Formatting a USB 1TB Fantom Drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by drgrafix, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. drgrafix macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2008
    New England
    I just got a new 1TB Fantom Green Drive from MacMall and it's apparently formatted with FAT32. It's going to be connected to my iMAC and used as a drive to archive an assortment of graphic files (TIF, JPG, GIF, PNG, etc.) plus some old HTML files, and a dozen or so backed up DVDs which are probably larger than the FAT32 4 Gig limit. My PC had multiple smaller drives and my objective is to reduce clutter and eventually dump the separate PC and install Windows on my mac using Parallels or VMware Fusion.

    There's a readme with the Fantom that states you should either leave it as is, or reformat it with something called HFS+ which is new to me. Should I do that (and if so are there anything I should know about doing that), or is there a way to format it as a mac/OS X drive and still have the option of Windows looking at that drive down the road?

    For the moment at least... I'd like to just move all this stuff onto the drive and be able to grab stuff when needed. Sorry if this sounds a bit confusing.
  2. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    If it's to be used in a Mac only environment, the best thing to do is use HFS+ (which shows up as "Mac OS extended (Journaled)" in Disk Utility.

    Windows can't access HFS+ drives natively, but if you're only using Windows in a virtual machine using Parallels or VMWare, an attached HFS+ drive is still accessible since the Mac host is handling the connection.

    If you're booting into Windows, the best option is probably to convert the drive to NTFS (no need to reformat - use the DOS convert command from a PC) and install MacFUSE/NTFS-3g on the Mac.
  3. drgrafix thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2008
    New England
    Actually... your last suggestions sounds like it might work, but I have a question. I'm not booting into windows, but what I want to do is transfer all those various files which are on 3 HDDs, the largest of which is 250G, plus I have about 200 floppies to look at and extract files I want to save before dumping them. So all that stuff is going on the Fantom, and eventually... I hope to install windows on the mac via VMware Fusion or Parallels. I just bought Vista but I'm not opening the package until I'm all ready to get Fusion or Parallels and that may be month or two down the road.

    So for the moment I could do this through the mac, or hook up the drive to the PC and reformat it in NTFS. Then I'll still be able to access those files thru the mac now... or when I have windows installed... right?

    And BTW, thanks for the help... I'm not really that good with OS's and weird file extensions.
  4. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020


    Jun 14, 2008
    New Hampshire
    After reading your last post it would appear to be even simpler. If none of the individual files that you need to transfer are larger than 4Gb (not the total amount of data you want to transfer) you can simply leave the drive formatted as FAT32, hook it up to your PC and copy the files onto it. Your Mac and deal with a FAT32 formatted drive just fine with no additional software required (as opposed to NTFS which as plinden noted above would require additional software if you wish to have Mac OS write to it- Mac OS can already read from NTFS, but not write to it.)

    So the short version- if it is indeed formatted as FAT32 just attach it your PC, copy the files off then attach it to the Mac and it will still work fine!:)
  5. Innomi macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2009
    Solution from

    I found some helpful information at I was experiencing the same issues you've described, however the following addressed them:

    Q. My Macintosh computer is unable to format my 1.0tb (or larger) external hard disk.
    A. MacOSX has difficulty reformatting these large volumes. To fix it you must repartition the drive with a Mac partition scheme. In Disk Utility, go to the Partitions tab, where it says, "current" select "1 partition" and then click "options" at the bottom of the page. In the window that pops up please select either APM (Power PCs) or GUID (Intel Macs). Click Apply and then Partition, the format should complete within a matter of minutes.

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