USB? "The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer"

DHawkes01

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 11, 2017
2
0
Hello,

I'm in need of a little assistance regarding a USB that has decided to go ape!

Basically it was working fine yesterday (on both Mac and PC), but when I inserted it into my MBA this morning the message "The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer." popped up along with buttons reading Initialize, Ignore & Eject.

I've tried to 'Run First Aid' to no avail. I am concerned why this could've happened and would really appreciate some advice about what I should do.

Kind regards!
 

DHawkes01

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 11, 2017
2
0
So it works on your PC right?
What is the file system format?
Hi, good day and thanks for your comment :)

I only own and use the USB with a Macbook Air. I also use a Linux computer which I don't really use and never really use with the troublesome USB. I have also tried the USB with the Linux machine but there's no recognition.

I mentioned the PC because a month ago I used the USB with a friends PC to print a document but I don't know why that would effect anything because the USB was working okay up until today.

The thumbnail/screenshot below shows what I see when I go in Disk Utility... This is really strange behaviour and I don't understand why this has happened!

Hopefully it helps!

Kind regards

Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 13.10.16.png
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G4
May 16, 2015
10,233
4,066
FAT32? This is a pretty old and fragile format being used in like 1990s era of PC operating system.
Also I don't know what was done by your friend PC on your USB drive. If possible, you should connect that drive to a PC and see if you can backup data elsewhere.
Even if both Mac and PC could read and write FAT32, I have heard that their ways to do so is still somehow different. Plus FAT32 is pretty fragile.
 

ftaok

macrumors 603
Jan 23, 2002
6,212
1,237
East Coast
What does it mean for a file system to be "fragile"?

If you want your thumbdrives to be easily readable and writeable by Macs and PC's, you're limited to using FAT32. You've really no other choice.

EDIT - I guess you could use exFAT as well. I forgot about that.
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G4
May 16, 2015
10,233
4,066
What does it mean for a file system to be "fragile"?

If you want your thumbdrives to be easily readable and writeable by Macs and PC's, you're limited to using FAT32. You've really no other choice.

EDIT - I guess you could use exFAT as well. I forgot about that.
"Fragile" means prone to error and files stored on drive could be easily corrupted or damaged even in normal operations. At least, FAT32 is worse than NTFS and HFS+, which both provides features to store data more efficiently and more stable.

I admit I know little about the underlying architecture of those file systems. What I say is based on long time experience regarding both NTFS and HFS+.
 

Kcetech1

macrumors regular
Nov 24, 2016
191
92
Alberta Canada
fat32 is pretty much standard for all USB drives under 32GB for cross platform use. otherwise everything else is EXFat since almost any OS can read both those formats and all OS's read/write them the same to my knowledge, even the Xbox and PS4.
 

dwfaust

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2011
6,454
7,315
"Fragile" means prone to error and files stored on drive could be easily corrupted or damaged even in normal operations. At least, FAT32 is worse than NTFS and HFS+, which both provides features to store data more efficiently and more stable.

I admit I know little about the underlying architecture of those file systems. What I say is based on long time experience regarding both NTFS and HFS+.
macOS cannot write NTFS natively and Windows cannot read/write HFS+ (or the new AFS) natively... so if I am moving data back and forth between platforms, I ususally format my flash drives with ExFAT.
 
Last edited:

Shirasaki

macrumors G4
May 16, 2015
10,233
4,066
macOS cannot write NTFS and Windows cannot read/write HFS+ (or the new AFS)... so if I am moving data back and forth between platforms, I ususally format my flash drives with ExFAT.
I pay third party drives to enable NTFS and HFS support. They work well and I can save a lot of hassle dealing with converting things etc.
 

posguy99

macrumors 65816
Nov 3, 2004
1,303
759
Basically it was working fine yesterday (on both Mac and PC), but when I inserted it into my MBA this morning the message "The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer." popped up along with buttons reading Initialize, Ignore & Eject.
Flash drivers work until they don't, at which time you might try to reformat them once and then throw them away. What they cost makes them not worth dancing with.
 
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