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  1. #1


    Member Since
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    Seagate Freeagent: "The disk you inserted is not readable by this computer"
    I believe this harddrive is formatted Fat32. I want to format it for my Mac for video editing. It's brand new, never used. When I plug it in, this is the message I get:

    "The disk you inserted is not readable by this computer"

    I am using OS X 10.5.8

    What is the problem?

  2. #2

    TattooedMac's Avatar
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    Have you opened up Disk Utility to see if it really is there or not. ??
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  3. #3


    Member Since
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    Yes, it shows. When I try to format it, it fails.

  4. #4

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    Did you try using the Partition Tab or just Erase in Disk Utility?

  5. #5


    Member Since
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    Erase. I don't know how to use partition. I just opened the tab and nothing is clickable other than volume scheme.

  6. #6


    Member Since
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    Tried again today. Still can't seem to work this one out.

  7. #7

    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Imac 27" Retina 5K, 512GB flash memory, 3.3GHz, 16GB memory, macOS Sierra beta.
    Go into Partition, and select a partition set up, even if one partition, and format Mac OS Extended (Journalled). Let us know your progress? Hard drives invariably arrive set up for Windows.

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Aug 04, 2008
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    Tried 1 partition.

    Partition failed with the error:

    File system formatter failed.

  9. #9

    vansmith's Avatar
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    Does this HD have two USB plugs on the cable by any chance? If so, you need to plug both in. This might be why it isn't being read properly.
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  10. #10


    Member Since
    Aug 04, 2008
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    Just one.

  11. #11


    Member Since
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    Specs:
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    Mac OS X can read FAT32 just fine. If it's NTFS, though... well...

  12. #12

    vansmith's Avatar
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    You should still be able to read the drive if it's NTFS but regardless, the current filesystem of the drive shouldn't affect the formatting (to the best of my knowledge). Have you tried formatting it with a different fs?
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  13. #13

    dtravis7's Avatar
    Member Since
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    Van is totally correct.

    To the OP, is the drive BUS powered or does it have it's own Power Supply? That is what VAN was getting at with the question about dual usb cable.

  14. #14


    Member Since
    Aug 04, 2008
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    A different FS? I dunno what you mean.

    The drive can't be read, it won't format, it won't partition. I only own one computer, a Mac.

    The external harddrive is one USB cable and a power cable to the wall.

  15. #15

    vansmith's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 19, 2008
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    Specs:
    2012 13" MBP (2.5 i5, 8GB)
    Which FreeAgent do you have? Looking at Seagate's website, they have a couple different FreeAgents. Not knowing anything about them other than what's on Seagate's website, it looks like some might require a power adapter (FreeAgent Desk and Xtreme) and some look to be small enough (FreeAgent GO) to be bus powered. I could be wrong but it looks like there are both.

    EDIT: I evidently can't research and type fast enough.

    Different FS = different filesystem. Have you tried formatting it as FAT32? I know it's already formatted that way but I just want to see if you can format it at all.
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