Question about External HD from a mac newbie

bryantlc

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 17, 2007
36
0
I will be buying my first iMac after the refresh(hopefully August).

My question is, is that I have a External Hard drive that I use with my PC that holds tons of digital pictures. What do I need to do to make the external hard drive compatible for a pc and mac. Will it work right away?

Searching the forums I have seen suggestions of reformatting hard drive for a mac or making sure files are in FAT32 format. Reformatting would be my last choice as I have tons of pictures that I would have to move somewhere and then move back. Is there a way to convert my external hard drive to pc and mac friendly without damagin my files? How can I tell what format my pictures are in now?

Sorry for all of the newbie questions :eek:
 

Cameront9

macrumors 6502a
Aug 6, 2006
790
90
I will be buying my first iMac after the refresh(hopefully August).

My question is, is that I have a External Hard drive that I use with my PC that holds tons of digital pictures. What do I need to do to make the external hard drive compatible for a pc and mac. Will it work right away?

Searching the forums I have seen suggestions of reformatting hard drive for a mac or making sure files are in FAT32 format. Reformatting would be my last choice as I have tons of pictures that I would have to move somewhere and then move back. Is there a way to convert my external hard drive to pc and mac friendly without damagin my files? How can I tell what format my pictures are in now?

Sorry for all of the newbie questions :eek:
Your PC Hard drive is most likely formatted in NTFS. Macs can READ this format, but they can't write to it. Unfortunately, reformatting the drive as FAT32 is your best choice. You other option would to use a non-destructive partitioner to partition the drive, but honestly, I'm not sure if that's possible--someone else will have to answer that question..
 

Spikeanator6982

macrumors 6502
Jun 13, 2007
328
0
If the mac could read it..couldnt the op jsut pull all the photos off of it, onto the mac. reformat and then put them back on if he/she wanted to?

Brad
 

bryantlc

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 17, 2007
36
0
That would be great if I could pull all of the pictures from the external HD and then put them back as FAT32. I will definately try that. Thanks for the help.
 

bryantlc

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 17, 2007
36
0
Once I pull off all of my photos how to I reformat my External Hard drive to FAT32?
 

pengu

macrumors 6502a
Mar 20, 2005
576
0
Diddily Daddily...
open disk utility, select the external volume (it will appear below and indented from the physical disk in Disk Utility) and click the Erase tab, then choose MS-DOS from the drop down menu. give it a name and click the Erase button.
 

dedalus

macrumors member
Jun 6, 2007
94
0
Hi Pengu,

I tried that but it doesn't let me do it. Basically under info it say that I can only read and I can't seem to change the ownership. I tried to reformat the HD in FAT on a windows machine but it tells me that the volume is too big.

Any idea? I'm thinking about just giving up and using the HD with windows at work at this point if there's no way around it.

Manuel
 

pengu

macrumors 6502a
Mar 20, 2005
576
0
Diddily Daddily...
hmm. the "read-only" is because it's NTFS at the moment.

try clicking on the icon for the physical disk (instead of the one for the volume/partition) in Disk Utility, and then follow the same procedure (im @ work on a XP machine now, so i can't remember the exact tab names).. i think the "Format" or "Erase" tab will show up, and you have the option to set partition sizes (default is whatever you currently have) and what format each partition should be.
 

dedalus

macrumors member
Jun 6, 2007
94
0
hmm. the "read-only" is because it's NTFS at the moment.

try clicking on the icon for the physical disk (instead of the one for the volume/partition) in Disk Utility, and then follow the same procedure (im @ work on a XP machine now, so i can't remember the exact tab names).. i think the "Format" or "Erase" tab will show up, and you have the option to set partition sizes (default is whatever you currently have) and what format each partition should be.
the format and erase tab are there but they are not clickable unfortunatel. I think it has to do with owners permissions that I don't have and that I don't know how to get. AAAAAARRRRGGGHHHHH so frustrating...

Thanks for your help,

M
 

dedalus

macrumors member
Jun 6, 2007
94
0
ok I'm there. It now seems to work. ERASE tab. It asks me what Volume Format...what do I choose? Thanks so much for your help

Manuel