USB Flash Drive for both PC and Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by SusieK, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. SusieK macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    #1
    Hi everyone! This looks like a cool forum, so hopefully I can get some answers (and hopefully I've put my thread in the right place!). Here goes:

    I bought a Memorex 2GB USB flash drive with the intention of swapping files from my Mac G5 at work to my PC at home. I first plugged it into my Windows machine, and it worked fine, but when I took it to work and plugged it into my Mac, it wouldn't let me write any files to it.

    I contacted Memorex, and here's the helpful response I got:

    Funny stuff, eh? Does anyone have any ideas?
     
  2. daveL macrumors 68020

    daveL

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Location:
    Montana
    #2
    I have a Sony micro vault USB drive and it works fine between my Macs and PCs. Did you eject it properly from the PC? When it mounts on your Mac, does the device Info show it to be locked?
     
  3. reh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #3
    Pretty much any flash drive will work out of the box on both platforms provided it's formated as FAT32 (most are). However, there are some that use some ridiculous new thingy that has a name I can't recall at the moment. S... something? It's caused problems for non-Windows users.
     
  4. Gee macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #4
    Did it mount OK?Could you see it on the desktop? Did it let you read files that were already on it? When you tried to copy files to it, did it give an error message? What was it? Does the device have a lock switch actually on it somewhere?

    Questions Questions

    Point being, it should work as the poster above notes.
     
  5. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #5
    Sounds like it might be formatted in NTFS. Can you mark the drive icon in Finder and hit cmd-I (File -> Get Info) and see what format it is...?

    Another thought: Is there a small switch on the outside? Many pen drives has a small switch to enable write protection. I know mine did, and it near drove me insane to figure out why I couldn't write to my FAT16 formatted pen drive all of a sudden. Then I found the little switch, thought "what have we got here?" and voila, it was suddenly read/write again... :)
     
  6. SusieK thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    #6
    Wow! Thanks everyone for the quick responses!

    Ok, the drive does show up on the Mac desktop. "Cmd I" shows it to have a capacity of 4MB - not 2GB, says the format is "ISO 9660 file system" (whatever that means - heh), and under Ownship and Permissions it says "You can read only." If I click on the icon, I can see all the Windows software that came with the drive.

    Now, my PC at home, the one I first tried the drive on (and it worked ok) indeed has an NTSF disk file system. Is it possible that Windows may have changed the formatting of the flash drive?
     
  7. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #7
    Don't know, maybe some pen drive manufacturers has begun delivering drives formatted in NTFS, the bast<mumble-mumble>. But back up the files on the pen drive, re-format it into FAT32 and try again... :)
     
  8. gadgetgirl85 macrumors 68040

    gadgetgirl85

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #8
    Flash drives are both PC and Mac compatible right? You dont have to buy a "mac" flash drive? Havent stuck my old one in yet to see if it works
     
  9. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    #9
    "A CD-ROM file system from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)."

    Sounds like they're doing something really strange to the flash drive related to file protection or something, I have no clue really. Why can't these companies just do things NORMALLY?

    Anyway, see if you can format the whole thing as FAT32 and that should work. There shouldn't be any such thing as a Mac or PC only flash drive, but like I commented above, some of them have very strange things going on.
     
  10. daveL macrumors 68020

    daveL

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Location:
    Montana
    #10
    ISO9660, aka UDF, should work on both PC and Mac. When you did the CMD-I, did it have the "Locked" box checked? If so, just uncheck it. Otherwise, as said above, take it back to a PC and explicitly format it as FAT32.
     
  11. SusieK thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    #11
    I'll take it home and see if that works. Thank you!

    I guess as long as the drives are formatted in a way both computers can read/write to. From what I've learned, Macs can't write to an NTSF formatted drives, which I guess may be my problem. We'll see.
     
  12. SusieK thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    #12
    Thanks Dave. I did forget to mention that there wasn't even the usual "Locked" option available on the Info window - which I thought was weird. Anyway, yeah, so I couldn't unlock it cuz it wasn't there. :)
     
  13. SusieK thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    #13
    Hahaha! My thoughts exactly apfhex! Looks like the formatting is the way to go. Wish me luck!
     
  14. reh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #14
    I discovered the new system that is causing problems that I mentioned in my previous post. It's called "U3" and I believe this is the culprit.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U3
     
  15. gonyr macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Location:
    Niagara County, NY
    #15

    u3 is pure crap. You can get rid of it by going to http://u3.com/uninstall/. Be sure to back everything up first, as it reformats the drive and removes the u3 partition.
     
  16. SusieK thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    #16
    Well, checked the flash drive at home, and saw that it had a FAT format. So that was that. I took it back to Best Buy, exchanged it, and when I got home, I uninstalled all that U3 crap. Took it to work, and my Mac sees it fine.

    Thanks again everyone. :)
     

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