Did I buy the wrong portable hard drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by kylied81, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. kylied81 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    #1
    Please help, I just purchased a Seagate Free Agent Go (but not the one for Macs - I actually didn't realise there was one specifically for Macs until AFTER I had already bought and tried the one I bought only to find out it wouldn't work, silly mistake hey?). I am wondering is there anything I can do to make this compatible with my MacBook or should I just ebay it and buy the correct one? Thanks
     
  2. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #2
    I don't really think it matters too much. The Mac should be able to read it fine, and if it comes formatted for Windows just open Disk Utility and format it to HFS.
     
  3. jonbravo77 macrumors 6502a

    jonbravo77

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    #3
    Not sure. You might run into a problem with the docking system. Don't know if there is some software or what on the drive to make it work with that dock. On Seagate's site there is no mention of a Mac version only says Windows required.

    Have you tried hooking it up and going to Disk Utility to see if it is recognized? if it is you can re-format it to Mac OS journaled and then it should work with Mac. But like I said, not sure if the dock has something to do with it being for PC.
     
  4. kylied81 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 26, 2008
    #4
    It will open but can't copy anything onto it

    I have been able to open the external hard drive but can't open anything on it as it is not compatible with my Macbook and when I try to copy any files or anything onto the external hard drive it say that what ever document I am trying to copy can't be moved because "FreeAgent can't be modified".

    It wil work fine on my friend's pc. I looked on the Seagate website and it had this portable hard drive and one the same but it says for Macs under it. I was told all portable hard drives were compatible with Macs:(
     
  5. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #5
    Open Disk Utility and change it to HFS+, as has been said. You can't write to NTFS by default.
     
  6. WPB2 macrumors 6502a

    WPB2

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    #6
    thats wierd, because I have a bunch of friends with all different hard drives, and never had trouble reading any of them with my macbook. They are all on PC's BTW.
     
  7. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #7
    They are probably formatted to FAT32, which Macs can read and write to.
     
  8. kylied81 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    Ok I can see that it is formatted to NTFS but I am not sure how to change it to HFS+ or if it can be changed. I looked at the Information for it, and (not being clued on at all with computers or anything) it says Can be formatted: NO so am I correct in guessing it can't be changed and formatted to be compatible with my Mac? Oh I hope that isn't the case, such a waste of money!!!
     
  9. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #9
    Open Disk Utility. Click your drive. Where it says Volume Format, change it to Mac OS X Extended.
     
  10. kylied81 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    Thanks all for your help, I have had success!:D:D:D:D:D So happy, was sure I had wasted money!!!
     
  11. WPB2 macrumors 6502a

    WPB2

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    #11
    Sorry, I am pretty sure all those external hard drives I used were not under 32GB, as Fat32 can only be used up to 32GB. The file system must have been NTFS. Macs can read either format, it is windoze thatcannot read OS X formatting. I am not sure though about 10.3, 10.4, but 10.5 should definantly read all other formats
     
  12. WPB2 macrumors 6502a

    WPB2

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    #12
    If he formats to OS X extended he won't be able to read his information an windoze PC's. Just a little reminder.
     
  13. weckart macrumors 68040

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    #13
    Firstly, Microsoft has crippled the format command in Windows to limit the size of partitions formatted as FAT32 to 32GB. Any third-party formatter, including Disk Utility under OSX is capable of making FAT32 partitions greater than 32GB.

    Secondly, you can use third-party utilities like MacDrive to give you read/write access to HFS+ partitions under Windows.
     
  14. WPB2 macrumors 6502a

    WPB2

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    #14
    Ok you might be right about the 32GB thing, but I know that 10.5 can read and write from NTFS. I had a hardward failure on my old Dell PC, and needed to retreive my wifes school stuff off the HD. All I did was buy an enclosure, and plug it into my MacBook. I retrieved all the information with no problem. It was a 100GB 7200RPM Hitachi. I put the HD in the Dell so I know that it was indeed formatted to NTFS.

    So to use the HD on a PC I would have to install third party software on every PC i use the HD with. I would rather format to NTFS, and use it on MACs and PC with no problem.

    I am pretty sure the OP simply had some other issue with the HD they bought, but didn't need to get rid of the NTFS formatting, just reformat with his MAC to NTFS, and he would be just fine. I personally wouldn't want to be confined to MACs with all me data, after all isn't that the reason for a portable HD, is to be able to retrieve your data/ share you data.
     
  15. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #15
    Read yes, but not write. Not unless you have third-party drivers installed.
     
  16. rosh325 macrumors regular

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    #16
    I actually made the same exact mistake (Circuit city was having their closing sale, and of course the only 500gig external seagate left was not the "mac" version).

    From what I can see on their site, the "mac" version also includes firewire support, instead of the USB only design of the windows version. Also, the mac specs reference "Fully supports and takes advantage of apple's power management features." Does this mean that if you use the windows version and format it to HFS+ you will still be missing this power management element?
     
  17. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #17
    Yes. You'll have to go to all the work of turning it off when you're not using it.
     
  18. surgedc5 macrumors regular

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    #18
    got this drive aswell, had no problem formatting it to fat32, only problem is it skips when playing avi / mkv files. when i move them to my mac's hd it plays fine but not when playing under the free agent go, anyone know if there is a solution to this?
     
  19. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #19
    Depends. What bitrate are these files? What player are you using? What computer are you trying to play them on?
     
  20. surgedc5 macrumors regular

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  21. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #21
    Bitrate? You can find it in VLC under Window -> Information -> Stream 0 -> Bitrate. (There may be multiple streams, so look for the one that says Type -> Video.
     
  22. surgedc5 macrumors regular

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    #22
    ok for the avi file is:

    res: 624x352
    frame rate: 29.970029

    mkv. for the 720p it doesn't show anything

    both are tv shows
     
  23. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #23
    Okay, you didn't actually give me the bitrate, but the 720p video will be fairly high. I have a similar problem with my external drives, and it's just because of the USB connection. Try using Plex, or resign yourself to copying HD videos to your hard drive before playing.
     
  24. surgedc5 macrumors regular

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    #24
    sorry bitrate is 128kbs for the avi

    im guessing is the drive in large capacity and low rpms? usb? 500gb @ 5200rpms :confused:

    i held the drive in my hand and i can feel it spin when it skips during a tv show :mad:

    *EDIT*

    my friend haves the same drive but his is a 320gb 5200rpm usb and does not have this problem with 720p tv shows, he uses it under windows with vista
     
  25. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #25
    I suspect the 128 kbps is the audio, not the video.

    Did you try Plex? I've found it to be better for playing HD video without skipping than VLC.
     

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