External hard drive that cant be modified on macbook?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by unajean*, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. unajean* macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2008
    i just got a new hard drive that works on mac, but for some reason cant put anything on it.
    i asked the company i bought it from.. and they replied (as seen underneath). but i don't know where control panel etc are..

    they said:

    1.Connect the drive to your computer

    2.From the Apple menu, select Control Panels > Extensions Manager.

    3.From the list that appears, uncheck the check box next to the
    File Exchange control panel. Click Restart. Note: This extension
    may already by disabled; therefore, you do not need to restart. etc.......


    i just cant make it work??:confused:

    THANKS! ! ! !
  2. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    Have you tried partitioning it with disk utility?

    Actually go to the partition tab not the erase tab.
  3. JediMeister macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    Those sound like instructions from OS 8....
    I would agree with velocity, that drive probably needs to be formatted to Mac OS Extended format or FAT in order for you to be able to write any data onto it on your Mac computer. It may have been sold to you in NTFS, which is quite rare nowadays. One problem with FAT drives however is that you can only transfer a max of 4 GB of data at a given time.
  4. i.shaun macrumors 6502a


    May 1, 2008
    at a time?

    I transfered my entire itunes (18 GB) in one go. I think the FAT32 limit is no single file over 4GB. Groups of individual files of less than 4GB are alright.

    The drive is most likely formatted NTFS, as someone said, so you have 3 options:

    -get NTFS for mac ($shareware), or see if there is a free one that gives read/write access.

    -Format it for Mac OS X in disk Utility. (It will work on macs, and you can probably hold files in excess of 4GB)

    -Format it for FAT32 in Disk Utility (choose ms-dos file system from the list). This will allow the drive to work on Macs, PCs, Playstation 3s, and other devices. Beware the limit that never bothers me, but may very possibly bother you!

    edit: Instructions:

    open Disk Utility in applications/utilities/disk utility.app

    -select your drive from the side, and then click the tab that says "Partition".

    -from there, you can partition different sections, or just use the entire thing by default. (you will see an outline on the left side)

    Select a File system in the drop down list "ms dos file system"

    -Enter a name in the field given, and press the "partition" button in the bottom right corner.

    The drive will partition as "FAT32" file system.

    NOTE: if you have USB sticks which you format in windows, they are also FAT32, and can be formatted in OS X, but only if you do it in the "partition section". Remember to select the "option" button and make sure that "master boot record" is set before clicking "partition". Going to the "erase" menu, and selecting "ms dos file system" somehow formats it as FAT16 for it's small size.

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