formatting an exernal drive

Hibbity

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 28, 2005
76
0
I recently switched. it's like escaping the matrix ;)

Anyway, I have an external usb drive that i used for my pc. i can copy things from it to my mac, but i cannot change anything on the drive itself, i.e. i can't delete anything off it, add anything to it, etc.

I have te data on it backed up and i want to use m pc to format it. However, XP will only let me reformat in NTFS, and I've heard that you have to have it formatted for FAT32 in order for it to be totally compatible with macs. Is this right, and if so, does anyone know a way that I can format to FAT32 using XP?

Thanks all!
 

combatcolin

macrumors 68020
Oct 24, 2004
2,283
0
Northants, UK
Macs can READ OR WRITE to FAT32

Macs can only READ from NTFS

So, yes if you want to use the drive on both mchines you will have to format down to FAT32, its not that bad - iPods do this and the advantage for me of lugging 40GB about in my pocket outweighs the increase of storage wastage.
 

Hibbity

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 28, 2005
76
0
OK so I formatted it to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and now i can only use it on the Mac. My other two options (as far as Disk Utility is concerned) are Mac OS Extended and Unix File System. Will one of these make it so I can use the drive for both windows and Mac?
 

mcadam

macrumors 6502a
Apr 3, 2004
593
0
københavn
Hibbity said:
OK so I formatted it to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and now i can only use it on the Mac. My other two options (as far as Disk Utility is concerned) are Mac OS Extended and Unix File System. Will one of these make it so I can use the drive for both windows and Mac?
No, not as far as I know I'm afraid...

A
 

yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
16,033
1
Portland, OR
Technically, Panther (post 10.3.5) has "limited" write capabilities to NTFS volumes. But mostly that translates into it not working when you need it, so FAT32 is a much better choice.


1) Select the disk in Disk Utility, NOT what you have named the volume. For example, if you see:

Code:
111.8 GB ST3120026A
     HoJu
Select the "111.8 GB ST3120026A". Then go to the Erase tab. "MS-DOS File System" will now be available. This is FAT32.

OR

2) Buy MacDrive for your PC. It will allow the PC to read HFS+.
 
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