need help with mini mac and external hdrives

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by OtakuInAlaska, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. OtakuInAlaska macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2012
    i just bought my new mini mac (I'm a new convert). I can't cut/paste/move to trash the contents of my external hard drive. i can copy from, but not to. I went to "Get Info" and is shows as "read only". I'm assuming this is the problem. I can't figure out how to fix it though. - i almost decided to drown/electrocute/run over my new mini mac until i saw that... please help me.
  2. simonk83 macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2012
    I'm going to assume your external is formatted as NTFS? Mac's can read but not write to NTFS volumes as far as I'm aware (not without external software anyway).
  3. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010


    Overview of the four major file systems (called "Formats" in Mac OS X) used on Windows and Mac OS X, compiled by GGJstudios. You can use Disk Utility to format any HDD to your liking.

    Any external hard drive will work with PCs or Macs, as long as the connectors are there (Firewire, USB, etc.) It doesn't matter how the drive is formatted out of the box, since you can re-format any way you like. Formatting can be done with the Mac OS X Disk Utility, found in the /Applications/Utilities folder. Here are your formatting options:

    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)

    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, here are some alternatives:
      • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
      • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
      • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
      • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, 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
    • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.

    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
    • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.
  4. OtakuInAlaska thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2012
    A HUGE thanks to you both

    i now understand the problem, and now Im sure my mini-mac-and-me will live a very productive life.

    (Mini-Mac extends gratitude as the blender was looking very a bit over-anxious too)

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