External HDD format question

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by i-sidd, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. i-sidd macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2006
    Guys, I am about to buy a Network media tank (popcorn hour A-100) and I am planning to buy an external drive to use with it.
    I have a Macbook version 10.4 and plan on buying a Western Digital External HDD 1TB Elements and the NMT forum suggested that it should be formatted from FAT32 to either NTFS for read only capabilities and Ext3 for read/write capabilities, but they did not know how to do this format for a Mac and I clearly don't how to format a drive to either of these format.

    So if anyone would be kind enough to help me here and give me pointers as to how I can format the ext HDD into either NTFS or ext3 format so I can use it with the popcorn hour. I don't even know if I can do it with my Macbook.

    Kindly Suggest
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    Install MacFUSE and NTFS-3G. An option to format to NTFS should appear in Disk Utility, and you'll get read/write NTFS support on your Mac to boot.

    Attached Files:

    • ntfs.png
      File size:
      151.8 KB
  3. i-sidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2006
    So installing the MacFuse and NTFS 3G will do the trick.
    Do I need to install both or just one. Sorry for the noob question so this way I will be able to use the HDD with the popcorn hour.
  4. kastenbrust macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2008
    North Korea
    you install MacFuse first, then NTFS-3G, of course as you asked, you need both.
  5. i-sidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2006
    Here is a guy who is having problems with the external drive. I am pasting his post here. Instead of 10.5 I have the 10.4 and a Macbook instead of an imac.

    This is his setup
    Popcorn Hour A-110
    I installed a 1TB WD Hard drive into the A110. The A110 formatted this drive itself
    The A-110 is connected to the a Time capsule, which is what is running the network in my room. This is a wired connection.
    I have an one of the new imacs running OSX (10.5.6). The imac is also connected to this same network. through the time capsule.
    I have media on the imac which i can easily run through the A110, using network share. NO PROBLEM! I also have a 1TB Lacie connected to the imac through firewire 800, and the content on that can also be accessed on the A110 through network share. NO PROBLEM!!
    I can also drag and copy files onto the internal 1TB HDD installed in the A-110, from the imac, over the network. NO ISSUES!!


    Recently i purchased another 1TB external HDD & a 300 GB WD External HDD.
    Both of them were formatted on Mac OS X (Extended). 
I filled the 300 GB completely with MKV’s. The 1TB has around 500 GB left in it. After uploading all the data onto them, i then connected these drives to each one of the USB ports on the A110.
    Both the drives shows up on the imac’s network sharing window. I can access the content on both these HDD’s through the imac over the network.
    My intention was that whatever new content i download on the imac, i could easily drag and drop this content into the external HDD’s connected to the A110 (Usb’s,
    (LIKE I DO WITH THE INTERNAL HDD INSTALLED IN THE A110) and just play it from there, instead of having it on my imac (which takes up space), and also to avoid issues of network lag when playing large files.
    To my utter disappointment, this is “apparently” not possible.

    After a lot of reading and research, this is the situation

    IF the drives are formatted in Mac OSX (Extended), i can copy whatever i want when the drive is connected to my imac. But when i attach this drive to the network, there are some permission issues and OSX does not let me do so.
    IF the drives are formatted in FAT32, when connected to the imac, OSX does not let me put in a file bigger than 4GB (apparently this is a limitation with FAT#32 formatting). Over the network, the file transfer starts, but OSX gives me an error at the end every time.
    IF i format the drives in NTFS, when connected directly to the imac, OSX does not let put anything in them due to some permission issues. I then did some more research, and found out that using a program called MACFUSE, it was then possible to put files into the drives with NTFS formatting, when connected directly to the imac. Over the network (when connected to the A110’s USb ports) its the same story - OSX does not allow me to do so.

    Please can anyone help me out?!? what should i do? This is my basic aim

    I want to connect these external HDD’s to the USB Ports on the A110.
    I want to be able to drag and copy media onto these drives through the network from my imac, using network share. ( I CAN EASILY DO THIS WITH THE INTERNAL DRIVE IN THE A110, OVER THE NETWORK)

    The only solution i see is to format the drives in Mac OSX Extended. Bring them to the Imac every time i need to upload something. Then connect it back to the popcorn and view it then.

    Honestly, i cannot bring myself to believe that this is my last resort. Im sure there is a solution to it, and i would greatly appreciate anyones help.

    Does anyone know why after having the Macfuse and the NTFS-3G istalled and formatting the Ext. HDD its causing problems is there a work around.

  6. kastenbrust macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2008
    North Korea
    I think its your network setup because im doing what you do, i have two Freecom 1TB network drives attached to my Wireless N router, using LAN from the Hard Drive to the Router, and then Wireless to my computer, and they are formatted in NTFS so anyone can access them in the house. I dont have read/write issues.
  7. i-sidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2006
    Ok So Installed Macfuse and NTFS-3G and it shows in the system preference. I will be getting my ext HDD in a few days just ordered:)
    So when I plug the ext HDD I should be able to see the option of NTFS under disk utilities because now I don't see it there.

    As far as the network goes, my last post was a copy of another persons post who has set it up the way he did. Thats not my set up.
    I just want to be able to put more than 4GB files on the ext HDD and the only way it seems is by NTFS and when I connect the USB of the EXT HDD to the Popcorn Hour A-110 I should be able to play movies, music of it.

    I have no idea about how to do network so I don't know how I would be able to keep the Ext HDD plugged into the Popcorn Hour and be able to see its files from my Macbook.
  8. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    You should see it there now. Have you restarted?
  9. i-sidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2006
    I have restarted my Macbook and still I don't see the option. I guess since an ext. usb drive is not attached thats why it snot showing up. Now when I go to disk utility there is only the macintosh HD and the drop down is grayed out so I can't select the drop down.

    Do you think attaching a usb memory stick would let me be able to see whether the NTFS is installed or not.

    I downloaded Macfuse first and the NTFS-3G from the link you provided, after I downloaded and installed Macfuse then I installed NTFS-3G, but the NTFS-3G from where I downloaded said that the version I am downloading has Macfuse in it as well. So I don't know if I did anything wrong.

    Do I have to uninstall and download again

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