Copying files to hard drive?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by shizupple, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. shizupple macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2011
    Hey guys. I'm new to the forum and macs in general - first post! But I had a quick question. I just got a standard MBP 13'' with Snow Leopard a month or two ago. I'm trying to copy some movies and music to an external hard drive just to back it up in a different place. I'm trying to just drag the files from my hard drive under my username under places to an external hard drive folder. It won't let me drag ANYTHING into it - movies, music, documents, nothing! I was wondering if there was something I had to configure with my external hard drive to get it to let me add files, or if it was something with the configuration of the actual macbook? Thanks a lot for the help :apple:
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    It has to be formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled), FAT, or NTFS (if you use NTFS you have to use MacFUSE or NTFS-3G to write to it).
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    It sounds like the hard drive is in a format that your Mac can't write to in native mode. Right-click on the drive and Get Info... that will tell you what the format is. I'm guessing it's NTFS, if you used it with a Windows computer.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
    • Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
    • To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X: Install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free)
    • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx 33USD).
    • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended)
    • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
    • Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner backups of Mac internal hard drive.
    • To Read/Write HFS+ from Windows, Install MacDrive
    • To Read HFS+ (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
    • Maximum file size: 8EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 8EiB
    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • exFAT partitions created with OS X 10.6.5 are inaccessible from Windows 7
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
  4. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    How is your external drive formatted?

    It should be HFS+ which is Mac OS Extended (Journaled) for the Mac

    If it is NTFS (Windows), you will not be able to write to it without a 3rd party solution like NTFS-3G

    If it is FAT, you can write to it, but it has a 4GB file size limitation
  5. shizupple thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2011
    Yeah it's definitely NTFS. I can't find an option to format it in a different way though? I know formatting will erase all the data on it so I'll just copy a few things to my mac, then format it. Do you have to use a certain application or utility to format the disk?
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    If you install NTFS-3G, you can use the drive as it is. If you elect to reformat, you can do that with Disk Utility (in your /Applications folder or possibly your /Applications/Utilities folder.)
  7. shizupple thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2011
    Yeah I just reformatted it in Mac OS Journaled and it worked. Thanks guys! Now I just gotta figure out how to download the free Windows software from my school... damn engineering programs that require windows...

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