Formatting an external harddrive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by insomniac321123, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. insomniac321123 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #1
    Forgive me if this is a repeat thread, i searched and didn't find anything.

    I have an 320 gig external hd that has about 100 gigs of info on it.(mainly music) I used it on me pc before I got my mac, so it is in ntsf(or whatever windows format). It is not in Fat 32. I need to convert it so I can use it with my mbp.

    Would it be possible to partition about 200 gigs of the empty space, and then format that into Fat 32, then move all of the data over to that side and format the other then remove the partition? If it is possible, how do I go about doing it?

    Sorry if its confusing.
     
  2. CNU182 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
    #2
    I have a similar dilemma with a 250Gb external. Hope this thread gets answered.
     
  3. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #3
    You could try some Windows applications (like Partition Magic) to create a new partition, and then try what you want to do. Or, on a Mac, you could try iPartition to do the same thing.

    However, utils that mess with partition maps on the fly always have the possibility of ****ing up and you loose it all.
    So the ONLY "safe" way is to offload the data, do what you want to do, and then upload the data.

    Not to be an alarmist, just warning you of the possibilities.
     
  4. MacHarne macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia, U.S.A.
    #4
    I am not aware of any current utility (apart from Boot Camp) that can partially partition a drive without deleting the current info on it. This article about MacDrive may be of interest but I do not think it is your solution.

    There may or may not be a utility that can do what you want for the first step, the partial partition, but I am almost positive that there is no utility out there that can remove a partition without deleting all of the drive's data. Someone else may have a wiser word to add, though.
     
  5. MacHarne macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia, U.S.A.
    #5
    Wow. That is a wonderful app. Thanks for the tip. (And for clearing up the gaps in my own post).
     
  6. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    Just to name a few,

    On a Mac:

    iPartition
    VolumeWorks

    On a PC:

    PartitionMagic

    Caveat Emptor

    Personally, I won't use em. Paranoid. But many folks use them successfully.
     
  7. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #7
    Concur with Partition Magic. It's a good app.

    But you never know if it will hickup.

    The problem with a NTFS formatted HD is that it has file/folder protections that a FAT32 partition does not.

    To the OP, definitely back up your data before you attempt anything.

    Yes, there are utilities that will change a NTFS formatted drive to a FAT32.

    I would suggest getting another external HD and and transferring your files to it, then reformatting the original HD. Then you can use it for a back up. With HD prices so cheap these days it's almost a no brainer.
     
  8. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #8
    I would encouage the use of Partition Magic on the PC, simply because it's been around FOREVER. The 2 Mac offerings are 2ish years old, and while they are probably great... FOREVER. :)
     
  9. insomniac321123 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 23, 2006
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #9
    If I use partition magic will it erase the data already on the drive?
     
  10. dingmah macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Location:
    AB
    #10
    It will try to create a partition out of the free space you have on your existing partition.
     
  11. insomniac321123 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #11
    partition magic worked amazing. It got it done with out a problem.
     

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