External Harddrive won't let me write on it.

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Bethany-Wings, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. Bethany-Wings macrumors member

    Bethany-Wings

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    #1
    I have a Maxtor One Touch III, 320 GB. I'm trying to back up my whole MAC computer (which amounts to about...a little over 100 GB...so too big for DVD's), but it won't let me delete or add anything to the harddrive. It'll let me copy things off it, but it won't let me delete or add. How do I change the settings? I have a PC I can use it with, so I can do the settings there.

    Or maybe there's an online backup place for free? I just need a LOT of space to back everything up for a while, since I have to redo my entire computer.
     
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #2
    Did you use it straight out of the box, or did you initialize it under OS X as an HFS+ volume?
     
  3. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

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    #3
    click on the external drive on your desktop and press command+I. what does it say next to format?
     
  4. Bethany-Wings thread starter macrumors member

    Bethany-Wings

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    #4
    At first, this was used on my Windows laptop, but I changed to a Mac a little while after that.

    It says here...Windows NT Filesystem.

    How can I make it Mac?
     
  5. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

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    #5
    Mac OS X can only read Windows NT Filesystem (NTFS) and not write to.

    to write to it reformat to Mac OS Extended (HFS) with Disk Utility. this will erase everything on the disk.

    if you dont want to reformat you can install MacFuse and NTFS3g to allow write access to NTFS.
     
  6. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

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    #6
    Luckily it is pretty straight forward to convert the drive to a Mac format. If you need some assistance with that here is a quick guide to the process:

    • Start up Disk Utility in your Utilities folder
    • Select the disk in the left column of Disk Utility
    • Click the Partition tab at the top of the screen
    • Change the "Volume Scheme:" via the pulldown menu to "1 partition"
    • Click the "Options" button at the bottom
    • Select "GUID" in the window that appears. Click OK to dismiss the window
    • Give the drive a name and select "Mac OS Extended (Journaled) in the "Volume Information" section
    • Click "Apply", then click "Partition" in the confirmation window
    • Wait about 20 seconds or so and the drive will be ready for normal Mac use and it will appear on your desktop. You can then quit Disk Utility.
     
  7. GizmoDVD macrumors 65816

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    SoCal
    #7
    Is there any way to read/write both from an XP/Windows 7 computer and OSX10.5? I'd like to move files back and fourth between computers.
     
  8. GizmoDVD macrumors 65816

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    SoCal
    #9
    That will work with any USB Powered HD? I plan on getting one today.
     
  9. MattZani macrumors 68030

    MattZani

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  10. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

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    #11
    The first thing to do when you get your new drive is to connect it and determne which file system is currently preformatted as. Click the icon that appears on the desktop one time, then select "Get Info" from the "File" menu. In the window that appears you will see a line titled "Format:" which is what we are interested in.

    If that line reads FAT32 (or similar) there is no need to install the MacFUSE software as Macs and PCs can both read and write to the drive natively. The only downside to using FAT32 is that no individual file can be read/written if it is larger than 4Gb, but there are relatively few files that are that huge.

    Now if the "Format:" line reads "NTFS" (or similar) then Macs require the MacFUSE system to write to the drive- Macs can already read files from that format.

    A successful software installation requires that you install both MacFUSE and NTFS-3G (in that order) as MacFUSE is just the base that allows many other special formats to be used, and NTFS-3G is the specific driver that makes MacFUSE understand the NTFS filesystem. Both required parts are free.

    You can download MacFUSE here
    and
    NTFS-3G here

    Good luck!
     
  11. bobr1952 macrumors 68020

    bobr1952

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    Melbourne, FL
    #12
    I usually format my external drives is fat32--an easy option in OS-X--to make them compatible to Windows.
     
  12. yadmonkey macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

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    #13
    Not recommended for backups and won't work with files larger than 4GB. Also makes the disk incompatible with Mac utilities like Disk Warrior.

    Otherwise, it works in multi-platform situations.
     
  13. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #14
    Doesn't FAT32 have a 32 gb volume size limit?
     
  14. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

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    #15
    Only when formatted on a PC - it is an arbitrary limit that is enforced there. I have read that formatting FAT32 on a Mac has I believe a 2Tb theoretical limit.
     
  15. yadmonkey macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

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    #16
    Yep, but I don't think it's arbitrary... MS wants everybody using NTFS so they put the limit on FAT32 volumes when formatting from Windows. If you format it on a Mac, you can do larger volumes and PCs will recognize them.
     
  16. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

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    #17
    Yeah, I'm sure there was some logic to the decision to limit those volumes to 32Gb in Windows, so arbitrary is a poor choice of words. Agreed on the PC recognizing Mac formatted FAT32 volumes of any size.
     
  17. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #18
    So if I initialize a 500 gb drive on my Mac as FAT32, then I can read and write to it on my MBP with Win XP under Boot Camp, or will it fail to read/write since it's over 32 gb?
     
  18. VPrime macrumors 68000

    VPrime

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    #19
    It will be fine.
     
  19. klcc88 macrumors member

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    Feb 28, 2008
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    Ontario, Canada
    #20
    Would you be able to use Carbon Copy Cloner as a back up and still have it be used as a bootable external drive even if it's formatted under Fat32?
     
  20. yadmonkey macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

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    #21
    No, wouldn't work. I would never format a drive to FAT32 unless it was specifically for use between a Mac and a PC and was not going to be used for backup purposes.

    When you make a drive FAT32, you take away the ability to repair the thing with utilities like Diskwarrior. That alone makes it a poor choice for backup purposes. But you can't boot to the Mac OS on a FAT32 partition.

    Personally I use HFS+ for every drive and keep a thumb drive or two in FAT32 for moving data between PCs and Macs.
     
  21. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

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    #22
    I have experimented quite a bit with this and yes, you can do that IF you use Disk Utility and:

    • Use the "Partition" tab to establish at least two partitions on the drive with a GUID partition table map, using "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" on the partition you want to use to clone to, and "MS-DOS (FAT)" (as Disk Utility calls FAT32) on the other partition for the "Volume Info:" of each. Even with the GUID partition table map, PCs can see the FAT volume when the drive is attached to one.

    This is necessary because neither Carbon Copy Cloner nor SuperDuper will clone drives to drives formatted at FAT32. Carbon Copy Cloner will just not let you select your FAT32 drive as the "target" for the clone operation, while SuperDuper will pop up the message attached below when you try to start the clone which makes it clear why they cannot work.
     

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  22. klcc88 macrumors member

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    Feb 28, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #23
    Thanks...should have waited for your replies...LOL...formated to fat32 and tried cloning then read your response and reformated it back to os journ... lol. that's ok....as long as I can use it for storing of all my data and transfer to thumb drive if needed. I have only one MBP at home and wanted to use my ext hd on my pcs in the even my MBP died for any urgent docs...but will find another way...
     
  23. yadmonkey macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

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    Location:
    Western Spiral
    #24
    There is another way, I think. There are programs which will let you read/write HFS formatted drives on Windows machines. I haven't tried this, but here's one of them...

    http://www.download.com/TransMac/3000-2248_4-10017073.html?tag=mncol
     

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