changing mac fat32 external hd to nfts?? not as simple as the title seems

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by redelmo, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. redelmo macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2010
    Hi guys,

    Im not real experianced with this kinda stuff so I thought i'd ask and see if anyone can help with my problem.

    I have a macbook pro with an external harddrive formatted to MS-DOS FAT32 and want it to accept files bigger then 4gb (ie. HD Movies). Is there a way to change the individual movie files to be accepted by the Harddrive or do I have to reformat the harddrive completely?

    If I do have to reformat my harddrive what format should i do so?
    I want my external harddrive to be able to work on Windows and MacOS as well as accept files of any size (ie. over 4gb at least)

    Your help is appreciated. Thanks

  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    You have to reformat the entire hard drive.

    If you want to use it with Mac and Windows computers, format to NTFS.
  3. redelmo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2010


    what format is nfts out of the disk utility options?

    as shown below?


  4. ziggyonice macrumors 68020


    Mar 12, 2006
    Rural America
    Well, hate to say it, but it's not there. See, NTFS isn't turned on by default. So you have to tell your Mac to use NTFS as an option.

    Basically if you want this to work, you need to either do a little hacking or download a program called NTFS-3G (much easier).

    That will give you the option to format as NTFS, and read/write to the drive on both Macs and PCs, all while being able to copy files more that 4GB.
  5. redelmo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2010

    damn ziggy...your good

    thanks mate, really appreciate it. dont know how you know this kind of information but im grateful. cheers
  6. redelmo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2010

    if Im only wanting the external harddrive for mac use but also want to be able to put files larger then 4gb on it do I still have to format it to NFTS or is there another option?

  7. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    For Mac use only, just use Apple's HFS. No flaky drivers to install.
    It's called OSX extended in disk utility.
  8. redelmo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2010
    thanks mate.

    so its just the format that the harddrives in macs are. 'mac osx extended (journaled)'

  9. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    If you don't need to access the large files under Windows, I'd suggest configuring the drive with two partitions -- one HFS for the large files and the second FAT32 for compatibility.
  10. redelmo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2010
    Thats a good idea Talmy.

    I think I'll do that so that way my smaller files can still be accessed by Windows.

    Cheers mate

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