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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Jul 12, 2007
    Formatting External Drives
    Is there any way to format a drive on PC so that you can read and write on a Mac without erasing everything on the drive?

    Also, how do I format drives so they work with both in the future?


  2. #2

    bmcgonag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 11, 2007
    New Mexico, USA
    15" MBP 2.0 GHz, Core Duo, 2 GB Ram
    Macs can read NTFS, but not write to it. No way to format the drive without erasing everything.

    In the future, you can format the drive in partitions of 32 GB as FAT32. But, you can't write a file larger than 4 GB to the drive.

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Apr 19, 2007
    20" iMac Core 2 Duo 2.16Ghz, 500GB HDD, 1GB RAM, 128MB ATI Radeon X1600
    If you get an external drive, it will be formatted FAT32 anyway, so it will work with both.

    Well it should be, otherwise that's not a very good company.

  4. #4

    Member Since
    Jul 12, 2007
    So I've formatted a portable drive with my powerbook and my PC cant see it now so, how do I reformat it as a FAT32 drive?

  5. #5

    Member Since
    Oct 27, 2006
    Disk Utility. A PC can't see HFS+ drives without some third party software help. A Mac can't write to NTFS without some third party help. Use Disk Utility to format it as FAT 32. Do not use a PC to format it, Windows imposes a ridiculous size limit on FAT 32 volumes.

  6. #6

    Member Since
    Jul 12, 2007
    Sorry about all the questions, so I plug the drive into the power book, open disk utility but, I cant see fat32 as an option under erase, would you mind walking me through it?


  7. #7

    MacBurg's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 26, 2007
    Waihi Beach, New Zealand
    MacBook Pro 15" 2.6Ghz | 200GB 7200 | 4GB Ram | 32GB iPod Touch 2G
    Fat-32 is MS-DOS under Disk Utility, if you want to use the drive in a mixed OS environment, partition the drive so that you have one partition formatted as Fat-32, and one as Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

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