Write to FAT32 external HD

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by NStocks, Dec 24, 2008.

  1. NStocks macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #1
    I need to copy all my files to my Dad's external hard drive that is formatted to FAT32, since he uses a Pc ( and I'm the only Mac user in our household). I understand that Mac format is NFTS so this is why I cannot copy files. Is there anyway that I can copy files to the HD without formatting it ?

    ... Or would it just be better to get my own HD... I'm getting a replacement MBP in a few weeks. ;), so that's why everything needs to be removed and saved.

    Thank You

    NStocks
     
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #2
    1. OS X can ONLY write to FAT32.
    2. OS X CAN'T write to NTFS.
    3. OS X ISN'T NTFS, it's HFS+.
    4. MacFUSE and NTFS-3G allow NFTS write support.
     
  3. mathcolo macrumors 6502a

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    Massachusetts
    #3
    The mac's standard file format is actually HFS+ (Mac OS Extended). Macs can also read/write FAT32 just fine. You won't need to format the FAT32 drive to work on a Mac.
     
  4. mathcolo macrumors 6502a

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    Massachusetts
    #4
    No? OSX can read and write to FAT32.
     
  5. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #5
    Yeah, because write-only memory is a viable solution. :D

    "Only" in reference to both FAT32 and NTFS.
     
  6. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    England
    #6
    Hmmm, Well my brother told me that Pc is FAT32 ( and I also thought this ), and I thought that Mac was NFTS.... Well whatever my Dad's external is I can only read from it.

    So do I install MacFUSE and NTFS-3G where ?

    NStocks
     
  7. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #7
    They'll do absolutely nothing for your situation; they only add NTFS write support. If you can't write to the FAT32 partition right now, there's something wrong with the partition.

    Check its permissions in both OS X and Windows.
     
  8. mathcolo macrumors 6502a

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    Massachusetts
    #8
    Oh, ok. :)

    Read this article: http://www.tuaw.com/2007/11/19/ntfs-on-your-mac-two-ways/ But I don't think you need it, as Tallest Skil just said. You are trying to write to FAT32, right? If for some reason you cannot write to your Dad's HD, then it's probably NTFS. Therefore, you need MacFUSE.
     
  9. i.shaun macrumors 6502a

    i.shaun

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #9
    FAT16 - some old file system used probably on floppy disks.

    FAT32 - old Windows file system, currently used in all universal devices like USB memory sticks and most External HDDs.

    NTFS - Newer, more advanced and secure windows file system created for windows NT. It is used in 2000, XP & Vista as well.

    HFS+ - Macintosh OS X File System.

    Out of the box, your mac should be able to:

    -read/write to FAT32
    -read/write to HFS+
    -read NTFS

    With third party software, you can also write to NTFS.


    third party PC software can allow the PC to read/write to HFS+
     
  10. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #10
    OK after all the other good info about file systems provided above, I will revisit the original post and recommend that you just get your own external drive.

    With the prices of external drives as low as they are, I think it make far more sense for you to have your own that you can use Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper with to make a full clone of your system since operating without a full system backup is playing with fire anyway. You could get one now, clone your existing system onto it so that you are guaranteed to have all the files you might want to have-- and when you have got your new Mac setup as you like it with everything restored to your satisfaction, you could then go ahead and continue using the drive for that essential backup!

    Just remember to format the new external drive (since it will probably be formatted as FAT32 out of the box) as "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" and use a "GUID" partition map scheme before you try to clone to it and you will be ready to roll.
     
  11. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #11
    I think it's likely your dad's external drive is NTFS. You can check. Connect the drive to your Mac and open Disk Utility. Select the external drive and it'll tell you everything you need to know (DON'T touch any button labelled Erase or Partition!).

    You have a few choices in rough order of ease and expense:
    1. If you want to use that drive, download MacFUSE from here and NTFS-3g from here.
    2. Another alternative is to format it as HTF+ (remembering to copy the data off it first, since that'll erase the disk) and share it from your Mac.
    3. You can try to set up your dad's PC to share the external drive. You can then connect to it from the Mac via SMB and you don't have to worry about what format it's in. This is likely the hardest to get working (I know, there'll be someone who's done this 200 times and can get it set up in 30 seconds and will accuse me of being an Apple fanboy ...)
    4. Simplest option is to buy your own external drive.
    5. Release your inner geek by buying a cheap PC (one that supports SATA and will take at least two internal drives), putting freeNAS on it and running a network server.
    6. Get a Windows Home Server.
    7. Get a Drobo and Droboshare and use that as a network share.
     

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