How do I transfer files from iMac to External drive?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by pauldepechemode, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2012
    Hi, got a new iMac osx 10.7 and linked my MyBOOK Essential 2TB external hard drive to it. Everything works fine and I can access all my external files from the drive on my iMac. My big problem is a long as Ive had it I cannot figure out how to transfer any files from the iMac to the external drive and Im slowly running out of space on my iMac now and need to transfer. I was told its as easy as click and drag but that does absolutely nothing, it just docent transfer anything. What am I doing wrong here? How hard can it be? I did use the ext drive previously on my windows system if this has any baring on this problem but as I say it is connected and I am able to access the old files on it just can't transfer new ones..
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2009
    Your external drive is most probably NTFS-formatted. OS X only provides NTFS reading natively.

    Install Paragon NTFS or any other NTFS driver for Mac, which will enable you to write to NTFS volumes.

    To make sure NTFS is really the problem, right-click on the drive and select "Get info". In the window that opens then, what does it say under "Format"?
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2012

    thank you. Im sorry but Im a new to mac and cannot figure out how to access the drive. I am in finder , gone to systems but the word driver is not there.
  4. macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    Open up your Utilities folder and run the Disk Utility app.

    Does the drive appear? If so, it should give you information on how it's formatted....As posted, you need a third party application if you wish to write to an NTFS formatted volume in OSX. The alternative is to format the volume as HTFS which is the OSX standard, but if you are using Windows, the drive will not be accessible from A PC.
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2012
    found it through spotlight and then disk utility as you say , the format reads mac os extended (journaled).
  6. macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    If its formatted in HTFS, then you should be able to just copy your files over...Just open a couple of finder windows, one for the drive, one for the files you wish to copy and drag them over.

    If that won't work, try erasing and re-formatting the drive using DU.
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2012
    i originally bought the Mybook ext hard drive with a windows pc but have now changed to an iMac. All the files from my windows computer are still readable and usable its just I want to put my iTunes files and pics onto external to free space.


    I've just found the info settings for the ext hard drive which states the format is NTFS so Im hoping the answer is paragon. Thanks for all the help.
  8. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010


    Overview of the four major file systems (called "Formats" in Mac OS X) used on Windows and Mac OS X, compiled by GGJstudios. You can use Disk Utility to format any HDD to your liking.

    Any external hard drive will work with PCs or Macs, as long as the connectors are there (Firewire, USB, etc.) It doesn't matter how the drive is formatted out of the box, since you can re-format any way you like. Formatting can be done with the Mac OS X Disk Utility, found in the /Applications/Utilities folder. Here are your formatting options:

    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)

    NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
      [*]To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
      • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
      • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
      • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
      • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.

    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
    • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.

Share This Page