View Full Version : External hard disk connected but cannot open

05-09-2007, 11:23 AM
hi guys
i have been reading some postings. and many of them has problem similar like mine. The difference is i use HP Pavillion notebook. But have an external hard drive, which i want to share both with my iMac and HP notebook. My disk shows mac extented. Can anyone pl! help me how to to reformate the disk to MS-DOS.
i went with this problem to service center from where i bought it thinking that this the notebook problem. but they even dont know and telling me to check the whole system. and which ofcourse costs me 150 bucks
can anyone Pl! tell me how to reformat the disk.
i would really appreciate ur help or suggestions.

05-09-2007, 11:50 AM
1)Back up all your data off of the external

2)Using Dusk Utility, erase drive as "Free Space"

3)on the PC side, format drive as FAT32.

4)Drive will be mountable by both PCs and Macs.

(note: this is the only way to have an external properly communicate with both PCs and Macs that I know of, but it will limit the size of the drive to 32 GB, i think.)

05-09-2007, 01:43 PM
Actually, Disk Utility will format the drive at FAT32 for you without the 32GB limit imposed by Windows format utility and Windows doesn't object to large FAT32 volumes--the utility provided by Windows has been designed with a limitation, probably because they believe that NTFS is the better format for large drives (which it is, in the Windows world). Further, it is also possible to format the drive as HFS+ and use a program called MacDrive on your Windows machine to access the drive. This is useful if you aren't moving it to a number of different Windows machines, but FAT32 gives better portability. Lastly, there are third party Windows programs (like Partition Magic) that can format your drive as FAT32 on the PC without the 32GB limit of the built-in Windows utility. Which of these techniques you use may depend on how you intend to use the drive.

Joe VanZandt

05-09-2007, 02:03 PM
2)Using Dusk Utility, erase drive as "Free Space"

Could you explain why that would be a good idea?

3)on the PC side, format drive as FAT32.

This can be done on a PC if you wish. BUT, if you use Win2000, WinXP, or newer version of Windows, you don't want to use Microsoft's built-in drive formatting utilities, as they won't allow FAT32 partitions larger than 32 GB. If you must use Windows, use Win98SE or WinME, or else use a third party utility such as Partition Magic.

But why would you want to use Windows? You can also format it on the Mac with Disk Utility. This is easier, and in my experience MORE compatible than using Microsoft's utilities.

urgyen7, here are two sets of directions. The first is the way I'd recommend that you do it, but it costs a little bit of money. The second way is free.

Recommended method:

1. Backup the drive
2. Connect it to your Mac. Launch Disk Utility. Select the drive, go to the Erase tab. Set the Volume Format to "Mac OS Extended" (which is what Disk Utiltiy calls HFS+).
3. Click Erase.
4. Buy and Install MacDrive (http://www.mediafour.com/products/macdrive6/) on your HP. That way, you have a superior format (FAT32 is an old, inefficient, and decrepit filesystem) and it is supports Mac-native features such as resource forks properly yet is still completely usable on your PC. MacDrive is a cool program for Windows.

Or, the other, free method:

1. Backup the drive
2. Connect it to your Mac. Launch Disk Utility. Select the drive, go to the Erase tab. Set the Volume Format to "MS-DOS Format" (which is what Disk Utility calls FAT32).
3. Click Erase.


05-09-2007, 05:38 PM
Thank you guys
I did as you all told me and now m really happy that my external hard which i can used for all my macs and hp.
Once again thank you all reallly very much and the mac drive is also a very good idea.
by the way is it the same Macdrive as which one load from boot camp windows.