USB Drive Doesn't Mount

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by nope7308, May 16, 2010.

  1. nope7308 macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #1
    My brother was issued a mandatory USB drive at school, but the drive doesn't mount on any Mac computer (it works fine on the PC).

    It is formatted as FAT32, which should be visible across platforms. It does not mount on any Mac computer and is not visible in Disc Utility. I tried re-formatting the USB as FAT32 (on the PC), but the issue remains.

    When I re-format the USB as FAT on the PC, the USB becomes visible on the Mac, but I cannot read/write from the drive. If I attempt to open a file, the USB immediate ejects/dismounts. I then tried formatting the USB via Disc Utility, but the option of MS DOS was already selected.

    I'm at a loss as I've never experienced a problem like this before. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    There is substantial information that you are not giving. Whether you have it or not, only you can say. The point is that MacOS X can read and write FAT file systems out-of-the-box. It can also read [but not write] NTFS out-of-the-box. With third party software, it can also write NTFS.

    It is interesting that you say that the drives were formatted FAT32 when they were issued. This is a file system that MacOS X has no trouble reading, but you can't read it. However, these same drives magically become visible when you use a PC to reformat them. But, they are still troublesome.

    Long story short, I have never heard of anything like this before. My best WAG is that your drives are completely encrypted when they are issued to you. If this is not the case, then you need to give a lot more information about your drives.
     
  3. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #3
    What additional information do you need? I'd be happy to provide it, if I can, but please understand that this USB drive was issued to my brother (not myself) through his high school.

    Like I said, I've never experienced an issue like this before. When the drive was issued, it was formatted as FAT32 and thus ought to be compatible with OS X. For whatever reason, though, it is not. When the drive is formatted as FAT, it can be viewed in OS X, but it cannot be read - opening a file results in the drive being ejecting.

    To my knowledge, there is no reason why this drive shouldn't work. Unfortunately, the school only allows this particular USB drive to be used with its computers. Is it possible that there is some 'hardwired' security feature built into the USB drive, such that it won't work in OS X? I doubt the school officials would know (but I'll get my brother to ask, anyway).

    Thanks for any/all help.
     
  4. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    You have not given any additional information. There are three common variations of FAT--FAT12, FAT16, and FAT32. MacOS X reads and writes them all.

    How about the answers to these questions:
    • What kind of drive?
    • Which brand drive?
    • How much storage capacity?
    • What is so special about these drives that makes them mandatory?
     
  5. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #5
    Answers:

    Once I located the website, I was able to confirm my initial suspicion. As it turns out, the USB drive comes equipped with special encryption software that makes it incompatible with Apple computers. This added 'security feature' probably explains why the USB drives were mandated at the school. Clearly, whoever issued these specific drives wasn't thinking clearly - imagine if we didn't own a PC! Anyway, I hope this post is of some use to others who may be experiencing similar issues (I didn't know such encryption software was available).

    Although I found the tone of your response was somewhat condescending, I appreciate the effort to help. Have a good one.
     

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