Western Digital Passport compatibility, cant write to drive

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ivinho, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. ivinho macrumors member

    Nov 23, 2008

    I have a 250GB western digital passport portable hard drive. It works fine with PC but I cant get my mac to write to it. It can only read it. I tried reformatting it in Disk Utility on my mac with the different available options, but no success. One of the format options lets me write to it in the mac but then i cant write to it in the pc.

    Anyway, i plan on buying another drive (500gb) and need it to work for PC as well. I see that western digital has "mac compatible" drives.

    Does anyone use any of the passport drives for both pc and mac with success?


    My Mac:
    2.53 unibody
    os x 10.5.7
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Writing to an external drive has something to do with filesystems, like HFS+ (Mac OS X), FAT32 and NTFS (Windows) or ext2/3 (Linux) and many, many more.

    A Mac compatible drive is just pre-formatted with HFS+, nothing more.

    It's best to format a drive with FAT32 (MS-DOS in Disk Utility's option of filesystems), when you use it in a mixed environment.
    Mac OS X and Windows can read and write from/to FAT32 formatted drives.
    Just the maximum single file size is 4GB.

    Also for writing to NTFS formatted volumes/drives in Mac OS X, you can use MacFuse + NTFS-3G drivers (both are free and both have to be used), or you can use MacDrive to read/write to HFS+ formatted volumes in Windows. It costs something.
  3. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    It sounds like its currently formatted as NTFS. You'll need a third party utlity to write to it in OS X, like NTFS-3G.

    If you'll use OS X as your primary OS, then you'll want it formatted as HFS+ / Mac OS Extended; then you'll need something like MacDrive to read it on your windows computers.

    If you just want compatibility then you can just do it as FAT (MS-DOS) but you'll have to deal with its limitations.

    Edit : spinnerlys said it all :)
  4. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    Sounds like it's formatted as NTFS. You need to go into disk utility and select "Partition". Then partition it has HFS journaled.
  5. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    HFS+ does not work natively on Windows, and as the OP stated, he needs to be able to write to the drive in both OSs.

    Eddyisgreat and me already pointed out the OP's options.
  6. Pegasus665 macrumors member


    Jul 6, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Does Mac OS HFS+ got a file limit as with FAT32?

    Can you share of FAT32 partition on a Mac within a windows home networked environment?
  7. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    1. Close to 8 EB (ExaBytes) - 8,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes - http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2422?viewlocale=en_US

    2. I do think so, but am not sure. Maybe a search for that particular information will give you some results. You can use MRoogle for searching this forum.

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