How to change external HD from Fat32

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by kovy17, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. kovy17 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    #1
    How can I change external hd so i can drag a 8 gig folder into it
     
  2. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE, USA
  3. iVeBeenDrinkin' macrumors 65816

    iVeBeenDrinkin'

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    #3
    Bingo
     
  4. kovy17 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    #4
    Thanks for the replies. Will I lose all my data on it if i do this? Also would someone be kind enough to walk me through what to do or provide a link that can help
     
  5. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #5
    Yes, you will lose all your data. You can't non-destructively convert the file system from FAT32 in OS X.

    Your best option would be to attach your HD to a Windows machine and convert it to NTFS. You can do it with the DOS command "convert X: /fs:ntfs" (I think, going by memory here - you'd better double and triple check first), where X: is the drive letter after you connect it.

    Then install NTFS-3g on your Mac to provide read/write access to NTFS.

    Edit: I'd better add a warning. Although "convert" is the safest way of converting Windows filesystems, there's always the chance of something going wrong in such a fundamental operation. Microsoft recommends you backup any data on the drive first.
     
  6. kovy17 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    #6
    So there is absolutley no other way to drag a file over 4gb into a external??
     
  7. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #7
    Not if it's FAT32.

    You do have a Windows machine, don't you? I'm assuming you do else there's no reason why you would have a FAT32 drive.
     
  8. kovy17 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    #8
    Actually I am not sure if its FAT32 or not. I just assumed it was cause i heard you cant drag a file larger than 4gb into it. Right after i bought the HD I plugged it straight into my mac. Its never been plugged into a windows machine.
     
  9. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #9
    Ah ok - you just used the default. External drives always come formatted as FAT32 since that's the format that will work in all OSs. I have only Macs at home, and the first thing I do with an external drive is format it as HFS+.

    Is there any way you can back up the data off the drive and reformat it? If you have Macs only, reformat as HFS (journalled)
     
  10. kovy17 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    #10
    Yes I have another drive I can put my files in. If you dont mind could you tell what i do in Disk utility to change it into Journaled.
     
  11. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #11
    The attached screen shot is from Leopard, but I seem to remember that Tiger's is similar - I'm not sure what OS you have. (Don't worry about those HD icons. I changed them to blue Apple symbols so I could tell at a glance if my drives were HFS+. All my drives are now, but I like the symbol)

    Select the external drive, select the Erase tab, then set the Volume Format to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and click the Erase button.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. i.shaun macrumors 6502a

    i.shaun

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #12
    the folder should go if it has smaller files in it all less than 4GB in size.


    I dragged my 20GB iTunes onto my FAT32 External Drive. You may wonder why I use a FAT32 drive, but it's simple. I could hook it to a mac, to a Pc, and to a Ps3.

    Sure I can find a way for the PC to read HFS+, or make the mac read NTFS, however the PS3 has no file system support for anything other than FAT32 and whatever it happens to use.
     
  13. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #13
    I have my main external drive set up to be shared from the Mac it is permanently connected to. When I bring home my work PC laptop, I just map it on the PC ... no need to physically switch the drive, so no need to format as anything other than HFS+
     

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