External hard drive

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by soupyjnr, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. soupyjnr macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2008
    Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
    Hello guys - not sure if ive posted in the right foum here

    I purchased a Seagate Expansion external hard drive from PC World : http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/seagate-expansion-portable-hard-drive-500gb-black-03972887-pdt.html

    It clearly says that it is available for use with a Mac OS Quote "Works with Windows Vista, Windows XP, or Mac OS X 10.4.8 or higher". However when I plugged it in via usb and tried to drag and drop things, its not letting me. When I right click it and goto get info, its coming up under Sharing and Permissions "You can only read" and under format its showing "Windows NT file system (NTFS)."

    Does anybody know how to get this product working? Im hoping that PC world havnt made a mistake and hope it does actually work with macs

    Any ideas anyone? :confused:
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Any external hard drive will work with PCs or Macs, as long as the connectors are there (Firewire, USB, etc.) It doesn't matter how the drive is formatted out of the box, since you can re-format any way you like. Formatting can be done with the Mac OS X Disk Utility, found in the /Applications/Utilities folder. Here are your formatting options:

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.
    NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
      [*]To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
      • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
      • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
      • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
      • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.
    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)
    • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
    • Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper! backups of Mac internal hard drive.
      [*]To Read/Write HFS+ from Windows, Install MacDrive
      [*]To Read HFS+ (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
    • Maximum file size: 8EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 8EiB
    • You can use this format if you only use the drive with Mac OS X, or use it for backups of your Mac OS X internal drive, or if you only share it with one Windows PC (with MacDrive installed on the PC)
    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
    • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.
  3. wrinkster22 macrumors 68030


    Jun 11, 2011
    Hello Soupyjr.
    Well GGStudios post was very helpful (as usual) it could be quite daunting for beginners.
    Here is how to set your drive up.

    1) Plug drive in

    2) Search for disk utility

    3) Select your drive (the one that is not intended)

    4) Erase

    5) Select format (read what GGStudios posted)

    6) Rename if desired

    7) Click Erase

    8) Exit utility

    9) Your newly formated drive will show up in finder

    Unfortunately hard drives are listed for Mac compatibility but almost always require to be reformatted. (And of course the instructions they provide are not very good)

    Hope I helped and have a Happy Holidays.

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