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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Jan 15, 2010
    Hard Drive Issue
    I have recently joined the mac revolution after many years of struggling away with windows.

    I have an external hard drive which I used to use with my old PC. It has a number of music and video files on there which I'm keen to hold on to.

    I also need an external hard drive to use with my mac, in particular to back up via Time Machine.

    When I connect my hard drive to the mac, I can access my PC files but I cannot write to the hard drive because presumably it is in windows format. I also cannot partition it using the disk utility app for the same reason as it asks me to reformat my hard drive.

    Is there any way I can partition the drive so I can have essentially two hard drives, one for my mac and the other so I can keep my PC files?

    Obviously you can get cheap hard drives so if it involved paying out more money for a program then it would cost to buy a new dedicated mac hard drive then obviously there's not a great deal of point.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Fort Worth, Texas
    27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    Your external hard drive is very likely formatted to NTFS if your Mac can not write to it but is able to read from it.

    You didn't mention which operating system your Mac is using or which Mac you have for that matter. (It always helps to mention those when posting.)

    If your new Mac is using the Snow Leopard OS (OS X 10.6.2), it's possible to be able to read and write to a drive formatted to NTFS. However, the ability to write to NTFS is not turned on by default in Snow Leopard. You have to turn it on. Two ways to do that. One involves using Terminal, the other, downloading a free small program that turns it on for you. I suggest the latter.

    The program is called "ntfsMounter" and can be downloaded for free from here.

    As far as needing a drive for Time Machine backups, I believe you would be better off purchasing an external drive of whatever size you need, format it to HFS Extended Journaled (a must in order to use Time Machine) and use it just for backing up your internal hard drive.

    Keep your old drive for storage use for the PC and your new Mac.


  3. #3

    Member Since
    Jan 15, 2010
    I apologise. Its my first post on these forums. I'm running OSX 10.5.8. Thanks

  4. #4

    toMACsh's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 30, 2009
    Mac Mini Core 2 Duo
    Well, that's half of the information requested. I might have been able to make a suggestion if you had supplied the other half.

  5. #5

    Member Since
    Jan 15, 2010
    I'm using a Macbook Pro5, 5.

    Sorry again

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