How do I format external HDD so it can read/write?

butters149

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 22, 2009
296
0
Hi,

How do I format an external HDD to read/write on a mac osx running snow leopard, and also let it be able to be readable on windows vista/7?
 

shwc

macrumors regular
Jul 2, 2005
205
0
Format it as MS-Dos (FAT) using the program Disk Utility.
Both windows and mach can read FAT.

The following is from the help function in disk utility:
NOTICE:Formatting a disk erases its files. Copy files you want to save to another disk before formatting the disk.

To format a disk for Windows computers:

In Disk Utility, select the disk you want to format for Windows computers.

Click Erase, and choose MS-DOS (FAT) from the Format pop-up menu.

Type a name for the disk.

The name’s maximum length is 11 characters.

Click the Erase button, and then click Erase again.
 

Lokrado

macrumors regular
Jan 26, 2009
210
0
Denmark
Format it as MS-Dos (FAT) using the program Disk Utility.
thats just gay tbh, FAT32 is useless these days, it can only handle files below 4GB..

if you wanna use files larger then 4GB you will have to install software on either machine.

if you want to use NTFS - the faildows format - you can install paragon NTFS 8.0 to enable write access from the mac (it can already read NTFS)
if you want to use the mac format HFS+ you can install macdrive on the faildows machine to enable it to read and write to HFS+.

both these formats support files up to 16 EB (and yes i men EB), the hard drive capasity is however usually limited to 2TB by the disk hardware, but then again most people don't have 2TB disks yet.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,420
759
FAT32
  • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
  • No individual file larger than 4GB.
NTFS
HFS
  • Read/Write HFS from native Mac OS X
  • To Read/Write HFS from Windows, Install MacDrive
  • To Read HFS (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
 

butters149

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 22, 2009
296
0
ok im confused, I cannot install windows on my Mac right now because I have replaced my optical drive with a hard drive.

I want to put my movie on the external HDD and to be able to let my siblings back at home view them on their Windows computer.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,420
759
ok im confused, I cannot install windows on my Mac right now because I have replaced my optical drive with a hard drive.

I want to put my movie on the external HDD and to be able to let my siblings back at home view them on their Windows computer.
You don't have to install Windows on your Mac. Read my post about NTFS, follow those instructions, then you can format the drive as NTFS from your Mac.
 

butters149

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 22, 2009
296
0
so only the Host (Me on my Mac) would need to install those software? My sibling's PC (running on Windows) will not need to install anything?
 

spinnerlys

Guest
Sep 7, 2008
14,335
7
forlod bygningen
so only the Host (Me on my Mac) would need to install those software? My sibling's PC (running on Windows) will not need to install anything?
As Windows is able to write and read NTFS formatted volumes, and read and write to FAT32 formatted volumes, there is no need to install additional software on Windows.

NTFS-3G only is meant for Mac OS X, to be able to write to NTFS formatted volumes.
 

butters149

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 22, 2009
296
0
so i would be doing the formatting with those softwares and not through disk utilities?
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,420
759
so i would be doing the formatting with those softwares and not through disk utilities?
No, you enable NTFS or install NTFS-3G on your Mac. Then you can format the drive using Disk Utility. Until you enable NTFS or install NTFS-3G, Disk Utility doesn't show NTFS as a formatting option.
 

butters149

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 22, 2009
296
0
after i installed the program and restarted i get an error when trying to "erase" the drive and selecting the NTFS-3.

It says: Disk erase failed with error: File system formatter failed
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,420
759
after i installed the program and restarted i get an error when trying to "erase" the drive and selecting the NTFS-3.

It says: Disk erase failed with error: File system formatter failed
Don't use the Erase option.
  1. In Disk Utility, select the drive (where it shows the drive capacity)
  2. Click the Partition tab.
  3. Select 1 Partition as the Volume Scheme
  4. Select NTFS
  5. Click Apply
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