Help, cannot change permission on external HD

Discussion in 'macOS' started by janabanana, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. janabanana macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2005
    I cannot change the "read only" selection under permissions for my external hard drive. I need to delete some files off of this drive, is there a way i can change this, i have tried restarting. The drive is from a pc that crashed and i can view all the files just can't delete anything.


    Powermac G5, 2ghz, 1gb ram, OSX tiger
  2. swiftaw macrumors 603


    Jan 31, 2005
    Omaha, NE, USA
    If the hard drive is from a PC it is probably formatted using NTFS. OS X can read NTFS disks but cannot write to them, that is why you cannot change permissions.
  3. Linkjeniero macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2005
    If your disk was being used under Windows, probably it's in the NTFS file system. If that's the case, you can't write anything to it, because that file system is read-only in Unix systems, including Mac OS X (thanks to M$, I might add). If you will use the disk only in Macs, I recommend you format it to the Mac file system (HFS+ if I recall correctly). If you need Windows compatibility, format it to FAT32, wich is the older Microsoft file system, and its read and write compatible with Mac OS X.
  4. freauwaru macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2008
    I wonder if this is still the case with Intel-based Macs.
    If so, is it possible to save my files to my Mac, reformat the drive, and then put the files back onto the reformatted external drive?
    Well, I guess I can move the files to my desktop, eject the drive, and then see if they are safe to use.

    I did notice that my Mac cannot even recognize my hard drive with eight-year-old Linux formatting but can mount my external drive with SUSE 7.1.

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