can't copy files to the external hard drive

Discussion in 'macOS' started by testtry, Sep 16, 2006.

  1. testtry macrumors member

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    #1
    why? had no problem doing that in Windows, what is wrong with OS X?
     
  2. elisha cuthbert macrumors 6502a

    elisha cuthbert

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  3. testtry thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    Windows NT system. do I have to change the format?
     
  4. elisha cuthbert macrumors 6502a

    elisha cuthbert

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    #4
    it might be a good idea, if you dont have anything on it open disk utility and select the hard drive in question and then select the erase tab and then select MS-Dos file system and then click format
    ive dont it with dozens of mine
     
  5. testtry thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    so there is no way I could use it under both Windows and OS X systems?
     
  6. elisha cuthbert macrumors 6502a

    elisha cuthbert

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    #6
    yes if yo format it into ms dos file system it will work on both windows and mac
    if you have stuff on it i suggest you find a willing pc, copy all the stuff off it and then format it and then put the other stuff back on it
     
  7. timnosenzo macrumors 6502a

    timnosenzo

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    #7
    I could be wrong, but if the disk is in NTFS then only Windows will be able to read it. If you format it in FAT32, then your PC & Mac should be able to read it.
     
  8. testtry thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    will do as you said. thanks.
     
  9. testtry thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 7, 2006
    #9
    both PC and Mac can read the external drive, but I can't copy files to it in Mac
     
  10. timnosenzo macrumors 6502a

    timnosenzo

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    #10
    Hmm, you may not have permission to write to it then. Try to highlight the drive, then "Get Info" and see what your Ownership & Permissions is set at.
     
  11. stevehp macrumors 6502

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    #11
    My brother in law has the same problem. It's a formatting problem.

    My suggestion. If you have enough HD space on your mac, transfer all the files from your external onto your HD - reformat the external and then you will be able to put the files back.
     
  12. testtry thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 7, 2006
    #12
    it says I only have read permission
     
  13. testtry thread starter macrumors member

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    #13
    then will my PC be able to read/write to it?
     
  14. timnosenzo macrumors 6502a

    timnosenzo

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    #14
    can you change it to read & write permissions?
     
  15. testtry thread starter macrumors member

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    #15
    how? I am sorry about the dumb question. I am new to Mac
     
  16. CyberB0b macrumors regular

    CyberB0b

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    Apr 19, 2004
    #16
    Writing to NTFS disks from OS X isn't possible. All NTFS disks are mounted "read only" in OS X. Formatting the drive as FAT32 will allow it to be used on both Windows and OS X.
     
  17. Veritas&Equitas macrumors 68000

    Veritas&Equitas

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    #17
    It's not your fault. PC's and Mac's can both read NTFS and FAT32. Mac's can only write to a FAT32 partition, not NTFS. PC's can read/write to both FAT32 and NTFS. The reason that most hard drive's are default formatted NTFS is because it's a more efficient partition format, especially for Windows.

    Another reason is because you can only create a max 4 GB partition with FAT32 with Windows.
     
  18. testtry thread starter macrumors member

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    #18
    how can I format the drive to FAT32?
     
  19. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #19
    I would add the following:

    - NTFS is also used for security issues that FAT32 does not posses.

    - FAT32 can be formated for larger partition sizes that 4GB. I believe the current limit is 2 TiB.
     
  20. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #20
    On the Mac, you can use Disk Utility. Format as a "MS-DOS File System" drive.

    If you have a PC, you can use the built in utilities for format the drive.

    Either one should work fine.
     
  21. CyberB0b macrumors regular

    CyberB0b

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    #21
    You can only create a max 4 GB file with FAT32. The partition can be up to 2,000 GB.
     
  22. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    Feb 19, 2005
    #22
    I learned this the hard way. Western Digital external drive was formatted FAT32. I didn't notice and after loading all of my junk onto it, I was told that I cannot transfer files larger than 2gb or there abouts to my external because it's FAT32. So today I am formatting it MSDOS.
     
  23. SimonTheSoundMa macrumors 6502a

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    Birmingham, UK
    #23
    Best way to transfer files is in terminal using cp.

    You may also need to use sudo, just incase your account does not have permissions.

    sudo cp -Rp pathfrom pathto


    pathfrom being what you want to copy, for example, your Pictures directory, ~/Pictures

    Pathto being where you want to copy to, type the path to your external drive and where you want to the file to go, for example /Volumes/external_hard_drive/Pictures.

    You may need to have the paths inside " " as you may have split names for folder or files like hello kitty.jpg.

    -R switch will copy files recursively, -p will copy all metadata such as permissions, date created, modified etc.


    Using terminal is far quicker than finder, terminal just copies, it doesn't sit there 'preparing' and calculating which finder does.


    And as for partition size, OS X can only see a fat32 partition as a maximum of 32GiBs. Windows XP SP1 or higher can see more, up to 2TiB.
     
  24. ddekker macrumors regular

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    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Michigan
    #24
    external drive format

    Have this exact problem, I found that OS X can read NTFS but not write to NTFS, windows read and writes it fine, but can't see apple file system, so I've had the best luck having the drive plugged into my windows machine and just transfering my apple data through the network, its not the best solution but it works... my original maxtor drive was formated fat32 (160 gig) no idea how they got one partition in fat32 that large, but I lent it out and the person formated it AFS and I can never get it back, I even called maxtor... ohh well...

    DD

    check out the rest of my apple experiences on my blog
     

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