How do I format external HDD so it can read/write?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by butters149, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    #1
    Hi,

    How do I format an external HDD to read/write on a mac osx running snow leopard, and also let it be able to be readable on windows vista/7?
     
  2. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    #2
    Format it as MS-Dos (FAT) using the program Disk Utility.
    Both windows and mach can read FAT.

    The following is from the help function in disk utility:
    NOTICE:Formatting a disk erases its files. Copy files you want to save to another disk before formatting the disk.

    To format a disk for Windows computers:

    In Disk Utility, select the disk you want to format for Windows computers.

    Click Erase, and choose MS-DOS (FAT) from the Format pop-up menu.

    Type a name for the disk.

    The name’s maximum length is 11 characters.

    Click the Erase button, and then click Erase again.
     
  3. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    Location:
    Denmark
    #3
    thats just gay tbh, FAT32 is useless these days, it can only handle files below 4GB..

    if you wanna use files larger then 4GB you will have to install software on either machine.

    if you want to use NTFS - the faildows format - you can install paragon NTFS 8.0 to enable write access from the mac (it can already read NTFS)
    if you want to use the mac format HFS+ you can install macdrive on the faildows machine to enable it to read and write to HFS+.

    both these formats support files up to 16 EB (and yes i men EB), the hard drive capasity is however usually limited to 2TB by the disk hardware, but then again most people don't have 2TB disks yet.
     
  4. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    FAT32
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
    • No individual file larger than 4GB.
    NTFS
    HFS
    • Read/Write HFS from native Mac OS X
    • To Read/Write HFS from Windows, Install MacDrive
    • To Read HFS (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    #5
    ok im confused, I cannot install windows on my Mac right now because I have replaced my optical drive with a hard drive.

    I want to put my movie on the external HDD and to be able to let my siblings back at home view them on their Windows computer.
     
  6. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    You don't have to install Windows on your Mac. Read my post about NTFS, follow those instructions, then you can format the drive as NTFS from your Mac.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    #7
    so only the Host (Me on my Mac) would need to install those software? My sibling's PC (running on Windows) will not need to install anything?
     
  8. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #8
    Correct, as Windows reads/writes NTFS natively, as my post stated.
     
  9. Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #9
    As Windows is able to write and read NTFS formatted volumes, and read and write to FAT32 formatted volumes, there is no need to install additional software on Windows.

    NTFS-3G only is meant for Mac OS X, to be able to write to NTFS formatted volumes.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    #10
    so i would be doing the formatting with those softwares and not through disk utilities?
     
  11. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #11
    No, you enable NTFS or install NTFS-3G on your Mac. Then you can format the drive using Disk Utility. Until you enable NTFS or install NTFS-3G, Disk Utility doesn't show NTFS as a formatting option.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    #12
    after i installed the program and restarted i get an error when trying to "erase" the drive and selecting the NTFS-3.

    It says: Disk erase failed with error: File system formatter failed
     
  13. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #13
    Don't use the Erase option.
    1. In Disk Utility, select the drive (where it shows the drive capacity)
    2. Click the Partition tab.
    3. Select 1 Partition as the Volume Scheme
    4. Select NTFS
    5. Click Apply
    Picture 1.jpg
     

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