Ext. Harddrive, suddenly not working?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by CarlsonCustoms, May 17, 2007.

  1. CarlsonCustoms macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    #1
    Hello, I need some help.

    I've been using my pc as a storage server for awhile but finally decided that I'd bite the bullet and dump the pc and use the harddrive's I had been sharing in an external enclosure. I purchased a hard drive enclosure off of newegg with usb2.0 interface. I plugged in the drive and my macbook sees it just fine. It can read the files no problem but won't let me write to the drive at all. This all seems odd seeing as all along I have been writing to this drive while it was connected to my pc. I didn't change a thing except putting the drive from the pc into the ext. enclosure. I called applecare and they said they don't know anything and can't help since it's not an apple drive. If you look into the permissions tab it says "You can only read" the drive. There is no option to change this. It also shows the file system as a NT Filesystem. I even went to try to format the drive and in disk utitlity the option to erase the drive is grayed out.

    What am I missing? I'm assuming the formatting on the drive is incorrect, but I don't understand why I used to be able to read/write just fine while it was housed in a pc instead of ext. enclosure.

    If I put the drive back into a pc and copy all the information in a safe place and then reformat it to something else and recopy all the files to the drive (i'm currently using 50 of 250 gigs on the drive) will it work? I seem to recall in XP I was only given the option to reformat in NT system. How can I change that option to something else?

    Thanks for all the help. This is the first time I've posted a question here, I usually lurk but actually need help this time.

    Thanks
    Zack
     
  2. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #2
    Mac OS X can read but not write to NTFS formated hard drives.

    Mac OS X can read and write to FAT formated hard drives.

    When the NTFS drive was in a PC, you were sharing via the PC which is why you could read and write to it. Now that it is in an external enclosure, you are running up against the NTFS drive/file protections.

    If you are going to continue to use this drive as an external, I would suggest that you format it to FAT32 via the Mac or your Windows box -- after backing up your files of course.
     
  3. CarlsonCustoms thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    #3
    That's what I was afraid of.

    Now the question is after backing up the files how will I format the harddrive? XP only shows me the option of formatting in NTFS, no FAT mentioned, is there a standalone utility for xp that will give me the FAT32 option? Maybe the command prompt in xp?

    In osx this harddrive isnt allowed to be formatted.. all those options in disk utility are grayed out.

    Thanks for the help thus far.

    Zack
     
  4. yagran macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Location:
    Brighton, East Sussex, UK
    #4
    back up your data

    plug into pc > format it to ntfs > leave it blank

    plug it into your mac > go to application > utilities > disk utilility

    then click your disk on the left, then go to the erase tab. then choose MS-DOS format (fat32) or OSX Journaled depending on you preference, i mean if its gna be a mac only drive go journaled, if you still want windows compatability go MS-DOS format.

    then put you files back on.

    if it still wont let you format in OSX the chances are that your hard drive isnt FAT32 compliant, which would suck but theres nothing yould then do.

    [​IMG]

    hope that helps
     
  5. fall3n macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    #5
    Basically as everyone above said. You mentioned that if you try to reformat through your Mac the box is greyed out, correct? If that's the case, after you backup all your data, on your PC erase the partition, but do not format the drive. It should now be a blank drive available to be partitioned on either system. Now just plug it back in to your Mac and proceed as usual through Disk Utility. I'd suggest a Mac Journaled format as you'll get the best options if you plan on using only your Mac now. If you'd like it cross compatible, then make it a FAT32.
     
  6. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #6
    Just to add to the other comments.

    I forget the max size that XP will format a FAT32 drive. So you may have to partition the drive to be able to format as FAT32. Otherwise, the option to format as FAT32 will not show under Windows.

    The Mac OS however, will format just about any HD to FAT32.

    The main thing is to determine how you will use the external drive. Will it be for the Mac or shared between the Mac and Windows. If Mac only, go with a Mac format. If you share the drive, format it on the Windows side to FAT32 (so you may need to partition) for the greatest ease of use. Sometimes Windows does not like a large Mac formated FAT32 drive.
     
  7. fall3n macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    #7
    FAT32 goes to about 30GB of read/write data, after that I think it's only read? Can't remember. I know that with Bootcamp, in order to be able to read/write files from Mac to Windows partition you have to have FAT32, of course that's all Bootcamp related. Best to go Mac Journaled if you can.
     
  8. fairnymph macrumors 6502

    fairnymph

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC

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