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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Dec 28, 2006
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    Lakewood California
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    41
    Specs:
    17-inch model 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
    Format Maxtor External Drive
    I currently have a maxtor external hard drive that was formatted on a pc as ntfs file system. my mac can only read and not write to it. what is the best way to format it on the mac using disk utility? I would like it to read and write on both pc and mac. Does it need to be fat 32??

    any suggestions would be great.

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Feb 19, 2007
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    350
    Specs:
    15" MBP 2.2Ghz C2D 4GB RAM 120GB HDD
    Yes, if you want to read it on Windows and OS X you'll need FAT32. Disk Utility would be the easiest way I would think.
    Apple Mac HQ - Apple/Mac News, Reviews, and More

  3. #3

    Kash's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 03, 2006
    Location
    Irvine, CA
    Posts
    9,385
    Specs:
    Black Macbook C2D 2GHz 3GB RAM 250GB HD iPhone 4 iPad 3G
    You can keep it NTFS but would need to install something called MacFuse for you to be able to write to it in OS X. You could also go with HFS+ but then need something called MacDrive installed on Windows to read and write to it.

    So to summarize, it's just easier to stick with FAT32.

    June 2007
    July 2009

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Feb 22, 2009
    Posts
    2
    Hi, i to have a maxtor drive. formatted it using Mac Disk Utility. Tried hooking it up to my old dell inspiron laptop that has windows xp home on it. and it still would not recognize it at all. i formated the hard drive with my macbook pro. could it be that the firmware on my dell isnt updated enough?

  5. #5

    vansmith's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 19, 2008
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    19,740
    Specs:
    2012 13" MBP (2.5 i5, 8GB)
    Any computer made in the last...well, a long time, will support FAT32. Are you sure you formatted it as FAT32?

    Also, as a note, if you have any file > 4GB, you won't be able to put them on the FAT32 formatted HD. FAT32 doesn't support files > 4GB.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Feb 22, 2009
    Posts
    2
    i believe so.... please look at the attached screenshot. thanks for your help. I'm in the processes of selling my dell and I'm trying to transfer everything to that external HDD.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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