cant modify files on external hard drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by bordenkecher, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. bordenkecher macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #1
    i have a 250gig external hard drive that i'll connect to my mbp and the only "permission" i have on it is read, but when i hook it up to my dell laptop i can do whatever the heck i want. also i can network over to the external hard drive from my mbp through our school network to my dell and then into the ext-hard drive.... and when i do that i have read and write permissions. but going that route is rediculously complicated and slow (especially since my dell sucks, pos inspirion 9100). anyway i tried going into the disk utility when i had it connect by firewire to my mbp but all the options under "first aid" are greyed out, so i wasnt able to try and "repair disk permissions". also ive tried editing preferences w/ the ext-hard-drive through my dell but there is nothing there to change for access permissions.

    i really dont know what to do... the only thing i can think is maybe it has something to do w/ the jumper on the drive, but thats a really left field thought. i really dont want to have to reformat it either since i have over 170gig of stuff on it.... (70 gig of that is music).

    any suggestions or solutions?
     
  2. timswim78 macrumors 6502a

    timswim78

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #2
    Generally, external hdd's can be read on a Mac or Windows machine, but not both. If you want to be able to use the external hdd with your Mac, you'll have to partition and format it for use with your Mac. At that point, you will no longer be able to use it with your Dell.

    Networking the external hdd is the only way to access it through both computers. However, you do not necessarily need to go through your school's network. You can network your machines directly to each other, through an ethernet cable, or you can network them and have them both connected to the Internet, by using a router.
     
  3. bordenkecher thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #3
    ?

    what i want to do is edit already existing files on the hdd.... and if i understand you right you're saying im gonna need to really just reformat the whole hdd, and by doing so i would lose everything that is on the hdd unless i found a way to back it all up on something else.

    *actually i am networked to the dell through a router in my room.

    say i partition the hdd in half. during the partitioning process will i still be able to keep files in the hdd w/o them being harmed? and if so, can i transfer files b/w the 2 partitioned sections?

    and also if i do reformat the ext hdd... i cant get access to it if i connect it to a regular windows pc?
     
  4. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #4
    Not quite true... you can format your HD in FAT format and you can read and write just fine from PCs and Macs alike...

    If the HD is formatted in NTFS ("standard" on Windows PC these days) then your Mac can only read from that drive, not write (or change anything).

    If the HD is formatted in Mac OS Extended (default on Macs) then you need special software on your PC to be able to read it.

    Moral: If you want to be able to share the disk between PCs and Macs, backup everything and reformat it in FAT32.
     
  5. timswim78 macrumors 6502a

    timswim78

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #5
    Point taken.

    However, it is important to note that there are severe limitations to the FAT32 file system, and it is becoming obsolete. That is why I excluded it from my post. For example, the maximum partition size is 32GB, and the maximum file size is 4GB.

    In this situation, I believe that the best solution is to network the drive.
     

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