Moving Files to External Drive

Discussion in 'macOS' started by slabman, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. slabman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Location:
    Plano TX
    #1
    In trying to move my Iphoto or Itunes files to an external drive, I get the following error message: "The items cannot be moved because "External Data" cannot be modified". Can anyone explain what is going on and why it won't allow me to move these files?
     
  2. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #2
    I assume your external hard drive is called "External Data" ?

    Have you formatted it?
     
  3. slabman thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Location:
    Plano TX
    #3
    Yes, the external HD is called "external data" and it has been formatted. In fact, I have moved files from it to my internal Mac HD, but now it won't let me move them back! I don't understand why the files it won't let me move are called "External Data" when most of them were created on the Mac itself and have never come from anything "external".
     
  4. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #4
    What format did you use? Sounds like it might be formatted as NTFS (Windows) as opposed to HFS+ (Macintosh). FAT32 works between PC's and Macs, but you are limited to a maximum individual file size of 4GB's.
     
  5. slabman thread starter macrumors member

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    Plano TX
    #5
    Thanks, Kila. That thought did occur to me, but I don't remember what I used. How can I find out? Because I use Windows on this machine as well as Leopard, I wonder what format I should have used?
     
  6. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

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    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #6
    You say it was formatted, but was that on a Mac or on a PC? I suspect the same thing as Kilamite since a drive formatted at NTFS can be read from a Mac but not written (without adding more software to allow it).

    Take a look in Disk Utility at the "Format:" and "Partition Map Scheme:" in the info at the bottom when the drive is selected. You will need to select the device line on the left and then the volume line right below it to see both of those items. If you let us know those two items we can have a lot better chance of getting this working.
     
  7. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #7
    Plug in your external hard drive then load up Disk Utility (press CMD+Spacebar and type it into Spotlight). Then select your external hard drive's partition, and down the bottom left it'll tell you the format.

    If you are moving between Windows and your Mac, then use FAT32 - however you said you are going to put your iPhoto library onto it which is technically a single file and that will be at some point over 4GB's if it isn't already.

    I'd keep it as NTFS if you are moving between PC's and get MacFUSE for your Mac. This will enable you to write to NTFS drives.
     
  8. littleb2005 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    #8
    to check go to your applications folder then utilities and then disk utility

    or right click on your external hd and click get info
     
  9. slabman thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Location:
    Plano TX
    #9
    OK, so now the "light bulb" goes on in my brain. I did set up this external drive using my old Windows-based PC and can confirm I used NTFS. So where does that leave me? Is MacFUSE that simple to use, leaving the format as-is? Or should I just nix this whole idea and get another HD, dedicated solely to the Mac? I still use a PC part time and the wife also has one, so we'd like to be able to do some backups, but maybe this is asking for too many complications? Having a second, Mac-based HD may not be all that bad, either?
     
  10. littleb2005 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    #10
    download macfuse and install then download ntfs-3g for mac then install and restart and then you should be able to write to the drive
     
  11. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

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    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #11
    The combination of MacFUSE and NTFS-3G have worked fine for me, but I have limited need to write to NTFS drives. Some users claim that it is flaky and imposes a speed penalty but I cannot confirm that.

    On the other hand a commercial solution that has gotten a lot of good feedback is a program called Paragon NTFS for Mac so you also might want to check that out for additional info.

    EDIT: Yes, MacFUSE and NTFS-3G are quite simple to install and don't modify the disk at all (they just add the ability to write to NTFS to your OSX installation), and once installed they work transparently (with no prefs to set, etc.).
     
  12. slabman thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 13, 2008
    Location:
    Plano TX
    #12
    OK, Doc, so I got both of 'em installed, but now I can't see my external HD at all. Where'd it go? I think this is going to get more complicated than I imagined.....:(
     
  13. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #13
    Yikes! :eek: That is indeed unexpected, at least in my experience. In both of the systems I have installed in on, the drives just showed as normal after a reboot.... :confused:

    You might want to check out the MacFUSE FAQ page if you have not already. Even if it does not solve the problem directly it does have the uninstall instructions to get you back to where you started from anyway, though that does not solve the initial problem we all were discussing of course.

    Another thought if the FAQ doesn't help is to uninstall it and then check the earlier link to Paragon to see if they offer a demo download to see if that might resolve the issue.

    All of that being said, I personally am a big fan of your idea of just having a dedicated external to each of the systems in the first place which would avoid any of the complications here or down the road! ;)
     

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