Permissions for an external HD

Discussion in 'macOS' started by lukethechemist, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. lukethechemist macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2008
    I've had a mac for about a month, so please be gentle...

    I've connected my Maxtor 1TB external HD via USB to my new MacBook Pro. I then tried to copy some files to one of the existing folders on the said external hard drive. I wasn't permitted to do it; I was given the message that the folder I was trying to copy something into "could not be modified". Now, I went to Get Info on the folder and I'm told that i can only Read the folder. There are no options for changing this.

    A forum I found on the web said that I should "click the lock" icon on the folder to access the permissions settings, but that's a red herring - nothing happens when I click the lock.

    As its my macbook pro and no one else's and I have admin rights in all other respects, this puzzled me. I can't see an option to change permissions for my external HD. I've found some vague stuff about Disk Utility being able to change folder permissions, so I opened that. If I select my external HD in Disk Utility, the options for changing permissions are greyed out and I can't change anything.

    Oddly, if I access the external HD through my WinXP installation in VMWare Fusion, I have no problems at all. So what the heck is going on?

    I thought macs were supposed to be easy.

    Ok. I'm in your hands. What can be done about this problem?

    (btw, I'm running Leopard, if that's important)
  2. lukethechemist thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2008
    It's a formatting problem

    Right. This would have been nice to know before I was talked into the PC--> mac switch. (I'm not saying it would have been enough to dissuade me, but other people might like to know):

    My external HD is formatted NTFS - a windows format. Mac can read this, but not write to it. If I wanted to reformat my HD I'd have to delete everything on it. What a pain!

    Apparently Mac can read/write in the FAT system (an older Windows format).

    Why, if compatibility is such a selling point, have Mac not devised a way of writing to NTFS? I bought my external HD about 3 months ago, whilst still using a PC. Nothing anywhere - either from Maxtor or Apple - that I've ever seen has warned about this problem. Quite an oversight, no?

    I'm not impressed.:mad:
  3. steve77uk macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2007
    Calm down!

    The same can be said of my Mac formatted HDD when I take it to work, I plug it into Vista or XP and it cannot be read. As I understand it there are certain utilities can do in fact allow you to write to NTFS drives, but don't quote me on it!

    I find it annoying that I have an iPod formatted for OS X and Disk use - unless I am mistaken I cannot then read that on my Windows PC at work meaning I have had to have another external pocket HDD... :(

    Just drag the content to another drive if you have one lying around and format it as OS X. If you want to keep it readable for windows, have a 32GB partition so you can have it in FAT32 (MS-DOS) and keep your windows stuff on there.

    Remember NTFS is a Microsoft Proprietary format...

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