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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

OS 10.4 - ownership & permission

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Member Since: Jun 10, 2007
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i've recently bought a macbook pro. i used to own a pc. i've plugged in my external usb hard-drive and it can read it fine. but it won't let me add or delete anything. i've looked at the ownership and permission settings and it won't let me change it to read and write. now im confused at this as i am the only user on the laptop therefor i am the admin account so it's not a permissions thing.

the only thing i can think of is that it was formatted as NTFS when i was using it with windows. could this be the issue? and how can i get around it?

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Welcome to Mac-Forums, mattd.

Well you partially found the answer. From the's Mac OS X Filesystems:


Mac OS X includes read-only support for NTFS. ...
If you absolutely need the external HD to be read/write for a Mac and a WinBox too, you will probably have to reformat it as FAT32. If the external is only for your Mac then you will need to reformat it as HFS+.
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So, in order to resolve the issue:

1. Drag all the files off the drive onto your Mac

2. Reformat the USB drive using Disk Utility (Spotlight it) to FAT32.

3. Drag the files back

4. Yay

If your Mac isn't big enough to hold the stuff, consider making DVDs of the data, or part of it.

If you liked this post, consider using the Reputation System.
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