Added FireWire drive shows but is only read-only?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by dance, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. dance macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    #1
    Hi,

    I have a mac pro (I'm a novice I'm afraid) and I plugged in a firewire external drive (maxtor one touch ii) which showed on the desktop with a orange icon. Easy enough...

    I then tried to copy some files to the drive and it seems it is read-only as I can't create folders on the drive either? If there a way I can set it up to be read and write? Is it a hardware problem? Driver problem? Or OSX config I need to change...

    Please help as I need to back up everything before its sold on Wednesday! :) Thanks
     
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #2
    It's most likely that the drive is formatted in the default external format for Windows, which means the Mac can read but not write to it.

    Use Disk Utility (Applications->Utilities->Disk Utility) to reformat it in the Erase tab ("Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" is, I think, the default choice), and all will be well!
     
  3. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    #3
    Beat me to it, jsw. Here's a linkety which shows the how to steps.
     
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #4
    Are you using something like the free SuperDuper? If you're making a bootable clone, then I think you need to re-partition (as shown in the directions linked above) to use the GUID scheme. Is this correct, or are newer PC drives already GUID?
     
  5. dance thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    #5
    Yes you are right! It is in a windows format. I didn't think that would stop it being written to - damn!

    So is there anyway I can write to it without re-formatting (I need the info on the HD)? I suppose I could copy from HD > MAC reformat then copy MAC > HD? Just seems long winded as there is 50GB+ plus... :)

    Cheers guys
     
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #6
    Yeah, there are programs like MacFUSE, but if you're a novice as you say, you're much, much, much better just copying the files onto the Mac and then reformatting the disk. Copying 50GB via Firewire isn't going to take very long -- probably on the order of forty or fifty minutes. Probably less time than figuring out MacFUSE...

    This is another one besides MacFUSE:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=4164455

    The other thing is that I don't think there's a lot of evidence out there that says you can walk this tightrope without a net. It's not like people are routinely copying gigabytes of important data using these NTFS programs, having that be their only copy, and then coming back and being able to testify that they had no data loss. That might be overly cautious, but....
     
  7. dance thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    #7
    Ok I will take the easy option.. :p

    Will windows be able to read the data once re-formatted or is it going to be only available for Macs?

    Thanks for the superb help!
     
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #8
    Eeep, now you're asking for a lot.... :(

    Okay, so if you use Mac Extended (Journaled) (also called HFS+), then no, Windows will not be able to read it without using a special piece of commercial software called MacDrive. However, Macs will get optimum usage of it.

    Another option is to use the Microsoft FAT32 filesystem -- this is the filesystem MS used before NTFS, and it's the standard filesystem on things like flash drives. Both Windows and OS X can natively read and write FAT32. The problem with this is that OS X will not write files >4GB in individual file size to it, so if you have anything like large movie files, you will be in trouble.

    Other options are more complicated -- there are filesystems from Linux/Unix like EXT2FS that can be read/write on both Macs and Windows PCs, but they're native on neither system (you have to install special drivers on both the Mac and the PC).

    If anyone would like to contradict me on how safe it is to use MacFUSE or that Paragon project to accomplish this, I would be happy to accommodate them. I'm not a user of either, so I'm just going off my impression from reading things on the net, that they're not ready for mission critical kind of work. Cuz if they are ready for you, then I guess they're possibly a good option.

    My impression is that MacDrive (the one that lets Windows read HFS+ disks) is more reliable and easier to use than Paragon or MacFUSE at this point.
     
  9. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #9
    If you install HFSExplorer on your Windows PC, you'll be able to access your hard drive. You have to use HFSExplorer to navigate through the drive instead of Windows Explorer. Once you find the file or folder you need, you extract it onto your Windows machine. It is fairly easy to use. Macdrive works as well, but HFSExplorer is free.

    I find this route much better than formatting the disk with FAT32, as I have some video files that are larger than 4GB, the individual file size limit for FAT32.
     
  10. dance thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    #11
    Hey,

    Ok did it all last night and all went well! Haven;t tried to copy to my PC yet, but should be fine.

    Thanks for your great help!
     

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