External Hardrive

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by apez3534, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. apez3534 macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2006
    I recently bought a MacBookPro, previously I had a dell laptop. I have an external hardrive that I used to keep my music files on becuase my dell had too little storage memory. Is there a way to move information from my external hardrive to my Mac? The external drive is compatible with both Mac and Dell, however, when I hook up the usb to my mac, it doesn't recognize that any files exist on my external hardrive. Do I have to burn everything onto cds? Or is there a program that could do this for me....
  2. 4nr- macrumors regular


    Oct 5, 2006
    Göteborg, Sweden
    Why doesnt your mbp find the files? what format is the hard drive in question?
  3. whosgotsoul macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2006
    I'm a Mac newbie but I'm guessing your HD was formatted with NTFS. I believe Macs can't read NTFS...only FAT32. This is too bad because if you have huge iso/img files that are over 4GB (movies for example), FAT32 won't allow you to store anything over 4GB.

    A question for Mac veterans: Does the Mac formatting allow files over 4GB like NTFS? (sorry for hijaking your thread...just curious).

  4. diadem macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2006
    your drive is formated in NTFS copy everything of then reformat in mac disk util
  5. Aniej macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2006
    I would love to help on this, but must say I am at a total loss as to why nothing is recognized. that's all it says?
  6. thebeephaha macrumors 6502


    Sep 4, 2006
    Seattle WA
    Macs CAN read NTFS. Just can't write to it.

    HFS and HFS+ do allow for greater than 4GB.
  7. whosgotsoul macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2006
    Thanks thebeephaha , I'm buying a Macbook Pro soon and know very little about OSX.

    Now I have no idea why apez3534's hard-drive isn't being read by his Macbook Pro...I'll leave that to the experts.
  8. richard4339 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2006
    OS X should allow you to read from NTFS, but I've had the same problem with external drives formatted with NTFS; it sees the drive but says its empty. I never did solve the problem.
  9. apez3534 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2006
    I'm not sure how to reformat the HD in mac disk util.
  10. Lovesong macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2006
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    Once you copy all your files over, just open DU (in finder just press apple-shift-u to open utilities), your HD should be right there. Click on the orange icon and press erase. If you have a HD less than 128Gbs, select MS/DOS file system, which will format your HD as a FAT 32. This way you should be able to read and write from both PC and Mac.

    Attached Files:

  11. apez3534 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2006
  12. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    Reading and writing to a FAT32 formatted drive on a Mac is noticeably slower than when it's HFS+. If you must connect a Win or Linux PC to the external drive, partition the drive in two, with a small FAT32 (10GB or so) and HFS+ partitions.

    If your external drive is big enough, and you can spare another 20GB, I would even recommend a third HFS+ partition and install OSX on it. That way, if your Mac's HD fries, you can still use the Mac until you can get the drive replaced. This worked out well for us when my wife's MB drive failed. You can also test out OS X updates to see how they work with your Mac.

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