Why won't external HD allow writing on separate macs?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by knobtwiddler, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. knobtwiddler macrumors regular


    Feb 4, 2002
    Carbondale, IL
    I just bought a new Seagate External HD to free up some space on my mac and macbook. I installed it on my mac and then tried to move files from the macbook onto it but get a message saying I can't modify it. What am I supposed to do. SHould I install the software that came with it onto my macbook. Hopefully, I've answered my own question here. If I can't use it on multiple computers than what good is it?
  2. jim.lynch macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2008
    Possibly it's pre-formatted as NTFS. Your Mac won't be able to write to this without additional software (MacFuse NTFS-3g).
    Try reformatting the drive with Disk Utility, format as HFS+ if you will only ever use it with a Mac, or as MS-DOS (FAT32) if you want compatibility with all computers.
    I would avoid the existing software packaged with the disk, it's usually unnecessary.
  3. jackerin macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
    If it works on one Mac and not another it sounds like a file permission problem. In the Finder, get info on the drive and see who the "owner" user is and who has write privilegies. If you see a checkbox to ignore all file permissions, click it and see if that resolves it.

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