Could I have locked something? External issues

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by mdwriggs, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. mdwriggs macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2010
    I'm a photographer and I'm new to Mac.

    So, I KNOW when I first got my Mac, I had hooked up my USB external to the computer and moved some files onto the Mac. SO I have done it in the past.

    Today I finished a session and wanted to move the edited images from my computer to the external to back up.
    I do have enough room on the external .

    I am unable to drag the folder from my desktop to the external. I am also unable to move anything from the external TO the trash.

    I can move things from external to the desktop. But not to the Trash.
    And I can't get the folder dragged onto the external.

    Is it possible I've locked something? Any tips? Tricks? Check here's?

    Thanks for any help.
    I don't know what kind of external it is. Its just a box that holds my sessions and documents :)

    PS: I do have a small thumb drive and I was able to copy my folder to it.
    So, not sure why issues with the other thing. Perhaps not an issue with my Mac at all since I could do it with my thumb drive.
  2. NoSmokingBandit macrumors 68000


    Apr 13, 2008
    Im guessing your external HDD is NTFS formatted?
    You can check by right-clicking it, then selecting Get Info. There will be a line that says "Format: <file format>" in there. If its NTFS you have to install something that lets OSX write to NTFS because it doesnt do it out-of-the-box (license issues with Microsoft and stuff i assume).

    You can use NTFS-3G, which is what i use and its never given me a problem. The download link is about halfway through the Jan 19th post. Theres also Tuxera and Paragon, but those cost money and i've never really seen the benefit.

    Your thumb drive works because they are always formatted at FAT32 because NTFS causes a lot more little writes to the drive, which will slowly kill a flash drive over time, but doesnt affect a HDD at all. OSX can write to FAT32 with nothing extra installed.

    If your drive isnt NTFS post what it is and we can work from there.
  3. mdwriggs thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2010
    So it is NTFS.
    So you're saying i have to install something onto my computer to allow me to write to it?
    I'm assuming once I do that I will be able to delete stuff from the external too?

    Thank you for helping me out.

    You peeps on here sure do know your stuff!

    SO do I just upload that link you gave me and then it will work?
  4. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    The other thing you could do if you only use your external hard drive with a Mac is to reformat it as Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Warning reformatting (or formatting) a hard drive will erase everything on it, so you should either back it up or move the files to your Mac before reformatting.
  5. mdwriggs thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2010
    Mission Complete. Thank you for all your help.
    I ended up moving all the files to a folder on my desktop, reformatted and then put everything back on the external.

    And it worked like a charm.
  6. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
  7. NoSmokingBandit macrumors 68000


    Apr 13, 2008
    Glad that got you squared away, mdwriggs.

    Imo, FAT32 is better than anything for an external drive, followed by NTFS if you need to surpass the ~4gb file size limit. Its not a good idea to format an external drive to HFS+ because its a pita to get it working on anything but a mac. Fat32 works on everything, and NTFS works on everything with NTFS-3G installed.

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