Using a PC hard drive with OS X?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by qtip919, Oct 26, 2005.

  1. qtip919 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    #1
    Hi,

    I found an old Dell laptop hard drive and I bought one of these external hard drive enclosure kits and I was *hoping* to hook it up to my powerbook as a back up hard drive solution.

    Is this possible? the drive is currently an NTFS formatted drive...what would I need to do to get OS X to recognize this?
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    OSX will recognise it and read from it but to make it fully functional, use Disk Utility to reformat it. Choose FAT32 (called MSDOS format from memory) if you want to use the drive on both PCs and Macs or Mac OS Extended (Journaled) if you want just Macs to be able to use it. The latter will let you use bigger file names, strange characters in file names, and larger single files AFAIK.
     
  3. louis_sx macrumors regular

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    International House of Louis
    #3
    yup, FAT32 doesn't allow /\|:*"<>
    FAT32 doesn't allow a file size greater than 4GB
    And FAT32 doesn't officially support partitions greater than 32GB, though PC utilities like Partition Magic can wiggle around that.

    What I DIDN'T realize is that you could format a drive that way in OS X. :D
     
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    Adelaide, Australia
    #4

    What do you mean, have I got it wrong? :eek:
     
  5. qtip919 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 24, 2002
    #5
    Shoot, something is not working for me...when I plug in the drive, OS X does not recognize it...

    The drive is currently formatted as a NTFS drive.

    (note, a WinPC recognizes it, so its not faulty hardware)

    When I connect it via USB 2.0, it just makes a weird 'click - click - click ...' noise...

    I cant imagine that I need a driver???
     
  6. qtip919 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 24, 2002
    #6
    aaarrrghhh!!!

    this is so frustrating...I can totally get this to work on my pc...why isnt my mac picking this up!?!
     
  7. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #7
    Did you go into Disk Utility and see if it is there?
     
  8. qtip919 thread starter macrumors 6502

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  9. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #9
    You said it was clicking. Are you sure the hard drive isn't dying? Clicking is usually a sure sign that the end is near.
     
  10. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    New Zealand
    #10
    Yeah, a clicking drive is not good. Make sure that all the cables are attached properly, and be prepared for the drive to fail (if it hasn't already) :(
     
  11. Danksi macrumors 68000

    Danksi

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  12. qtip919 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 24, 2002
    #12
    1. The drive is powered by the USB 2.0 port

    2. The drive works on Windows PCs...Ive plugged it in to my Toshiba and can access the drive without problems...

    doing the EXACT same thing to my mac results in a clicking hard drive...clicks are about 1 sec. apart from each other and continue until I unplug it...
     
  13. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #13
    Does you Mac have USB1.1 or USB2.0? Maybe the USB port on the Mac does not produce enough power.
     
  14. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    Cascadia
    #14
    Sounds like it's not getting enough power, as grapes has suggested. Is your Mac old enough to not have USB 2.0? If you do have USB 2.0, then it sounds like there is probably something wrong with either the drive or the enclosure, and it's a fluke that it DOES work on the PC.

    (Minor correction: FAT32 does support >32GB partitions. It was a limitation of prior Windows OSes that limited it to that, not a limitation of FAT32 itself.)
     
  15. Texas04 macrumors 6502a

    Texas04

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
    #15
    I had the same problem,
    First make sure the power and everything works, as suggested,
    second DONT FORMAT ON THE MAC!
    (It wont work, why i dont know...)
    What i did:
    Went on the PC, formatted using the utility in Windows 2k, made 2 Partions, One 31GB, the other 29GB in FAT 32. Then I ejected the Disk from my Windows 2K, plugged it in to my Mac (iMac G3 400MHZ~) in the USB port, it will take a couple seconds but it will eventually recognize it. A few minutes at most. Then all of a sudden after calling various companies including apple I did what they said i couldnt, I shared an external Fat 32 Drive on OS 10.2.8 with My PC. email me if you have trouble
    coolguyvic62@gmail.com
     
  16. qtip919 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 24, 2002
    #16

    Sounds promising...going to try to do it right now...will post results immediately afterwards...
     
  17. qtip919 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 24, 2002
    #17
    well, no luck so far...

    I have formatted and partitioned the disk as FAT32, 2 partitions of 10 and 20g each. I did this on another computer, as the external hard drive works perfectly on my other windows laptop.
     
  18. javiercr macrumors 6502

    javiercr

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    London
    #18
    I have a similar problem with one of my hardrives (maxtor 250Gb ata133), it formated it to FAT32 and NTFS (panther should be able to read ntfs and tiger shoul be able to write too..i heard) and nothing works, i just doesn't read anything formated by a PC and the only thing I can do is reformat from diskutiliy to anything I want and then it works for both pc and mac.
     
  19. stevep macrumors 6502a

    stevep

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    Oct 13, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    It could be something to do with the chipset in the external drive enclosure - there are commonly 2 different sorts, Oxford and Prolific. Each of these chipsets have a number of variants, some of which will work with usb and firewire - do a Google search to find out which one your enclosure has. From what I remember the Oxford 911 chipset seems to work well with Macs.
    The enclosure I used to havewas called a Metal Gear Box, it had a Prolific chipset, and was rarely recognised by OS X, but worked 100% with WinXP, so I gave it to a windows user.

    The drive will draw a fairly high current from the usb port - you need to check that its not drawing too much as you could overheat the components supplying power to the port - I think there's a limit of 500mA.
     
  20. qtip919 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 24, 2002
    #20
    I did some googling to find the chipset, and cant get any information....the manufacturer of this product is vantec, the model is NexStar 3.

    Its a really nice little product, I guess Im lucky to have this windows laptop and can now back up my data on that machine...too bad I cant use this on my mac as I have a spare 60gb hard drive from an older dell laptop that I wanted to use to back up my current drive on my powerbook...well, thanks for the help all, I guess I am finally giving up and heading off the the apple store to get some apple-based solution ;)
     
  21. Aliquis macrumors regular

    Aliquis

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    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    Utah
    #21
    K, few things you can do. I'd throw it on the PC and format it FAT32 first.
    Then take it into OSX and see if diskutility will read it. Then format it there.
    Also you may want to throw it into another mac box and format it there to see if it will read it or if maybe your case interfacing is prohibiting you from what you want to do.
     
  22. qtip919 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 24, 2002
    #22
    I did the unthinkable...I got desperate and popped open my powerbook and put the hard drive in there and booted off the DVD Tiger disk, formatted the hard drive and installed Tiger on it.

    Then, I took the hard drive, put it back in the case and put my original hard drive back in the powerbook and tried to use the external drive...no luck

    at this point, I am convinced that it is a problem with the chipset of the external drive enclosure. There is no way this thing is compatible with Mac. I can still use this drive and enclosure with my PC laptop, no problem...too bad though...
     
  23. stevep macrumors 6502a

    stevep

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    UK
    #23
    Brave move, and a good try. And it points to the enclosure and its chipset(feeling a bit smug at this point, even though it was a lucky guess on my part).
    What you need now is for someone to post the make and model of an enclosure they use successfully with OS X. You should be able to return the NexStar 3, because it claims to work with OS 8.6 and above and it clearly doesn't do what is claimed.
     
  24. thirdstripe macrumors newbie

    thirdstripe

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    Nov 10, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto, On
    #24
    Hey! Mac newbie here. I was having the exact same problem with my Nexstar 2. I ended up having to format the harddrive is OS extended journaled for it to be recognized by my mac. Although when I plugged it back into my xp pc laptop, it was not recognized. So it turns out that the Nexstar is supported by mac but not both mac and pc at the same time. Are there any external hard drive encasements out there that supports both operating systems, or is it not a matter of the encasement but a question of a lack of communication between osx and xp?
     
  25. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #25
    No, I think it ain't never going to work on USB bus power from your Mac -- I'm guessing that the drive enclosure exceeds the Macs ability to provide power (does the enclosure come with a cable that has 2 USB connectors, by chance, or a USB and a PS2?) That coupled with possibly a high-power demand older mechanism. Either find an AC adaptor compatible with the enclosure, or buy a new enclosure that comes with AC adaptor I think is your solution.
     

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