external hdd reformat?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by melissarae, May 16, 2008.

  1. melissarae macrumors regular

    melissarae

    Joined:
    May 2, 2008
    Location:
    tampa, florida
    #1
    i just recently switched from pc to mac... i have a 320gb external hdd that i just simply unplugged from my pc and plugged into my iMac. it shows up on my iMac, however, i cannot "write" to it. same with my smaller 40GB external. is this because i need to reformat them for mac? or is there some sort of permissions preference that needs to be changed? what's the point of having an external hdd if i can't write to it!! grrr... :mad:

    thanks for you help ;o)
     
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #2
    It's probably initialized as NTFS, which Macs can read, but not write. Macs can r/w to FAT32 disks. If you want to use it as Mac only, you should initialize as an extended and journaled mac volume. If you plan to boot from it, you need to give it a GUID partition map if you're on an Intel mac, or Apple partition map if you're on a PowerPC mac.

    1. Open Disk Utilities (HD/Applications/Utilities folder).
    2. Select the drive you wish to initialize. Make sure you select the drive and not any partition that is below the drive and indented.
    3. Click on the partition tab and choose the number of partitions you want to make from the pull-down menu.
    4. Click on Options and choose GUID or APM.
    5. Initialize the drive.
     
  3. melissarae thread starter macrumors regular

    melissarae

    Joined:
    May 2, 2008
    Location:
    tampa, florida
    #3
    thanks i'll have to try that out when i get home tonight. not 100% sure what all of that means (FAT32 disks, NTFS, GUID, etc), but i'm sure i'll be able to figure it out.
     
  4. melissarae thread starter macrumors regular

    melissarae

    Joined:
    May 2, 2008
    Location:
    tampa, florida
    #4
    before i do this... am i going to loose all my data on the external? or should i back it up somewhere before attempting to do this?
     
  5. phalewhale macrumors 6502a

    phalewhale

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    #5
    If you haven't already done so, you'd need to attach the drive to the PC, back up the content to some other device, format the drive you are moving to the mac as FAT32 (providing you need to connect the drive to the PC again in the future), then copy all your stuff back across to the drive.

    Connect it up to your Mac, and you'll have all your files.
     
  6. melissarae thread starter macrumors regular

    melissarae

    Joined:
    May 2, 2008
    Location:
    tampa, florida
    #6
    thanks... i'm planning on working on this in the next few days.
     

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