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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussions including the Apple Watch.

Format and partition external drive if you want dual use Mac / PC

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michelangelo's Avatar
Member Since: Apr 24, 2008
Location: West of Paris
Posts: 97
michelangelo is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: MacBookPro, OS 10.9.4, iMac, OS 10.9.4, iPhone iOS 10.7.2, iPad iOS 10.7.2

michelangelo is offline
I had purchased from the Apple store in France a portable hard drive Iomega eGO USB 2.0/FireWire ov 250 Go capacity (P/N 31713900; Model: RPHD-C; S/N: FEAJ02011V)

Originally formatted HFS+, it would mount on any of my Mac desktops with Firewire, easily on the iMac using USB and with great difficulty on the iBook with the two USB plugs (together). It did not mount on any windows PC I had used for tests (so reformatting it FAT(32) or NTFS was *not an option).

I had reformatted it FAT32 using the iMac under mac OS 10.5 for use on multiple computers including Windows PC's. The drive would now accept to:

Mount on the iMac and iBook using Firewire

Mount on the iMac using USB, but it will NOT:

1 - Mount on the iBook using USB, nor

2 - Mount on any Windows PC using USB

The solution was found at the office with our IT helpdesk.

Whether I format it FAT 32 or NTFS (using the Paragon NTFS for mac OS X 10.5) on my iMac under OS 10.5, including when I do the same on another external drive than the Iomega, the PC would not recognise it while it would always mount on a Mac and it was even impossible on the PC to reformat it. The solution is (at least in windows world), you need to (1) format the drive, AND (2) partition the drive, even if this involves creating a single partition. Using Disk Utility of the Mac, I had only formatted the drive and not partitioned it into a single partition and Disk utility did not request that from me. The drive as prepared was perfectly usable on any Mac anyway.

The cure was to go back to the imac which had formatted it, mount it (it mounts), (1) reformat and (2) partition, using a single partition.

Then, the drive would instantly be recognised on the PC as a F drive, whether under FAT 32 or under NTFS.

The blame is in me and on the Apple Drive utility which did not help me (trust it would have been worse in windows world, but this is a bad mark on disk utility)

My suggestion to Apple would be that Disk Utility should tell us, once we have formatted a drive (HFS+, FAT 32 or NTFS using Parangon) that we are not done yet and still must create the partition(s), even if we only need one partition.


-- Michelangelo
MacBookPro, OS 10.9.5, iMac, OS 10.9.5, iPhone iOS 8.3, iPad iOS 8.3, AirPort Time Capsule 802.11n (1st Generation), Airport extreme (early 2009)
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