External Hard Drive Problem

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Elevatorguy, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. Elevatorguy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    #1
    I just bought a Western Digital 1TB My Book Essential Edition external hard drive. I have a lot of videos, stored as disk images, from my HD camcorder on my MacBook that I want to copy onto the external hard drive for storage and also transfer to my other MacBook. The problem is that this hard drive is setup so that it will not transfer any file over 4 GB. A lot of these disk images are over 4GB and thus will not transfer. Is there any way to reformat this external HD to a system that will allow transfer over the 4GB threshold? If so, can someone please explain the process to me in as much detail as possible? If not, can someone recommend an external HD that does not have transfer limits? I would like to make this one work as I am not sure if Best Buy will take it back or not now that it has been opened and used. Thanks in advance for any help.
     
  2. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
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    #2
    I have one of these drives and they are awesome. Now, the 1TB drives tend to not play well with Mac users at first since they are pre-formatted for a Windows environment, the format the drives have is FAT32. Mac OS X can read/write FAT32 drivers but writing to one maxes out at 4GB per file. So what you can do is save small stuff to it, then use it as a Time Machine backup drive, this will erase everything and reformat the drive to Journaled HFS (if im correct in format naming)

    That should do the trick.
     
  3. Elevatorguy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    #5
    Thanks for the replies. I erased the WD Hard Drive and tried to partition it. I chose 1 partition, although I am not sure what this means, because it wouldn't let me do anything if I kept the "current" option. I chose 1 partition, renamed it from "disk 1s1" to My Book, chose Mac OS Extended (journaled) because it was the default, clicked apply and got the error message Partition Failed - File Formatter Failed. Can someone show me where I went wrong and what I need to do to fix it please? I am not even interested in partitioning this drive, I would be happier if it were just 1 large drive that I can use to store and transfer large files (16GB each). Thanks again for the help.
     
  4. Elevatorguy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 28, 2008
    #6
    Also, I am not sure what is meant by a Time Machine backup drive. Is this something that will backup everything automatically? I would prefer something that I have to manually choose what is being backed up onto it and drag those files onto it myself. Thanks again.
     
  5. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

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    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #7
    OK first off, just partitioning it to 1 partition actually does mean that your drive will show as one big drive. Changing it to a larger number in "volume Scheme" pulldown would result in breaking the space down into smaller "portions" and would result in multiple drive icons on the desktop.

    The reason I believe that your partitioning failed because you actually need to on one more step than you mentioned when changing a PC formatted drive to make it Mac friendly.

    First make sure you are selecting the entire drive in Disk Utility (the top line pertaining to that drive in the left window, not the second like which is the partition). Then change the "Volume Scheme:" pulldown menu to read "1 partition" rather than "Current" as you already did. Now the step that I believe was skipped was to click the "Options" button at the bottom of the screen to select the appropriate partition table map for Mac use. In the window that appears, choose the appropriate selection for your Mac type. I'm betting that when you that when that window opens it will show "MBR" selected.

    Then you can click "continue" to move on. Make sure the partition name is what you want and that the format is Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and click Apply again. It should then continue without error and present you with a single drive icon on the desktop in a short period of time.

    If by chance that fails too, do let us know and we will scratch our heads.;)
     
  6. Elevatorguy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 28, 2008
    #8
    You may have solved my problem. Do I want the GUID Partition Table or the Apple Partition Map? I am running an Intel based MacBook, so is the GUID the right choice? Thanks very much for the help, it is certainly appreciated.
     
  7. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

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    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #9
    Actually you will see the answer in that window that appears that has explanations for each for future reference- either will work with yours, but choosing GUID would be the best choice in case you ever want to store a bootable backup done with a program like Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper.

    Good luck!
     
  8. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

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    Nov 6, 2007
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    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
  9. Elevatorguy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    #11
    Thanks very much for the help. That was the fix. Much appreciated. One more thing, is there any easy way to transfer all of the pictures from iPhoto to the external hard drive without doing it individually?


    Thanks again
     
  10. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #12
    Well, it depends- do you want the just the pictures or the whole library (which includes the originals if any have been edited, etc.)?

    For just the pictures, it would be easiest to just make a folder on the external, select all the pictures in iPhoto and then do a "File-->Export...". The second part of the export will ask you where to export them so you could just point it at the new folder.

    If you want the whole library, the original is usually located in Users/yourusername/Pictures. You could just drag the whole iPhoto folder to the new hard drive to make a copy. When starting iPhoto if you hold down the Option key it will give you a chance to pick another library to use so you could do that to switch between them.

    BTW- Glad the fix worked too!;)
     

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