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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Apr 02, 2011
    Posts
    2
    External Hard Drive Issue
    Hello, I am new to this forum and relatively new to my iMac.

    I recently bought a hard drive to save various things on it, but mostly movies and videos. When I bought the hard drive and plugged it in to my Mac, I was unable to save anything to it and so I formatted it not knowing what was wrong. When I did that I formatted it into a Mac OS extended (Journaled) format and was able to save things to it. I also have a media player to watch videos from my hard drive on my TV.

    So when I plugged in the hard drive, the media player says it cannot recognize it. I also plugged it into my laptop (running Windows XP) and it doesn't recognize it either.

    Can anyone tell me what I need to do to get it to run on all the systems I have. It doesn't bother me to re-format if that's what I need to do, but I do need to know what to do.

    I apologize if this has been asked before, but I am in a bit of a hurry as I am in the military and about to deploy (another reason to get it to work on my laptop). Thanks for your help in advance!!

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    Posts
    20,911
    Specs:
    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    1. Mac OS X can read from, but not write to, NTFS (the default format of Windows computers these days).

    2. You have two options if you want to use this drive with both systems:
    a. Format it as FAT32 and limit your files to no more than 4GB. Macs and PCs and other devices can read and write FAT32
    b. Add an NTFS driver to your Mac (I don't know the best one but there are several) to enable writing to NTFS. Then all three of your systems should be able to read and write to NTFS.

    Caveat: Do not be tempted to make any other drives NTFS. Your Mac's boot drive MUST be formatted for Mac, as must bootable backups. Storage drives: do what you want.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Apr 02, 2011
    Posts
    2
    thanks for the help!!

    so if i download a NTFS driver, do i need to reformat my storage drive?

    thanks again!!

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Apr 02, 2011
    Posts
    4
    No reformat necessary
    No reformat is necessary if you choose to install an NTFS read/write driver.

    Here's a link to get one by the way:
    NTFS for Mac at Tuxera

    On that note, do consider FAT32 as any third-party NTFS writer is NOT written by Microsoft and cannot be considered as reliable. You'll probably be fine, but if you keep NTFS, keep a good and current backup as well.
    A+, MCSE Certified IT Pro
    Senior tech

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    Posts
    20,911
    Specs:
    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    Quote Originally Posted by dsstao View Post
    On that note, do consider FAT32 as any third-party NTFS writer is NOT written by Microsoft and cannot be considered as reliable. You'll probably be fine, but if you keep NTFS, keep a good and current backup as well.
    Good advice!

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