External USB Drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by BobH, Nov 5, 2006.

  1. BobH macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2006
    I have a 100gb Hitachi TravelStar USB drive that was orginally formatted NTFS, and used it on an XP PC with no problems. When I moved to the Intel MacBook Pro, I experienced the well-known read-only syndrome. Since I only care about using it on the Mac, I tried to reformat it to Mac OS Extended (Journaled), but Disk Utility wouldn't do it.

    Back on the PC, I tried reformatting the entire disk to FAT32, but XP would only allow NTFS. So then (again on the PC) I repartitioned the drive into a 75/25 split, and I it would let me format the smaller partition as FAT32, but not the larger one.

    Since what I really want to do is store movies for my IPOD Video on this drive, I want to have files larger than 4 gig.

    Does anyone know of a utility that will format this drive for the MacBook Pro?
  2. NYmacAttack macrumors 6502


    Dec 8, 2005
    Disk Utility will format the drive as FAT32. You want the "MS-DOS File System" option. Select the drive itself in Disk Utility, and then select the "Erase" or "Partition" tab to get the options you want. Remember that FAT32 has a 4GB file size limit, meaning that no files should be larger than 4GB in size. You can create files on, and copy files to, a FAT32-formatted volume that are larger than 4GB, however, it's not stable and you run the likely risk of data loss.

    Another option would be to format the volume as HFS+, and get some software for Windows that will allow you to read and write to the Mac-formatted volume. You get the benefits of formatting the drive as HFS+, and the compatibility of being able to read/write to the volume using Windows.
  3. BobH thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2006
    I tried both of those techniques, and HFS+ would be my preference. Disk Utility just hangs (I gave it several hours). Of course, there's no status indication while it's doing its thing, so there's really no way to tell (except when writing zeros to the disk in security options, when it guesses how much time is left).

    Meanwhile, back on the PC, I was able to get 3 FAT32 partitions on the drive. Apparently XP won't do a FAT32 partition bigger than 32 gig.

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