macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 18, 2012
I've recently purchased a seagate 1.5TB hard drive and it came with some software on it. i deleted these as i only wanted the hard drive in order to store movies music and pictures. I've already put files on the hard drive with a pc but i can't take them off on my mac or put any more on with my mac. it tells me it is read only. do i need the previous software that i deleted or is there a way to unlock it? if i do need the software is there a way of getting it back?:confused::(


macrumors 68020
Feb 28, 2011
Drive is probably formatted NTFS by the sounds of your description. Back up the files and reformat it to a Mac format or if you need to use it on a PC and a MAC, leave it alone and put Paragon NTFS or similar on your Mac so it can read/write the NTFS file system.


Staff member
May 3, 2009
Go into the Disk Utility, repartition it with a single partition and reformat that bad boy to HFS+ and should be all set.


macrumors 603
Oct 31, 2010
Hamilton, Ontario
Go into the Disk Utility, repartition it with a single partition and reformat that bad boy to HFS+ and should be all set.

I often read people suggest HFS+ but when im in disk utlitiy I dont see that in my drop down, ive never needed to use HFS+ in the context it was being suggested but out of curiosity what is it does it go by a new name in Lion?


macrumors regular
Dec 7, 2003
This is a real catch22, as your PC will not be able to read or write anything to the drive if you format it to HFS+.

The only format you will be able to use "out of the box" on both your Mac and the PC is FAT32. This will limit you to using files < 4 GB though, and if you need to store anything larger, you will have to use archiving SW to split the files. (Time consuming and tedious...)

A workaround is to enable NTFS r/w on the Mac. Here you can find a way to fix that.



macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
Format A Hard Drive Using Disk Utility (which is in your /Applications/Utilities folder)

Choose the appropriate format:

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.
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