I can't edit anything on my external

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by AnimaLeo, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. AnimaLeo macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2009
    Since switching to Mac I haven't been able to edit anything on my externals. I can copy data onto it, but nothing else. I've just noticed that I've formatted it to NTFS, is this why? Do I have to re-format in FAT32 (I think that's it's name), the reason why I formatted to NTFS when I was using windows was because I wanted to transfer files over 4gb, how do you guys do this on a mac? If that's the problem.
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    Macs do can write to NTFS out of the box. If you want to transfer large files you are correct: FAT32 will not work. You could install MacFUSE and NTFS3G (Google will help you find these) and get write access to NTFS from Mac OSX. It's free...
  3. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    Yes, NTFS is why.

    If this external is only to be used on a Mac, format it as Mac (using Disk Utility), its more efficient, and means you dont need to defrag it ever. (obviously (?) reformatting will wipe whats on it now)

    If you'll be switching the drive between Mac and PCs , search for NTFS in this forum and you'll see pointers as to the drivers you need to install to be able to write NTFS as well as read.
  4. AnimaLeo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2009
    If I format it as Mac does that make it a FAT32 drive? If so, does this mean there will be the 4gb transfer limit?
  5. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    No, FAT32 is a Microsoft format. Native Mac is HFS+. It does not have a 4Gb limit but it cannot even be read by Windows (as Microsoft choose to only implement their own formats). You can install MacDrive on Windows to read/write HFS+ but it's not free.

    I think you're best option is to follow the suggestions I made in my first reply.
  6. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Format to Mac OS Extended (native OS x format) and on you Windows machine install MacDrive. This way your Windows machines can read/write to an OS Extended drive with no problem.

    Microsoft will not license NTFS to Apple or anyone else. However Apple will license their format to other manufactures.
  7. 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.
    • 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
  8. AnimaLeo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2009
    Thanks for all your help guys. I'm gona go for HFS+, then buy a memory stick for transferring files from my pc to my mac.
  9. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    I don't understand what you are saying. Out of the box OSX can read NTFS but not write.
  10. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    I changed what I was writing half way thought and cocked it up. Macs can actually write to NTFS out of the box, but it's turned off which was why I changed what i was writing…

  11. Jaikie macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2007
    Searching hard drive connected to Airport Extremeover network=no results! help!

    I have a LaCie hard drive attached to one of the USB ports on my airport extreme. I don't use it for back-ups, as I use an iomega drive for that, but simply storage of extra files. The odd thing is that I can't seem to search the drive over the network from my laptop. Yet when I connect the hard drive directly to my laptop, it works just fine.

    I have enabled file sharing in airport utility. Also, I just noticed that while my Epson printer is connected to the other port and I can use it just fine from the print menu, it doesn't show up under the printer menu on the airport utility.

    This drive is mac-formatted, but I thought I'd pose this question here, as many of you seem to be knowledgeable enough to figure this out.

    Any ideas?


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