Vista can't see FAT partition on Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Meep, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. Meep macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hello,

    Sorry if this is a known thing or if i missed a forum thread about it but my search came up with nothing.

    Anyway i currently have 2 hdd's in my 2008 mac pro:

    The original 320GB drive that it came with that houses OS X and a 500GB drive that i have partitioned into 2, one NTFS 320GB bootcamp partition for Vista Business 64bit and the second partition is in FAT format and takes up the rest of the drive (about 164GB).

    My plan was to use the FAT partition to share files between OS X and Vista and when i'm in OS X i can see all three drives (although obviously i can't edit the NTFS one).

    Now to the actual problem:
    When i'm in Vista i can't see the FAT partition on the second drive. Is this a limitation of Vista or do i need to make Vista aware of the drive?

    Any help would be great
    Thanks
    Meep
     
  2. steveza macrumors 68000

    steveza

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Run diskmgmt.msc from the Vista search box or command prompt. Do you see the "missing" disk in there?
     
  3. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    My External FAT32 LACIE disk doesn't always show up in Vista, but I just switch it off and on again and it shows up. But I don't know about internal drives.

    EDIT: steveza's solution should work.
     
  4. Meep thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    I ran diskmgmt.msc and i could see both drives installed in my Mac Pro, here is a screenshot of what i saw:

    http://s239462948.websitehome.co.uk/images/DiskMan.jpg

    As you can see Partition "Windows" on Disk 1 is well my Windows drive, and the 164.88GB partition on disk 1 is the FAT partition i want to be able use in Vista. Disk 0 is my Mac drive.

    From what i can work out Vista doesn't seem to think that my FAT drive is in a file system it knows, is this because i made the FAT parition in OS X? (I only did that as Windows limits FAT partitons to 32GB)

    Also does anyone know what the unallocated space on both my drives is doing? Is it just left over space from when i transfered my bootcamp partition over to Disk 1?

    Also for reference here is a screenshot of my 'My Computer"

    http://s239462948.websitehome.co.uk/images/MyComp.jpg

    *Before someone asks, yes i know i can insert an image but i don't want to use anymore of my bandwidth than i have to. :D
     
  5. XianPalin macrumors 6502

    XianPalin

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    #5
    Kinda going out on a limb here because I'm not sure if this is disk wide or partition wide, but it might have something to do with how the FAT partition is created... i.e. whether or not it's setup as using a master boot record or not.. maybe you set it up as using a gUID partition table.

    On the other hand it kinda seems like that option is a disk-wide setting and seems like Vista would have had the disk setup as MBR (though sp1 supports gUID I believe).

    So basically I'm no help :D Maybe you can format that partition as NTFS in Vista, and then go back into OS X and format it as FAT and see if that magically sets something up right.

    I have kind of a similar setup, but I'm using a separate drive for the FAT sharing.

    Drive 1 - 500 GB - OS X
    Drive 2 - 320 GB - Vista
    Drive 3 - 500 GB - FAT

    Everything is working fine that way, but I don't see why it wouldn't work correctly in your current situation :confused:
     
  6. steveza macrumors 68000

    steveza

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    The reason you aren't seeing the drives under windows is that they need to be assigned a drive letter. Right click on each partition that you want to use in Windows and select "change drive letter and paths". Click "Add" and pick any letter from the list supplied.
     
  7. Meep thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    An Update

    I tried steveza's suggestion and the "change drive letter and path" option was greyed out (actually all of them were).

    So then i tried XianPalin's suggestion of formatting the partition as NTFS then formatting it back to FAT in OS X. First of all i realised that the drive's name had to be in capitals ( i assume that that's a FAT specifcation but it didn't have to be before). I then booted in Vista and i could see my FAT drive!!!!

    I'm not sure why it works not but it does so i'm happy. Thanks to everyone for their input and now i can finally share files between my operating systems!

    Meep
     
  8. steveza macrumors 68000

    steveza

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    No worries At least you go it doing what you want :)
     
  9. KPERI macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    #9
    Change drive letter?

    Please tell me how change drive letter in that partition??????
    I cant find this option when i do right click on hdrive.
    Thanks any way.
     
  10. Meep thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    run diskmgmt.msc and just right click the partition you want to change, steveza mentioned it above
     

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