FAT vs. Mac Formating

lanray

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 18, 2005
238
3
I've got a Lacie external HD, and I didn't format it with Mac formating when I got it (so I assume it's FAT). Is there a program out there that will "look" at a file and help me so I can copy it from my iBook to the external HD? Right now, I get "your filename is too long or has funky characters" messages when I try to copy. I'd rather fix the file I'm copying than reformat the drive - which would mean I couldn't use it with Windows. Help? Thanks!
 

hcuar

macrumors 65816
Jul 23, 2004
1,065
0
Dallas
I'm not sure how to help you... however I prefer to use HFS+ (Mac format) over fat32. fat32 is crappy. I had all kinds of problems when my iPod was formated with fat32, I switched to HFS+ and all my problems have disappeared.
 
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freiheit

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2004
642
90
California
That's a strange message. FAT32 is junk, but it's the best cross-platform file system (ie. OS/2 to Windows, Mac to Windows, Linux to Windows, even for Windows XP to Windows 98). It should be able to handle filenames as long as those on Mac's HFS+. Have you run disk utility to verify the drive is formatted correctly (or at all) and that there's no file system problems?
 
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MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,650
29
USA
lanray said:
I've got a Lacie external HD, and I didn't format it with Mac formating when I got it (so I assume it's FAT). Is there a program out there that will "look" at a file and help me so I can copy it from my iBook to the external HD? Right now, I get "your filename is too long or has funky characters" messages when I try to copy. I'd rather fix the file I'm copying than reformat the drive - which would mean I couldn't use it with Windows. Help? Thanks!
It sounds like your external HD is FAT 16. If it is, then you would do well to reformat it.
 
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hcuar

macrumors 65816
Jul 23, 2004
1,065
0
Dallas
freiheit said:
That's a strange message. FAT32 is junk, but it's the best cross-platform file system (ie. OS/2 to Windows, Mac to Windows, Linux to Windows, even for Windows XP to Windows 98). It should be able to handle filenames as long as those on Mac's HFS+. Have you run disk utility to verify the drive is formatted correctly (or at all) and that there's no file system problems?
It's not strange... it's true. I think we are going to see better support down the road for NTFS which is by far better than fat32. I wouldn't even use fat32 in Windows if I could help it.
 
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wrldwzrd89

macrumors G5
Jun 6, 2003
12,107
75
Solon, OH
lanray said:
I've got a Lacie external HD, and I didn't format it with Mac formating when I got it (so I assume it's FAT). Is there a program out there that will "look" at a file and help me so I can copy it from my iBook to the external HD? Right now, I get "your filename is too long or has funky characters" messages when I try to copy. I'd rather fix the file I'm copying than reformat the drive - which would mean I couldn't use it with Windows. Help? Thanks!
There's a handy little program I use all the time for this sort of thing. It's called Mac2FAT, and it can be found here.
 
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lanray

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 18, 2005
238
3
thanks

I just bought the Lacie HD over Christmas. I'm assuming that it came formatted for FAT32. I will look in disk utilities to check it - can anyone offer more in the way of advise on how to do that? I'd like to keep the drive FAT32, despite the clear disdain that some hold for this format, because it will allow me to hook my drive up to Windows machines, which I have occasion to do, um, occasionally. What other cross-platform format would you suggest? And, can I format the disk with my Mac (iBook, most recent updates)? Thanks everyone!

Oh, and is there a way to format some of the disk, then copy what one the HD (about 15 gigs of stuff) to the reformatted side, then format the rest?

And, thanks for the Mac2Fat suggestion. I'll look into it, for certain.
 
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wrldwzrd89

macrumors G5
Jun 6, 2003
12,107
75
Solon, OH
lanray said:
I just bought the Lacie HD over Christmas. I'm assuming that it came formatted for FAT32. I will look in disk utilities to check it - can anyone offer more in the way of advise on how to do that? I'd like to keep the drive FAT32, despite the clear disdain that some hold for this format, because it will allow me to hook my drive up to Windows machines, which I have occasion to do, um, occasionally. What other cross-platform format would you suggest? And, can I format the disk with my Mac (iBook, most recent updates)? Thanks everyone!

Oh, and is there a way to format some of the disk, then copy what one the HD (about 15 gigs of stuff) to the reformatted side, then format the rest?

And, thanks for the Mac2Fat suggestion. I'll look into it, for certain.
Unfortunately, FAT32 is the only read/write-supported format that works on both Mac OS and Windows without extra software.

As far as formatting the disk for Windows goes, just select it (the top icon with the drive information, not the bottom one with the disk's name on it) in Disk Utility, choose the Erase tab, and select "MS-DOS format" from the pull-down menu (if that's still an option - it isn't available on my Mac for some reason). If that option isn't there, you'll have to format it on a Windows machine.

I don't know of any software on the Mac that can do this (you'd have to buy it if it exists), but I do know that there's a Windows program called PartitionMagic that can do this (it too must be purchased).
 
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YS2003

macrumors 68020
Dec 24, 2004
2,139
0
Finally I have arrived.....
Copying files from NTFS-formatted external HD

I use Arcomdata 160 GB external HD and 250 GB Lacie external HD for my 3 PBs (I did not format the HDs as they are ready for Mac right out of the box). I use 160 GB Lacie external HD for my HP Pavilion ZT1180 and Dell X200, which are formatted in NTFS. I use Dell for my work and I have many Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files I would like to copy over to my 12" PB periordically.

Can I just hook up the NTFS-formatted Lacie drive to my PB and just copy those files to Mac? I don't need to change the files on the external HD as it will be only updated with my Dell and HP.

I burned those files stored in my Dell onto a CD and I was able to open them on that CD and edit those files on my Mac as I have MS Office X. I heard you can open the files in an NTFS-formatted HD but cannot edit them.
 
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