View Full Version : Portable Drive on iMac

12th August 2010, 03:07 PM
I have a portable hard drive that i used to use on my pc, and now i wish to use this on my iMac. I have been able to read the files on the drive, but i am not able to write to this.
Does anyone have any advice as to how i should be able to write to this drive.

12th August 2010, 03:21 PM

Apple and Windows have their own methods of file storage/management. Windows typically uses NTFS, and Apple use HFS. Chances are, the drive will have been formatted as NTFS, which the Mac can read, but not write.

To use this on your Mac, AND PC, you will need to reformat the drive as FAT32 format, which is a format that Apple also allow Macs to read and write to.

If you don't need to use it on the PC any more, use HFS Mac Journalled format.

Of course, reformatting will destroy your data, so back up any files you wish to keep before going FAT32/etc.



12th August 2010, 03:26 PM
Much appreciated, i will do that tonight when i get home from work. It is my torrent storage / photo backup.

13th August 2010, 01:43 PM

FAT32 is an older file system and has a restriction that files cannot be greater than 4 Gb, which is typically fine for most files but is a small restriction for program re-distributable's and DVD rips. The other restriction is partitions can be no greater than 32 GB with FAT32 which is more problematic.

Another option to allow the drive to be used between PC and Mac without having to remove the data is to install a utility like “NTFS for Mac” which will allow OS X to write to a NTFS drive. Partially handy as it allows you to then write and read from friend’s drives as well as to your own Boot Camp instance if you have one.

I don’t think the utility is freely available though and has to be purchased.

13th August 2010, 02:19 PM
Equally there is Macfuse that can enable the reading of NTFS Drives as well i would stick with either an NTFS drive or go to HFS if the Drive is Small maybe buy a second drive as well as they are cheap Fat32 really is a bit annoying for so many items in a mixed environment so i use macfuse though any drive software would work for this equally i have a 3 partition scheme at the moment to cover all machines and devices with NTFS,HFS,Fat 32 (though i will be Dropping this) as i have to get more storage now

13th August 2010, 03:51 PM
Stick with NTFS... It's "NEW TECH FILE SYSTEM"!!!!

(just joking by the way)

13th August 2010, 04:12 PM
The other restriction is partitions can be no greater than 32 GB with FAT32 which is more problematic.

This isn't true. It is an artificial restriction posed by Windows XP and above format utility.