FAT32 bliss!

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by queshy, Jul 21, 2007.

  1. queshy macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #1
    Hi,

    So I got a mbp yesterday and wanted to transfer my iTunes library from my iMac to my mbp. I had an HP personal media hard drive that I used on [my now obselete] PC and I was never able to get my iMac to write to it - only read. I just read that the problem was because it was formatted for NTFS which was not mac-writable. I found this nifty PC program (swissknife or something) and it fixed it!

    It was a very nice surprise because I was anticipating dropping 100$ on a new drive. :)
     
  2. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #2
    thanks for the tip from the program. there are a number of other programs aswell that do the same thing. macdrive 6/7 is a shareware but does the same thing (excellent program i use this myself) and theres another called HFSExplorer (freeware) its also good, apparently.

    can i suggest changing ur thread name. maybe to NTFS bliss???
     
  3. queshy thread starter macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #3
    But why? I had to change to FAT32, no?

    and the program I used was windows only...but thanks for the tip
     
  4. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #4
    i thout u were talking about NTFS being the topic for the subject.. arent u talking about that lol? i sugegsted that to make it seem more accurate to what the issue is.

    i have no idea im so confused
     
  5. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #5
    The app converted a drive formatted as NTFS to FAT32 by my reckoning. This made it easier for files to be transferred between Macs and PCs. For most users, I think using a FAT32 drive is much easier than using either HFS+ or NTFS with various third party apps needing to be installed on the non-compliant operating systems. Thanks for the tip on the app queshy. :)
     
  6. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #6
    ooohhh it makes sense now....

    thats a really handy app!!! never knew you could do that. thankyou for sharing it
     
  7. queshy thread starter macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #7
    yup, I'm not too knowledgeable about the different file formats, but I honestly thought I was going to have to buy a new hard drive: I had a whole bunch of media backed up from my PC and I was able to transfer it ok to my mac, but when I wanted to transfer some stuff from the mac to the hard drive, it didn't work.

    I'm pretty sure this is what I downloaded:
    http://www.compuapps.com/Download/swissknife/swissknife.htm

    I'm saying "pretty sure" because this was on my PC, and I try to use my PC as little as possible :))) so I don't 100% recall if that was the program.

    But in the future should this happen to other mac switchers, I made this post so other users could benefit :)
     
  8. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    Apr 3, 2004
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    #8
    Excellent. For future reference you can reformat drives with Disk utility on your Mac. However, that will erase all your data. :eek:
     
  9. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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  10. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #10
    Yeah, it's called MS-DOS File System. Disk Utility bypasses the 32GB partition limit that Windows has too. So arguably it's better than Windows' own native formatting tool.
     
  11. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #11
    intersting. i see i am an idiot, thanks for making me aware of that mate. hahaha. 32GB limit it is, 2GB for FAT16 :rolleyes: lols.
     
  12. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
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    #12
    No worries mate. You picked me up before my edit. Ignore the 128GB part - Windows can only format FAT32 to 32GB natively. Of course there are third party Windows apps that will give you larger partitions, most of which cost money.
     
  13. aye5882 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    #13
    hey guys. i too am trying to format my external to fat32. however, i can't find the " MS-DOS File System" in disk utility. i only saw it under the RAID tab and i don't think that's right.

    any suggestions?
     
  14. dkoralek macrumors 6502

    dkoralek

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    #14
    How big is your hard disk. As mad jew pointed out fat32 is limited to 32gig partitions (so if the partition you want to format is bigger than that, disk utility won't give you the option of formatting it as fat32. you'll have to use another utility to do so (some drive manufacturers will provide utilities on their support pages that will do this).

    cheers.
     
  15. aye5882 macrumors member

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    Jun 13, 2006
    #15
    doesn't this mean that it can format drives larger than 32gb? i have the freeagent 250gb.
     
  16. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #16
    yeap it means exactly that! only windows formatting from the native windows disk manager thingo have that limitation.... most other 3rd party apps can bypass this.
     
  17. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #17
    Okay. There seem to be a few unclear statements and a bit of confusion here so I thought I'd try to help out a little.


    • Windows' native formatting tool cannot partition FAT32 to anything larger than 32GB.
    • Other apps, including Apple's Disk Utility, can bypass this limitation and format FAT32 to much larger sizes. There's a theoretical limit but it's not relevant here.
    • If a drive is larger than 32GB and you format it in Windows as FAT32, it will still format. However, it will be reduced to 32GB in size.


    aye5882, you're not wanting the RAID tab. Post a screenshot of the Erase tab in Disk Utility and we'll try to see why it's not allowing you to reformat as FAT32. :)
     
  18. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
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    #18
    madjew i had a similar problem to aye5882. i was unable to format as fat32, i think simply because it was on osx... i know i know thats impossible it has to be able to format it!! but i donno.... the way i had to do it was format it as fat32 on a windoze machine...

    but yea still post those piccies up and we'll have a crack at them buggers
     
  19. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #19
    Get MacFuse (google it). It allows full Read/Write functionality in OSX. Save you from using FAT32. The only thing to remember is to unmount your drive properly. Which shouldn't be a problem if you are restarting to use bootcamp.

    Look here and here.
     
  20. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #20

    That's bizarre. I've always been able to format as FAT32. Was the problem that it wouldn't let you format as anything, or was it only MS-DOS File System that was missing from the list? :)
     
  21. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #21
    only MS-DOS was missing. i chose MBR and everything. it was really wierd. ive got it sorted now tho so all is well
     
  22. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    Nov 3, 2005
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    UK
    #22
    Windows can't format to FAT32 above a 32GB Partition, Mac OS X can however make much larger FAT32 partitions, you use Disk Utility (in /Applications/Utilities/) to do it.
     
  23. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #23
    This is a forced limit in XP (and maybe 2000). You can format up to the max FAT32 Size in older versions of windows from 95B on.
     
  24. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #24
    You don't see an option like this...?

    [​IMG]

    Fat32 does have a 4GB file size limit which is really annoying - since I have programs that are bigger than 4GB and I have to burn them to DVD in order to store them. Also making an image of my OSX partition is a no no too.
     
  25. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    Nov 3, 2005
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    UK
    #25
    But virtually everyone who uses Windows uses XP/2000 so I didn't think it was worth mentioning ;).
     

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