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  1. #1
    Trouble formatting to FAT

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    Trouble formatting to FAT
    I have this NTFS external 100 GB hardrive but I recently switched to Mac so as you know, Macs can only read NTFS however they cant modify them. So I want to format it to FAT, but how? I tried inserting it in Windows but when I do format it only gives me the "NTFS" but no FAT. In Mac OS X I cant find the option to format.

    Any idea?

  2. #2
    Trouble formatting to FAT
    eric's Avatar
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    in your applications/utilities folder open disk utility.

    when you select the external drive to format, you should be given the option at the top to partition. you can then select the sizes and file systems to partition the drive as. you can also just select one partition, and format it.
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  3. #3
    Trouble formatting to FAT

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    Thanks. Im in that menu now, but I dont see FAT anywhere, just 4 different types of Mac OS Extended, Unix and Free Space. So which one of those is FAT?

  4. #4
    Trouble formatting to FAT
    eric's Avatar
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    i'm not on my mac now, but do you see a DOS option anywhere?



    edit: from apple.com

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.h.../en/duh15.html
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  5. #5
    Trouble formatting to FAT
    baggss's Avatar
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    Disc Utility will show 2 drive images/icons for the drive, one upper, one lower. Highlight the upper and select erase, the drop down menu will have MS-DOS. If you select the lower one it won't. The upper is the Drive itself, the lower is the current partition.


  6. #6
    Trouble formatting to FAT
    dtravis7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baggss View Post
    Disc Utility will show 2 drive images/icons for the drive, one upper, one lower. Highlight the upper and select erase, the drop down menu will have MS-DOS. If you select the lower one it won't. The upper is the Drive itself, the lower is the current partition.
    Totally correct. So many miss that and can not find the DOS Format option. Great job.

  7. #7
    Trouble formatting to FAT
    eric's Avatar
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    good catch baggss, virtual rep - gotta spread it around.
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  8. #8
    Trouble formatting to FAT

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    Thanks guys. You've been really helpful. I did it and tested and it works

    So I understand that with FAT, the only disadvantage is that you cannot have a file thats more than 4 GB stored in it right?

  9. #9
    Trouble formatting to FAT
    eric's Avatar
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    yes, that's right. i believe there's a max size limit to the partition size too, though i'm sure it's very large - yeah, just checked and it looks to be 8Tb.
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  10. #10
    Trouble formatting to FAT
    dtravis7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by netlover View Post
    Thanks guys. You've been really helpful. I did it and tested and it works

    So I understand that with FAT, the only disadvantage is that you cannot have a file thats more than 4 GB stored in it right?

    Yes, there is a 4GB File Size limit on FAT32. What you formatted there is really FAT32. This URL tells a bit.

    http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.js...00dd04090aRCRD

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_Allocation_Table

  11. #11
    Trouble formatting to FAT

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    Thanks again.

  12. #12
    Trouble formatting to FAT
    mac57's Avatar
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    You might want to consider using HFS+ on that drive. It fully supports Mac OS X's concept of owner IDs and permissions, making your data safer from malware. It also is journalled, meaning that it is more resilient to corruption overall, and faster recovering from any that does occur.

    If you need to share the drive with a PC, you can add MacDrive (http://www.mediafour.com/products/macdrive) or its ilk to the PC and then it can read/write it too.

    Is this an option?
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