Formatting external hard drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by NikonNick, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. NikonNick macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2011

    I've just bought a Mac Mini a few days ago after finally making the switch from windows & so I'm still very much feeling my way around the Mac world.

    I have a Samsung 500gb usb powered external drive that I usually have attached to a Western Digital TV Live unit which is connected to my TV by HDMI which worked fine when I was using it on my PC to copy files to.

    On connecting it to my new Mac and found i couldnt save files to that drive and figured that I needed to format it somehow so I could copy .avi files to it on the mac and that the WD TV can then read them.

    I've tried a couple of formatting options using the disk utility on the MAC and can now copy files to it but the WD TV won't register the newly formatted drive when i connect it via the USB.

    Sorry for such a newbie query & any incorrect terminology but I'd be real grateful for any suggestions that might help.


  2. JamesMB macrumors 68000


    Jan 2, 2011
    I don't know how you formatted the drive, but I bet that the WD TV needs to see FAT 32. If you format the Samsung as Fat 32, the Mac will still be able to read and write to it.
  3. agentphish macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2004
    it sounds like the drive is formatted as NTFS, which natively, OS X can not write to, but can read from.

    You can use disk utility for format as MS-DOS Formatted FAT32, or you can do it on Windows too.
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
    • Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
    • To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X: Install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free)
    • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx 33USD).
    • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended)
    • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
    • Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner backups of Mac internal hard drive.
    • To Read/Write HFS+ from Windows, Install MacDrive
    • To Read HFS+ (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
    • Maximum file size: 8EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 8EiB
    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • exFAT partitions created with OS X 10.6.5 are inaccessible from Windows 7
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB

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