Retina and External HDD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thatguy215, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. thatguy215 macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2012
    Hey everyone. I just got a new Retina MBP. This is my very first mac and I'm having troubles reading an NTFS Harddrive I've been using on my PC.

    I've been looking around and it seems to me that I should be able to at least read the hard drive. On the Macs at school, i'm able to plug in the exact same hard drive and it reads on it. I'm not sure exactly if they have any programs that allows that but my new retina is unable to even read the HDD.

    Can anyone help me out here?

    thanks a lot
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Does the HDD show up in Disk Utility?


    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.
  3. BLee17 macrumors member

    Jul 12, 2008
    Sacramento, CA
    Thanks for answering this question. An addition: can you use an external hard drive formatted in NTFS, with the initial utility to move files over to your new Mac? I know it will do this to a connected computer, but how about a harddrive alone?
  4. thatguy215 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2012
    no, i don't even see it show up in the disk utilities
  5. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    I am not sure, I understand you completely, but I try to answer, what I understand. Normally Mac OS X can read NTFS formatted HDDs, thus you can connect an NTFS HDD to your Mac and copy (read process) data off of it.

    Tried another port?
    Have you tried an SMC reset yet, as that helped me with stubborn USB HDDs?
    Intel-based Macs: Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC) (Apple Support Site)

    And what exact HDD are we talking about and what kind of USB cable do you use?​
  6. thatguy215 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2012

    I have no tried the SMC reset since i just got this laptop the other day.

    It's a Toshiba USB 3 HDD​
  7. thatguy215 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2012
    I just tried it with a different hard drive and it was able to pick it up. could there possibly be something wrong with my hard drive that is causing this?
  8. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
  9. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Such software is only needed for WRITE capability, as Mac OS X can READ from NTFS formatted volumes. As the HDD does not even show up in Disk Utility, which every normal HDD would do regardless of file system, the problem lies deeper.
    Maybe the HDD is not compatible or has a malfunctioning chipset.

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