Problems with WD external drive file system format

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by konishiko, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. konishiko macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    #1
    Hello!

    I tried to search the forums but nothing like my problem came up, so here I am.

    We had a 1TB WD My book at home for some time which was used with our iMac, but I was convinced that it's FAT32 formatted, because we also have PC notebooks and usually try to avoid system-specific formats. After a few months in a drawer I tried to connect it to a Dell notebook with Windows Vista, saw it showed up in Device manager but not recognized by My Computer.

    So I followed advice from various forums and initialized the disk plus gave it a drive letter. Windows still wanted me to reformat it, I refused it and started to suspect it might be Mac-formatted after all. Downloaded MacDrive demo only to find out the drive is not seen even by Device Manager anymore, nor by MacDrive, nor by the iMac anymore :mad:

    Now Mac Disk Utility claims that the main partition on the drive is FAT16 formatted and can't do anything about it. Anyone knows a way out of this mess without formatting the drive? It's full of stuff I wouldn't want to lose.

    I know I brought this on myself by not checking the format beforehand, I just hope I'm not the first ;)
     
  2. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #2
    wow now that is a confusing state you have there!!!

    i would unplug the WD from both computer and power, restart the iMac.. then plug it back in. how on earth it would be formatted as FAT16 is beyond me. not even vista uses that anymore, besides it only has a maximum hard drive size of like 4gb (not 100% sure), or something rediculously small.

    if that doesnt work you will probably have to try disk recovery software, do you have DiskWarrior?
     
  3. konishiko thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    #3
    I already tried replugginf and restarting everything, withg little effect. iMac still says that the format of the drive is not recognized and offers to initialize it, which doesn't work. Vista sees the drive again and wants me to format it...

    I know it is not actually FAT16-formatted, because the only thing I did was to initialize it in Windows, but somehow Mac believes it is and I'm wondering if there is any way to reverse it? Somehow the initialization screwed up recognition of the file system :(

    I'll try Disk Warrior, just tried the Disk Utility until now.
     
  4. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #4
    oh god you initialised in Vista?? initialise is pretty much the same as reformatting.... (except it should leave the data)
     
  5. konishiko thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    #5
    Aww, another wonderful Vista invention, never expected that... Still, if it's a s good as reformatting, I don't understand a few things: 1) it took only 10 seconds or so 2) Windows doesn't see the files either and demands format 3) Mac sees it as a friggin' Fat16...

    Stil, I guess it means I can do data recovery with some available software and then I need to reformat the drive?

    I'm actually wondering what the best format would be if I want to store large files and access the same partotion both from Mac and Windows Vista. Mac file system and MacDrive? I've just read that FAT32 supports files up to 4GB only on external drives.
     
  6. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #6
    well initialising meaning that it just re-writes the "format description" of the drive. its not a very big patch of data to write to.. so i dont think it would take very long.. unless it stuffed up..

    you SHOULD be able to, most of the data should be able to be recovered.

    HFS+ & MacDrive is a good bet, however you could save money by formating as NTFS and installing a freeware mac program that lets you read/write NTFS. NTFS 3G its called i believe, located here
     
  7. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #7
    Just to clarify, NTFS-3G is just the appropriate driver for NTFS that works with the file system MacFUSE.

    Install MacFUSE first, then NTFS-3G and then restart-- then the Mac should be able to write to NTFS formatted volumes in addition to reading from them as it already could.
     
  8. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #8
    ohhh i didnt know that! that must have installed by default for my hackintosh all i had to do was get NTFS-3G. thanks for that!
     

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