1. vpblaze's Avatar
    Hey everyone, quick question about my external hard drive.

    We have recently switched over to a couple MacBook Air's in our house, coming from Chrome OS and Windows.

    I have an external hard drive that I have used on my previous laptops. Videos, pictures, etc on there.

    Now I have gone and plugged it into my MacBook and while I can view things, I can't delete, cut any of the items on there. I haven't even tried moving anything on it yet.

    So now the question is, do I have to format the hard drive for MacOS specific?
    I have had similar problems with flash drives since the switch and formatting obviously fixes it.

    So is this the process now? Can external data only be used for that specific OS?
    09-06-2017 05:51 PM
  2. hallux's Avatar
    macOS can only read NTFS (likely the format of the drive, you'll see that in Disk Utility) but it can not write to the filesystem. To work on both macOS and Windows systems you'll need to have it formatted FAT32 or ExFAT but if you're going to use macOS from now on you're better off formatting in the Apple file system - Mac OS Extended (Journaled) as this provides better stability of the file system.

    Unfortunately, this means you need to back up the data from the disk and do a format.
    Just_Me_D and vpblaze like this.
    09-06-2017 06:30 PM
  3. doogald's Avatar
    What I have always done is to back up my old NTFS drives, re-format them as HFS+ using Disk Utility, and then copy the data back on. However, if you really want to, or need to, mount NTFS drives as read/write on MacOS, there is a way.

    See https://www.howtogeek.com/236055/how...ives-on-a-mac/

    Note that if the external drive is a Seagate drive, you can download a free copy of Paragon from Seagate that will work with any Seagate drive. It won't work with other drives without buying a license, though.
    Just_Me_D and vpblaze like this.
    09-06-2017 07:23 PM
  4. vpblaze's Avatar
    Thanks guys.
    This helps.
    It actually is a Seagate drive, so I will look into that and see how it works. Shouldn't be too hard to back up and then format the hard drive. There isn't much on there right now.

    Regarding exFAT and FAT32. Is there a 4GB file size limit on there?
    09-06-2017 09:31 PM
  5. doogald's Avatar
    Regarding exFAT and FAT32. Is there a 4GB file size limit on there?
    FAT32, yes. exFAT, the limit is 4 GB times 4 GB, or 16 EB - so, essentially no file limit.
    hallux likes this.
    09-07-2017 05:46 AM
  6. vpblaze's Avatar
    FAT32, yes. exFAT, the limit is 4 GB times 4 GB, or 16 EB - so, essentially no file limit.
    Perfect. Thanks.
    Seems like a lot of the articles and help forums from a Google search were pretty old and just talked about FAT32.
    09-07-2017 06:42 AM

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