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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Nov 27, 2008
    Unhappy Can't save anything to external...
    Ok so I made the switch and bought an iMac in September. My friends are telling me I drank the Kool-Aid because I haven't shut up about how fabulous it is since. I decide to pick up an external so that I could back everything up from my old PC notebook and move it over to the iMac. I was pleased when I successfully moved my music over with no problems at all!

    The problem is now when I try to save anything to the external it won't save. I asked the sales clerk if I could back up both systems on the same external and I was told I could do so, I would just need to set up folders for Mac and PC so the files didn't get jumbled. Am I crazy? Why can't I save anything? It's a SimpleTech external and I don't want to have this thing I can no longer save anything on! HELP!!!

  2. #2

    Kash's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 03, 2006
    Irvine, CA
    Black Macbook C2D 2GHz 3GB RAM 250GB HD iPhone 4 iPad 3G
    If you can read from the external drive but not write to it from your Mac but you can do both with Windows, then that's usually an indicator that the external drive is formatted as NTFS.

    Right click on your external hard drive and select Get Info. Under Format see if it says NTFS. If it does, then you'll need to format it as FAT32 for you to be able to use it on both Mac and Windows. And there's no need to have separate folders, the sales clerk didn't know what he was talking about.

    June 2007
    July 2009

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Nov 27, 2008
    Thanks so much it is NTFS! Ok so here's my next question, how do I format it as FAT32? I'm so new to this yet excited to know I didn't spend money on a worthless external!

    What would I do without Mac Forums?

  4. #4

    hughvane's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 18, 2008
    Amberley, Canterbury, New Zealand
    MacMini 4.1, OS 10.11 and 10.6; Macbook Pro 8.2, OS 10.12, MacBook 4.1, OS 10.6.8
    Quote Originally Posted by winegirl27 View Post
    Thanks so much it is NTFS! ... how do I format it as FAT32?
    Connect your external hard drive and power it on.
    Open Disk Utility (Utilities folder) from your iMac.
    Select the ext HD name from the list in the L pane [this can be a little confusing because DU lists two names for each drive, it's the second name you want].
    Click the Erase button. You will be presented with some choices. Choose FAT32 as the volume format, and a name for your ext HD.
    Click Erase. You'll get warnings about what you're doing, but just continue.

    The process doesn't take long but be aware that reformatting the ext HD will remove absolutely everything that was on there before you began.

  5. #5

    Member Since
    Nov 27, 2008
    Ok so I was able to get to the screen and discovered it was in FAT mode already I think I bought one that isn't compatible at all...I'm so frustrated!

  6. #6

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Texas, where else?
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    Just follow through with hughvanes directions.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

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