external harddrive question

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by harlem, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. harlem macrumors member

    May 28, 2010
    hi everyone, i'm a new mac user and trying to get to know the machine a bit.

    only one thing i cant seem to work it out...i have 2 external hard drives both 1TB..i always used these on my windows machine, now when i have the external drives running on my mac pro everything works great "except" whenever i try and drag a file in the external harddrive to back it up it, wont work there is this "no acces" sign on top of the file i'm trying to import on the external drive, anyone know how to fix this please?
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    What format does the drive have? If it's NTFS as it likely is because it was used with Windows before, then you can't write to it without 3rd party software. If you want it to work perfectly with OS X, format it to HFS+ with Disk Utility. Keep in mind that Windows cannot read or write HFS+
  3. cjt3007 macrumors member


    Jul 6, 2008
    Portland, OR
    interesting, I've always been able to writre/read my thumb drive on mac and pc, I think it is HFS+
  4. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Nah, sounds like it's FAT32 like most thumb drives are
  5. reel2reel macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2009
    Yep, sounds like NTFS. You can read-only.

    One note: in the past, I tried NTFS-3G for NTFS support on the Mac. It was an older version and might be better now, but I found it only useful for small files. Once I started hitting 5 GB, 10 GB and up, the write support got flakey (copying would just stop mid-file, for instance).

    On the other hand, I've used MacDrive on a PC and it's always worked flawlessly for reading/writing OSX-formatted drives. The only (very very) annoying thing about MacDrive is the copy protection. You've got to activate your copy on the PC and there's no way to deactivate it without contacting the company. Maybe they've added manual de-activation by now, I have no idea.
  6. harlem thread starter macrumors member

    May 28, 2010
    So to make it short, i cant do anything with these harddrives? one still has like 600GB free space. formating it is not an option as i have all my purchased font collections on there as back up.

    so if i buy a new external HDD do i need to buy one that is for mac...i mean it never made a big deal with windows, just go to the store and bought the one i liked.
  7. DualShock macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2008
    You can use the drives if you install NTFS-3G or something similar (assuming they are formatted as NTFS).

    I've been using NTFS-3G for a while now and it works great. Never had any issues with it. You just need to properly unmount (eject) the drives when you're done. In other words, don't just yank the USB plug out or shut off the drive.

    http://macntfs-3g.blogspot.com/ (Mac specific port)
    http://www.tuxera.com/community/ntfs-3g-download/ (general site)

    But NTFS-3G is now owned by Tuxera, and they have a pay version that is apparently faster (never tried it myself).


    Another alternative is a pay version by Paragon, though I've never tried it.

    I should also mention that the maintainer of NTFS-3G for Mac, Erik Larsson, is very receptive to any questions you may have, if you post a comment to his blogspot site, or the Tuxera forum for NTFS-3G.
  8. RightJustified macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2010
    File system, man... file system.

    windows = NTFS
    mac = HFS+
    Thumb drives = FAT32

    the drives are all the same ... you can still just go buy the drive that you like. you just have to format it to HFS+

    if you're working with macs now, and these are going to be your mac drives... just bite the bullet and format them to HFS+. mucking around with all that cross-compatibility nonsense is silly if they are just going to be used on macs all the time.

    you can get a 1Tb external for like $70 at this point. just get another, format it right, and start shuffling data. easy, and pretty cheap. you'll need that other drive eventually anyhow.
  9. Szaka macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2009
    Just for correctness, Tuxera's former name was NTFS-3G Technology, i.e. we developed NTFS-3G :) However I agree that the change of our name wasn't communicated too well. Perhaps we focus too much on technology instead of marketing ;-)


    Szabolcs Szakacsits
    Chief Software Architect
    Tuxera Inc.

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