Seagate external hard drive

Discussion in 'macOS' started by toonnut, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. toonnut macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2010
    Hello folks, new imac user and loving it.................till now!

    When I bought my imac I explained to the guy in the shop that I'd always been a PC and didn't want to loose everything I had amassed in the past 20 odd years.

    He sold me a Seagate 1T external hard drive and told me to rip everything off my PC and transfer it to my Mac, so far, so good.

    The problem I have is that I cannot delete, modify or add to the external hard drive, I can only view it and copy items.

    Any ideas?

  2. illy123 macrumors member

    Jan 1, 2010
    If you download a programme called NTFS-3G (assuming you are running leo or snow leo 32 bit as snow leo 64bit is not supported) you will be able to write to that drive.

    The drive was formatted as an NTFS partition; OSX does not have native write support to NTFS.
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    If your external drive is formatted in NTFS then this will be the case. You can either copy everything off it and reformat it or install additional software (Google for MacFuse and NTFS-3G).
  4. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    It sounds like the external drive is a pc filesystem, possibly ntfs. There are add on programs for OSX that will let you read and write ntfs. I would not recommend this. As a switcher a few years back, I used a program called "syncback" to copy all the stuff I cared about from my pc to a network drive. I then booted up my new Mac and copied everything to the Mac over the network. Later, as I purchase external usb drives, the first thing I always do is reformat them to an Apple filesystem (HPFS).

    In your situation, I suggest you copy the entire contents of the drive to a folder on your new mac. Then format the drive as an Apple drive and copy everything back. There is one caveat to this approach. What I am proposing is a "one way street" approach where you know you never intend to use that drive with a windows box ever again. If you aren't sure, you can opt to leave it as is and get add on software to allow OS X to read and write to the drive. You might also decide to reformat the drive as fat32 which is easily readable and writable by Windows, OS X and Linux. The down side of fat32 is there is no error protection like HPFS (Apple), Ext3 (Linux) or NTFS (Windows). The trade off is risking disk errors for flexibility. Another tradeoff is allowing 3rd party shareware or freeware (Like MacFuse) on your Mac merely to support being able to write to ntfs. For my needs, I opted to format everything in Apple format and never look back. I should also mention I have a half dozen usb memory sticks lying around in various sizes from 1 gig to 32 gig so I don't depend on removable hard drives for moving files around. When one of my friends needs a file I email it to him or copy it to a fat32 formatted usb stick for him.
  5. illy123 macrumors member

    Jan 1, 2010
    Windows should be able to read and write with the help of 3rd party software like this:

    OP: Do you intent to use that harddisk with Windows again? Or do you wish to keep it solely for the mac?

    All of my data is held on a central server which has got RAID 5 running and through SAMBA all of my different operating systems can read/write/delete from it. Though that could be a bit of an overkill.
  6. toonnut thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2010
    Hi, thanks very much for the replies, any info is really appreciated.

    Just to answer a few of your questions;

    First off all I have everything I need from the hard drive copied onto my Mac, it's now just a useless £100 black box sitting in the corner as far as I'm concerned. I will never go back to a Windows system so this drive will only ever get used on a Mac from now on. I'm not sure if my system is 32 or 64 bit, how do I tell? I only know it's Intel based, 4GB memory, running OS 10.5.8 and is no more than 5 months old.

    Ideally I would like to keep my iTunes music and movies on it, is this recommended?

    Thanks again.


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