Write to Backup Drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by BlueSquidDoug, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. BlueSquidDoug macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2010
    I got a Seagate Backup Plus portable hard drive as a gift.
    I'd like to just add a few files to it, I don't want to use it as a backup, I want to use it to transfer files between machines, but I don't have write permissions.

    I'm using a Mac, running Mountain Lion, and I'm moving these files to a Windows machine, running Windows 7.

    How do I add files to the drive/give write permissions?

    Ultimately, I want to use this drive to store my iTunes Library (Currently occupying over half of my 500GB iMac by itself...)
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Have you checked Finder > select external HDD >> GET INFO >>> Format and Sharing & Permissions yet?


    Overview of the four major file systems (called "Formats" in Mac OS X) used on Windows and Mac OS X, compiled by GGJstudios. You can use Disk Utility to format any HDD to your liking.

    Any external hard drive will work with PCs or Macs, as long as the connectors are there (Firewire, USB, etc.) It doesn't matter how the drive is formatted out of the box, since you can re-format any way you like. Formatting can be done with the Mac OS X Disk Utility, found in the /Applications/Utilities folder. Here are your formatting options:

    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)

    NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
      [*]To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
      • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
      • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
      • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
      • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.

    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
    • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.
  3. BlueSquidDoug thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2010
    Thank you simsaladimbamba for that! You shared a lot of great information.

    I don't see the lock in the Info window.

  4. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Your image does not show up, do you use the Public folder?

  5. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    Unless the drive was marketed as a "Mac drive", it's likely formatted as NTFS. Yes some external drives come formatted with FAT32, but with the larger drive sizes out these days it's likely they're pre-formatted as NTFS due to limitations of FAT32.

    As noted before, a Mac won't write to NTFS without a 3rd-party app.

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