Saving Images To External Drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by tuttifrutti, Jan 17, 2016.

  1. tuttifrutti macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2015
    Good afternoon folks,
    Please accept my apologies as i'm sure this has been covered many times before but i'm a very frustrated new Macbook Pro user.
    So, I have an external hard drive which I have been using on my old Windows 7 laptop up until now.
    My wife still uses the laptop so we need to be able to use this in conjunction with the external drive whenever required.
    I have images i've imported onto my Macbook Pro but I cannot get them onto the external hard drive. I've tried the usual copy and paste but i'm not offered the paste option. I've also tried dragging the file to the external drive but also not able.
    I will openly admit right now that i'm not very technically minded so hopefully you won't lose me, but on googling, i've read stuff about having to format my external drive to be able to use with a mac.
    So, is this correct? Or are there other ways to get the images onto the hard drive? If I do get them on there, will that then mean that I will not be able to open images on there with the Windows 7 laptop?
    Apologies for thr questions but i'm worried that i'll potentially lose everything on the hard drive too?
    I'd appreciate your thoughts and advice?
    Many thanks
  2. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2015
    The problem is likely that the external drive is formatted as NTFS. NTFS drives are read-only from a Mac.

    You could backup and reformat the external drive as FAT32 with is readable and writable by both Macs and Windows computer, but it is an old format with some limitations.

    There is a newer format called EXFat which is readable and writable by Macs and by Windows computers running Wins7 or new, so that is a possibility.

    The other possibility is to get third party software for your Mac that will let it write to an NTFS drive. The best known is probably Tuxera which costs $31USD:

    Alternatives are Paragon:

    and NTFS-Free:
  3. tuttifrutti thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2015
    Thanks very much for the reply John. I've been doing a little reading and found out some of what you've told me, but all information is gold at the mo.

    If I were to download for instance, the free software from sourceforge, would it be downloaded via my macbook (DMG format?), and would I then somehow have to get it onto the external drive and install there? Is that possible, if at present, the ex drive is not Mac compatable?
  4. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2015
    The software is installed on your Mac, not on the external drive. It installs a driver to allow your Mac to write to any NTFS drive.
  5. tuttifrutti thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2015
  6. tuttifrutti thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2015
    Evening folks. So, I backed up my external drive and then installed the sourceforge software (well I think I did but find it hard to tell on the macbook).

    I've now plugged my external drive into the macbook and it's now not recognising/opening the ED at all. I've tried it again in the laptop and it opens just fine.

    I've tried dragging the downloaded software to the trash bin and restarting the macbook, but the ED still doesn't open up.

    Anyone got any ideas please?
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009

    You would do better to re-initialize the drive to FAT32.

    If there is stuff you want to save on it, copy it to a PC first.
    Then take the drive to the Mac and re-initialize it there.
    Then take it BACK TO the PC and re-copy the files back over.

    For a "shared" volume (between Mac and PC), I sense that a USB flashdrive of sufficient capacity would just be handier to have around...
  8. tuttifrutti thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2015
    Thanks for the reply Fishrrman - i've already re-backed up all my files to the Windows desktop so i'm happy i'll not lose anything. Then I plugged the external drive back into the Macbook but it doesn't open or show at all, so I don't know where to go from here.
    I just tried a USB stick in the Macbook and that opens up fine.
    I am not sure where to go from here
  9. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2005
    If you are certain that your current files are backed up:
    Open Finder
    Open Applications
    Open Utilities folder
    Open Disk Utility application
    In the left side bar, you should see the drive listed under External
    Click the drive
    Click Erase
    Select ExFAT under Format
    Click Erase then Done
  10. tuttifrutti thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2015
    Thank you very much indeed - it looks like that's it

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