Mac Not Reading Fat32 Formatted Harddrive

lorelei1964

Registered
I have a Lacie external harddrive that my Mac suddenly can no longer read. I took it in for repairs because it was under warranty and they said the drive is fine. It's formatted as FAT32 because I need to go back and forth to a PC. The other harddrives that I own are MAC formatted and read fine. I have an old powermac G4 450 Mh.1.12 Gb of memory running OS 10.3.9
Help?
 

Veljo

Mac Enthusiast
You'd be better off formatting the drive as an NTFS drive (only if you have Windows NT, 2000 or XP). If you have these operating systems I highly suggest you do this, as it will increase drive performance and your Mac should read it.
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
What?! NTFS? No, don't do that, unless the only thing you want to do on the Mac-side is read files on the hard drive.

NTFS is read-only under Mac OS X, meaning you cannot change/modify/delete/add files to the hard drive. You can only read them and copy them off of the hard drive.

Leave the drive FAT32 if you wish to be able to both read and write from both Mac and PC.

It may help to do some "general" maintenance, like zapping PRAM and NVRAM and making sure your internal hard drive is in good health (with a good disk & permissions repair with Disk Utility).

Also, when you plug in the drive, even though it doesn't appear on the desktop doesn't mean it's not being recognized -- open Disk Utility with the drive plugged in and see if it's recognized there. You can also choose to mount the disk directly from Disk Utility -- perhaps the disk is OK but just not auto-mounting on the Macintosh.
 

Veljo

Mac Enthusiast
ElDiabloConCaca said:
What?! NTFS? No, don't do that, unless the only thing you want to do on the Mac-side is read files on the hard drive.

NTFS is read-only under Mac OS X, meaning you cannot change/modify/delete/add files to the hard drive. You can only read them and copy them off of the hard drive.
All three hard drives on my family's PC are formatted as NTFS under Windows XP and my iMac can read/write/modify/delete and add files no problem. Definately not read only.
 

nixgeek

Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
This is because you are using Samba to access the fileshares, which fools the Windows computer into thinking that another Windows computer is accessing it. However, if you have a hard drive or some other storage medium that is formatted NTFS and you PHYSICALLY mount it on a computer running anything other than Windows NT/2000/XP, you won't have write access...only read access. And by PHYSICALLY mounting I mean either through USB/Firewire or by connecting it internally (depending on the type of storage media you are using).
 

nixgeek

Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
And if you are running Windows 9x, you're even more out of luck because you can't even READ NTFS with those OSes unless you use third party software.
 
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