saving mac word docs on an external hard drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by mac.moron, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. mac.moron macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2007
    new york
    hi everyone :) since you guys were so helpful with my last set of questions, i have another one for ya..

    i have the microsoft office package on my macbook (2ghz, 2gb ram, 160gb hd, leopard). i've only had my mac for a couple days so until i get used to it (ive been a lifelong pc user) i've been attempting to keep a copy of everything i make on my portable external hard drive. so i wrote a paper in word on my mac and tried to copy it onto my external drive but it wouldn't work. i kept getting an error message saying there wasn't enough space to do it, even though there are 80gb free on the drive. i thought maybe it was a direct problem, so i even tried to save it in my documents and then drag it to the drive icon thing and it still wouldn't copy.

    anyone know why this is? could it be because my external hd isn't compatible with my mac? i can copy/drag stuff FROM the external drive to my macbook documents, just not the other way around.

    thanks in advance for any advice!
  2. reh macrumors 6502a

    Oct 24, 2003
    Is your external drive formated NTFS? If so, your Mac can read it's contents, but won't be able to write. If you format it as FAT32, both Windows and your Mac will be able to read and write to the drive.
  3. mac.moron thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2007
    new york
    oh, wow. i've never even heard of that. how do i check and see what it is? is it easy to change the type if it's the wrong one?
  4. WannaBMW3 macrumors regular


    Aug 22, 2007
    Central Cali
    WOW. I never heard of that either because I just posted a thread about an external hard drive I want to get because of the newly ordered MBP as described would I do that? Or does it say that when you initially hook it up! Thanks!

  5. tjevans macrumors member


    Jan 18, 2006
    Most external drives are sold pre-formated FAT or NTFS (after all, it's a Windows world). You can check with disk utility (if it's not in the applications folder, it's in the utilities folder in applications). Select the drive and click on info.

    If you want (or need) to change the format of the drive, you will need to reformat it. You would choose "erase" from disk utility, and then select the format you wanted your nice new clean drive to be.

    As posted above, if the drive is formatted FAT, both windows machines and macs should be able to read/write to it.

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