What format for portable drive for mac and pc?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by sub, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. sub
    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    #1
    I have no doubt this is a stupid / simple question but anyway...here goes.

    I bought a portable external hard drive for work and backup, so I'd like to take copies of files home from work. My work machine is a PC, Windows XP I think, I run OS 10.3.8 at home on my mac.

    Initially I formatted my drive using the disk utility on my mac, and I formatted it as DOS. My Mac and my work PC could read and write to it. However, I thought instead I'd format my portable drive on my work pc (just out of curiosity I guess). Now when I brought it home my mac can read the drive, but not write to it.

    Can anyone recommend a decent format solution? Should I just reformat it as MS-DOS on the mac? I definitely want to be able to use my drive on both operating systems.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    You probably formatted it as NTFS which Macs can read but not write on (as you found out). Format it for FAT32 which can be done through Disk Utility (format as DOS) or through Windows Disk Manager(?) or whatever you used. There should be a FAT32 option. :)
     
  3. sub
    thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    #3
    Thanks dude! Yeah, I'll have to go back to my PC, that NTFS format thing won't even let Disk Utility erase the drive.

    Edit: you're right, it did format it as NTFS.
     
  4. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #4

    Serious? That's weird. I would have thought Disk Utility could still erase and reformat it. Meh, obviously not. :(
     
  5. sub
    thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    #5
    No, I'm a moron, it just greyed out the format options, I had to erase it, and then I could reformat it with the DOS system.
     
  6. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #6
    Excellent. :D
     
  7. macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #7
    No. You're not a moron. It's quite easy to get confused with Disk Utility. I guess there must be a reason for it, but as you found out, there's a difference between the drive and the volume in Disk Utility.

    It's gotten even some of the most seasoned Mac veterans.

    ft
     

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