External Hard Drive Problems

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Richard14, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. Richard14 macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2011
    I recently bought a MacBook Pro, having used PC for the past 10 years. I have a 500gb WD external hard drive with all my pictures and music from my old microsoft laptop. When I access the hard drive on my new mac I can see all the old pictures and music but then cannot add any new files. I have read up and now realise this is not possible because of the formatting of the hard drive. I just wanted to know what my next options are.
    Is there a way to reformat the hard drive without losing all of my songs and pictures? And then combine both PC pictures and songs with the new songs on my Mac? Or do I have to buy another hard drive and keep the PC and mac files separate?

    If you have any advice or recommendations they would be greatly appreciated! Thank you
  2. Potatochobit macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2011
    Do you know if the external harddrive was formatted to NTFS?

    what you need to do is move all the files to a PC, then reformat the external drive to FAT (best to do it with the mac)

    then you can move your files back from the PC to the external hard drive and your MAC should be able to see them.

    *note, if you have old fonts you need to move you should ZIP everything first on the PC
  3. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    Couldn't he just move the files to the Mac, then back once the external is reformatted?

    Also, I would suggest finding a way to backup all the files from your old microsoft laptop BEFORE doing any moving of files or reformatting. One never knows when a HD failure will occur. Can the OP burn backup DVD's using the mac but with files from the external drive? Better to be safe than sorry.

    Do fonts even work cross platform to warrant even keeping them?
  4. Richard14 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2011
  5. Sederick macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2011
    external harddrive issues

    I formatted my new harddrive to my macbook pro and i installed files onto it and so i unplugged the harddrive from my laptop for about a week cause i had moved and i plugged the harddrive to my computer and the option to format it popped up. It was like i never even formatted it before
  6. Black.Infinity macrumors 6502


    Apr 17, 2010
    Apple tree-Toronto
  7. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2008
    USA (Virginia)
    Plug the external drive into your MacBook Pro, and open a finder window. The WD drive should show up in the left part of the finder window, under devices.

    Right-click on the drive, and click on "Get Info".

    In the Info window, part way down you'll see the format. For example:

    Format: MS-DOS (FAT32)
    Format: Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
    something else for NTFS...

    Remember, you can't reformat a drive (or a partition) without losing the files currently on that drive (partition). So, you MUST copy the files somewhere else, first.
  8. Richard14 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2011
    I have checked and it is NTFS format. There is too much memory to copy onto my mac before reformatting. So then where else can i copy them too? For safety I can copy to another external hard drive which is NTFS, but will i then be able to move the data on to the newly formatted drive? Or just the stuff from my mac? Thanks so much for your help again
  9. mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    Paragon NTFS is a program you can use to natively read and write to NTFS formatted drives with Mac OSX. I use it for a recent external drive I bought and it works great.

    However, you need to figure out what your ultimate goal is for your files. Do you want to migrate everything over to a Mac file system or do you need to be able to go back and forth between OSX and Windows with your data? If you are not going to be using Windows anymore then I would back up your data, reformat your drive to a Mac OS read/write format and they put your files back on the newly fomatted drive. If you need to access your data on both Mac and PC then I would use the Paragon NTFS software that I've suggested.

Share This Page