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Thread: Changing My Book to a Mac formatted external HD

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    109

    Changing My Book to a Mac formatted external HD

    A friend is switching from PC to Mac. He has a MyBook external drive, with mostly media files. What is the best way for him to convert that MyBook to a Mac formatted external HD? Please suggest appropriate and valid answers. All your suggestions and provided information will be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    1,292

    Re: Changing My Book to a Mac formatted external HD

    If it is formatted as FAT32, then you have to change the file system since both OS X and Windows can read and write to the external hard drive. Though, if the disk is formatted as NTFS, then you need to convert to FAT32 or HFS + if you want to read and write to it (OS X can only read NTFS, not write). What it does is connect the drive to the Mac and open Disk Utility. You will receive the formatting options from there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    1,416

    Re: Changing My Book to a Mac formatted external HD

    Above posters, regardless of format you are using Windows, FAT32 or NTFS, it will be read by the new Mac Therefore, your friend can only connect the drive, and must appear on the desktop. So, to make native Mac format (recommended unless he / she wants to use to share files back and forth with Windows) Disk Utility just opened and use it to format. Disk Utility is in the Utilities folder on Mac.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,185

    Re: Changing My Book to a Mac formatted external HD

    The MAC is read both FAT32 and NTFS as mentioned above, but only writes to FAT32. The My Book is formatted in FAT32. I have mine formatted HFS Journal and works very well taken. It seems faster (over firewire) to me. However, I have to put it back to FAT32 and connected to my PC, as I am using a Netgear SC101, which is shared by the PC, but the backup software from WD in the MAC cannot see the actions.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    859

    Re: Changing My Book to a Mac formatted external HD

    Alternatively, you can format the external hard drive with FAT32, which OS X can read / write, but I do not recommend it. This is an outdated file system is very inefficient with space, especially in the size of a unit (if it's even compatible with a large unit so not sure really) and OS X, there is a risk permanent data loss if those units are not "expelled" properly before disconnecting.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,108

    Re: Changing My Book to a Mac formatted external HD

    You should have no problem using the drive. My guess is that it is NTFS formatted so, as Mama Luigi said, a quick format should solve that problem. Frequently, companies will sell "Mac ready" equipment and charge more for it when in fact; it is no different than equivalent "PC ready" equipment. I highly recommend against using FAT32. If you need OS X to be able to write to the drive, and then use NTFS and get one of the software items that enable OS X to write to that.

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