainly reformat if you want to, but it's not necessary. It's quite simple and reliable to enable Mac OS X to read/write/format NTFS drives.

FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
  • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
  • Maximum file size: 4GB.
  • Maximum volume size: 2TB
NTFS (Windows NT File System)
  • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
  • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
  • To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
    • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
    • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
    • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
    • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
    • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, but is not advisable, due to instability.
  • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
  • Maximum file size: 16 TB
  • Maximum volume size: 256TB
HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended)exFAT (FAT64)
  • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
  • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
  • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
  • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
  • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
  • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
GGJstudios is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2011, 01:48 PM   #7
ethics101
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Create a Windows partition. Then copy the files to a FAT32 partition shared by Both Operating Systems.
ethics101 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2011, 01:54 PM   #8
GGJstudios
macrumors Westmere
 
Join Date: May 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by ethics101 View Post
Create a Windows partition. Then copy the files to a FAT32 partition shared by Both Operating Systems.
You didn't read the thread. The OP already chose exFAT as a format, and FAT32 has a file size limitation, so that won't work.
GGJstudios is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2011, 02:53 PM   #9
saintforlife
Thread Starter
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
GGJstudios
Do you work for MacRumors? Do they pay you for your services? I think you are one of the most helpful posters on the forum. Your posts always address the OP's question, has correct and relevant links and are beautifully formatted. All of which takes a considerable amount of time, I can imagine, especially since you answer questions on most forums here. Serious question - Do you get compensated by MacRumors in any way? If not, you should.
saintforlife is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2011, 02:57 PM   #10
GGJstudios
macrumors Westmere
 
Join Date: May 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by saintforlife View Post
Do you work for MacRumors? Do they pay you for your services?
Thanks for the comments. No, none of us posters are compensated by MR. I believe only the site owner, arn and Doctor Q receive compensation. Not even the moderators are compensated. This is a volunteer effort on the part of all.
GGJstudios is offline   3 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2011, 03:55 PM   #11
saintforlife
Thread Starter
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
Thanks for the comments. No, none of us posters are compensated by MR. I believe only the site owner, arn and Doctor Q receive compensation. Not even the moderators are compensated. This is a volunteer effort on the part of all.
This makes the help and service you provide even more selfless. Keep up the dedication man!
saintforlife is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 29, 2012, 09:22 AM   #12
prathe4u
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Pratheesh M

This solution is working fine for me. But its trial version for 15 days. Any way before the trial period i can finish my task


Quote:
Originally Posted by ezramoore View Post
No need to get dramatic. You could download NTFS-3G which is a compatibility layer for OS X.

http://macntfs-3g.blogspot.com/
prathe4u is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 29, 2012, 01:49 PM   #13
ezramoore
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Washington State
Quote:
Originally Posted by prathe4u View Post
This solution is working fine for me. But its trial version for 15 days. Any way before the trial period i can finish my task
Here is the free version, which is called NTFS-3G

http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/24481/ntfs-3g
ezramoore is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 22, 2012, 11:32 PM   #14
agarwalsp
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Unable to copy files to an Ext HDD

Will NTFS-3G work for Mac OS X 10.7.4 !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
You can certainly reformat if you want to, but it's not necessary. It's quite simple and reliable to enable Mac OS X to read/write/format NTFS drives.

FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
  • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
  • Maximum file size: 4GB.
  • Maximum volume size: 2TB
NTFS (Windows NT File System)
  • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
  • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
  • To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
    • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
    • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
    • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
    • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
    • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, but is not advisable, due to instability.
  • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
  • Maximum file size: 16 TB
  • Maximum volume size: 256TB
HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended)exFAT (FAT64)
  • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
  • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
  • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
  • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
  • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
  • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
agarwalsp is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 23, 2012, 12:28 AM   #15
xxcysxx
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
just get paragon ntfs for mac. it is very convenient and you can write to any ntfs flash drive or external hard drive. because at a later time when you want to write a large hd movie (8gb - 15gb file) on that exFAT partition to play it on your media player you will begin to see its limitation. because your media player will not even read from exFAT partition.
xxcysxx is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 25, 2012, 11:37 AM   #16
iAmDjZu
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Seagate Offers The Driver From Paragon FREE

Quote:
Originally Posted by xxcysxx View Post
just get paragon ntfs for mac. it is very convenient and you can write to any ntfs flash drive or external hard drive. because at a later time when you want to write a large hd movie (8gb - 15gb file) on that exFAT partition to play it on your media player you will begin to see its limitation. because your media player will not even read from exFAT partition.
If you're using a Seagate "GoFlex" series, It offers the Software from Paragon at no cost. You may be able to borrow a Seagate GoFlex series and then just download the program from the Seagate site. Works great, I did it with no problem and it worked with my other Seagate (Non GoFlex) without any problems. Here's the link.

http://www.seagate.com/support/exter...-os-master-dl/
iAmDjZu is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 25, 2012, 02:45 PM   #17
stchman
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: St. Louis, MO
Send a message via AIM to stchman Send a message via Yahoo to stchman Send a message via Skype™ to stchman
More than likely the portable HDD is formatted in NTFS and OS X will read but not write to NTFS drives (so much for everything JUST WORKING with a Mac). A reliable NTFS read/write solution will cost you money as well.

I would format the drive in exFAT(A Microsoft creation that should have been called FAT64). This way Windows 7, OS X, and Linux can read/write to it. For Ubuntu you will need to install the exFAT PPA and install the proper packages.
stchman is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 25, 2012, 02:47 PM   #18
GGJstudios
macrumors Westmere
 
Join Date: May 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by stchman View Post
More than likely the portable HDD is formatted in NTFS and OS X will read but not write to NTFS drives (so much for everything JUST WORKING with a Mac).
As already stated in the thread, there are several ways to enable reading/writing to NTFS drives in Mac OS X. There's no need to reformat the drive.
GGJstudios is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 25, 2012, 02:53 PM   #19
Mrbobb
macrumors 601
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Just had the same prob, but this is a once-off thing and I have an aversion to load one-more-widget on my Mac for a once-off.

So attached external to my Windoze machine instead and wrote to it from across the LAN, slower than direct connect mind u.
Mrbobb is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 25, 2012, 02:59 PM   #20
stchman
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: St. Louis, MO
Send a message via AIM to stchman Send a message via Yahoo to stchman Send a message via Skype™ to stchman
Quote:
Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
As already stated in the thread, there are several ways to enable reading/writing to NTFS drives in Mac OS X. There's no need to reformat the drive.
If "just works" Apple would have put full read/write NTFS capability into OS X in the first place, there would be no problem.
stchman is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 25, 2012, 03:01 PM   #21
GGJstudios
macrumors Westmere
 
Join Date: May 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by stchman View Post
If "just works" Apple would have put full read/write NTFS capability into OS X in the first place, there would be no problem.
As NTFS is a Windows format, it's not expected that Mac OS X would "just work" with it. Mac OS X works fine with its native format, HFS+. Windows doesn't natively read/write HFS+, either.
GGJstudios is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 25, 2012, 03:11 PM   #22
Mrbobb
macrumors 601
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by stchman View Post
If "just works" Apple would have put full read/write NTFS capability into OS X in the first place, there would be no problem.
By "Just Works" Apple means if you stay with their eco-system: Mac laptop, Mac desktop, Mac Hard drives, Mac portables...

Why Apple wasn't even going to let Windows users on the iPod, until at some point the business people at Apple made Jobs to relent.

Fortunately though there is always a work-around. We Windows people are used to it.
Mrbobb is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 25, 2012, 03:38 PM   #23
stchman
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: St. Louis, MO
Send a message via AIM to stchman Send a message via Yahoo to stchman Send a message via Skype™ to stchman
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrbobb View Post
By "Just Works" Apple means if you stay with their eco-system: Mac laptop, Mac desktop, Mac Hard drives, Mac portables...

Why Apple wasn't even going to let Windows users on the iPod, until at some point the business people at Apple made Jobs to relent.

Fortunately though there is always a work-around. We Windows people are used to it.
Then Apple ought to advertise that that "just works" as long as you use Apple only products. I hear the Apple weenies say "everything just works on a Mac". Since buying a Mac, I could not disagree more. OS X works just about as well as Windows 7 from a "just works" standpoint.

I'm sure Jobs didn't need to be convinced too much as the revenue that could be generated from MILLIONS of Windows users being able to buy music from iTunes. Don't kid yourself, it was purely an economic decision.
stchman is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 25, 2012, 03:45 PM   #24
GGJstudios
macrumors Westmere
 
Join Date: May 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by stchman View Post
Then Apple ought to advertise that that "just works" as long as you use Apple only products.
You miss the point of the "just works" claim. In the Windows world, you have a mix of hardware manufacturers, missing drivers, compatibility issues, etc. Apple is saying if you opt instead for Apple hardware and software, it works without having to mess around "under the hood". It is certainly more elegant than what I experienced with Windows, but it is not intended to indicate that Mac OS X will work with everything from other platforms. No OS can claim that. You're adding your own criteria, which Apple never intended or claimed.
GGJstudios is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 25, 2012, 04:02 PM   #25
stchman
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: St. Louis, MO
Send a message via AIM to stchman Send a message via Yahoo to stchman Send a message via Skype™ to stchman
Quote:
Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
You miss the point of the "just works" claim. In the Windows world, you have a mix of hardware manufacturers, missing drivers, compatibility issues, etc. Apple is saying if you opt instead for Apple hardware and software, it works without having to mess around "under the hood". It is certainly more elegant than what I experienced with Windows, but it is not intended to indicate that Mac OS X will work with everything from other platforms. No OS can claim that. You're adding your own criteria, which Apple never intended or claimed.
I remember the Mac vs. PC commercials with Justin Long and John Hodgman.

Here is a commercial about the network and how the Mac speaks the new Japanese digital camera's language.

The commercial's words were:

"Everything just kind of works with a Mac". Would seem that Apple was making that claim.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0qbP-rIpRg

So it's not a case of me simply adding my own criteria.
stchman is offline   1 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Notebooks > MacBook Air

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Unable to mount any external hdd's or dmg, iso, rar etc files. Dyenera OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion 2 Sep 4, 2013 04:42 PM
Unable to Copy Files to and from Flash Drive on iMac silentarts iMac 4 May 15, 2013 11:34 AM
Unable to open large folder on external HDD hjteo Mac Basics and Help 0 Jan 27, 2013 03:14 AM
Unable to Eject External HDD flashmore OS X 7 Aug 4, 2012 03:55 PM
unable to delete, copy or move files RWinOR OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion 2 Aug 4, 2012 10:53 AM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:27 AM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC