External Hard Drive Issues (Mac & PC)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by PeterBean, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. PeterBean macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2009
    After a couple of weeks of messing about trying (and failing) to sort this problem out I need a solution.

    Just moved to using a Mac. Installed 'Office for Mac', works great. My external hard drive will not co-operate with the different systems. Meaning I can't add and remove files from the drive as I would like.

    I have endlessly searched Google and the gereral consensus is 'format the drive as FAT32'. Tried this (again) last night. It took 2 hours and then told me that 'the volume is too large for FAT32'.

    The external hard drive is an Iomega 250gb drive and I need it to work between the systems (PC and Mac).

    Please help!
  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    FAT32 allows both Windows and OSX to read and write (files limited to 4GB)
    However, there are some apparent restrictions on formatting large drives in this way

    You can format it at NTFS (Windows) and use some of the products like NTFS-3G on the Mac to allow you read/write access

    Or you can format it as HFS+ (OSX) and use something like MacDrive on a PC to connect and read/write

    You can check the MR Guide here for more info
    Notice this line...
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Format the the drive to FAT32 in OSX not windows, as MacDAwg posted, MS forces you to use NTFS and so windows will not create a FAT drive that large.

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