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Old 01-03-2005, 06:14 PM   #1
xpnstos77
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Sharing External HardDisk with PC's and Mac's


I am trying to have one hard disk for both my new iBook G4 and for all Windows machines.

I have read many responses to this problem and really have not gotten a clear answer.

Originally the drive had two partions on it. One that was in Fat32 and one that was NTFS. I knew that the partition in NTFS was no readable by a Mac, so I used Partition Magic on my PC to format it to Fat32 and then had it lumped up into one partition. I also took out all the folder icons that Windows XP uses just in case that was causing my problem.

Originally, before the format and resizing, what would happen is that my mac would freeze when trying to access the primary partition. So, I performed the above steps.

Now, I can get to the files. I can open a excel file, word file, pdf file all without any problems. When I go to access any .mp3, and .jpeg the machine freezes and has to be manually turned off.

I also cant copy any files to the local drive without it having it freeze up on me.

A couple of questions
A) Has anyone ever successfully used an external USB drive to share file for Windows and for a Mac.
B) What casued the complete lock up my system when trying to read the drive when it had the NTFS partion on it and the XP Folder Icons.
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Old 01-03-2005, 08:05 PM   #2
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I have successfully done what you are trying to do - I had a USB/Firewire combo enclosure that I put a hard drive in and formatted it using Disk Utility as MS-DOS (FAT32). I have no problem using the Firewire connection for the mac and USB 2.0 for the PC.

As far as NTFS, your mac should be able to see and read any NTFS partition, just not write to it. You should be able to read and write to FAT32 drives and Disk Utility can even repair FAT32 if necessary.

Instead of using Partition Magic to format FAT32, have you tried any other utilities? (Disk Manager in XP, Disk Utility in OS X, etc.)

FAT32 also has some formatting limitations when done on a PC using windows- what size drive is it?
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Old 01-03-2005, 10:46 PM   #3
xpnstos77
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The drive is a 40GB drive. I am currently backing up the drive onto a pc and then will format it with the disk utility on the mac. What I cant understand is why this does not work vise versa. Formatting the drive in Windows and then reading it on the Mac should work.
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Old 01-04-2005, 08:28 AM   #4
TazmanDman
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According to this article, formatting the drive from XP will only give you 32GB of space - however using another OS to format it will bypass this limitation.

Perhaps something in the formatting didn't quite "catch" when you did it last time?
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Old 01-04-2005, 11:09 AM   #5
xpnstos77
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Still not working with 18.6 GB

I backed up all the files to a PC. Then on the PC I took the hard disk and split it into two seperate 18.6GB drives. I formated them on the PC and hoped all should work.

I copied an .mp3 to the first partition and then plugged it into my iBook. Well it locked up trying to read the file.

iTunes returned an error saying that the location of the file has changed. So I attempted to search for it and it locked up. Now the dam Mac wont mount the drives at all.

It also wont allow me to format the drives in MS-DOS mode as it would before (The drive briefly mounted, so I went into disk utility)

I dont think that this is possible. This is also very fustrating. It sounds like Winblows and Macanshit. I dont think anyone can make an OS that works.
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Old 01-04-2005, 09:41 PM   #6
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Problem only with mp3's and video files only

Now it has a problem with video and mp3 files. It locks up reading and copying them. No problem with small docs, excel files and pdf files. Can anyone help.

Also, why cant I use the mac to format the drive in Fat now when before i could. I was hoping that this might be the problem but now it wont let me do it.

Please HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-05-2005, 05:44 PM   #7
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Using Disk Utility you should click on the external hard drive device in the left column on top and not the two partitions that you made - that should enable you to reformat it.

It will unmount automatically if its being reformatted and no files are open from it.
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Old 01-06-2005, 12:10 AM   #8
xpnstos77
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But I dont wont to reformat the entire drive again. Just one of the partitions. I already returned the files to partition 1.

What is the command and how do I get into the unix os. I know that it is fdisk. How does this work in a Mac?
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Old 01-08-2005, 08:41 AM   #9
xpnstos77
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Need Help with Formatting

Can somebody please tell me how the formatting works in a Mac. I need to know if the problem that I have is because I am formatting the drive with Windows. Also can please tell me if I hightlight the drive itself in the disk utility will it format the entire drive or will it from there just ask which partition I am looking to format.
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Old 01-09-2005, 04:37 AM   #10
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Disk Utility will require that the entire drive be formated in order to modify the partition table. You might consider looking into the utility, iPartition that will allow you to dynamically adjust the partitions, frequently without defragmenting or formating.
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Old 01-18-2005, 02:27 PM   #11
karakal
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I have the same problem

I have two external drives. An USB and a firewire/USB combo.
The USB doesn't seem to work on my Mac (G4-400), and on the firewire combo I have some strange effects.
I have two partitions on it: One little NTFS and one big FAT32 (The limit of 32GB someone mentioned is a bug in the WindowsXP graphical disk administration)
One the first night, the Mac recognised both partitions and I was able to access my mediafiles. But after a nights sleep he only want to communicate with my NTFS partition and is ignoring my FAT32. On the Intel-PC I can access all files and there is no damage... I don't know whats going on....
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Old 01-24-2005, 10:02 PM   #12
rambaldi
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Frustrated!

I am sharing the same frustration as XPNSTOS77. I own an 80GB USB 2.0 external disk and tried to format it for the usage of both MAC and PC. As according to the advice from many of the MAC forums, I've used Partition Manager from the PC and partition it to one single large FAT32. Works well naturally with my PC but on plugging into my iMAC G4 with panther, it says the volume is unreadable and ask me to either eject, ignore or initialize it.

Am just wondering why this is the case. When i plug in an SD card on a USB Hub or a ZIP drive... it works without any issues. My iMAC can recognized those instantly. I would presume that my USB external disk drive would be the same. None of the forums can clearly tell me why. Is it because it cannot recognize a 2.5" drive on an external USB device? Is it because Panther lacks a driver for mass storage?

It is absolutely imperative that i get the drive to work for both my notebook PC and iMac. Please help.
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Old 01-25-2005, 11:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rambaldi
I am sharing the same frustration as XPNSTOS77. I own an 80GB USB 2.0 external disk and tried to format it for the usage of both MAC and PC. As according to the advice from many of the MAC forums, I've used Partition Manager from the PC and partition it to one single large FAT32. Works well naturally with my PC but on plugging into my iMAC G4 with panther, it says the volume is unreadable and ask me to either eject, ignore or initialize it.

Am just wondering why this is the case. When i plug in an SD card on a USB Hub or a ZIP drive... it works without any issues. My iMAC can recognized those instantly. I would presume that my USB external disk drive would be the same. None of the forums can clearly tell me why. Is it because it cannot recognize a 2.5" drive on an external USB device? Is it because Panther lacks a driver for mass storage?

It is absolutely imperative that i get the drive to work for both my notebook PC and iMac. Please help.

Try formatting the drive using Disk Utility and use the MS-DOS option for the filesystem
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Old 01-26-2005, 02:53 AM   #14
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I have tried to use the disk utility. It doesn't seem to let me format, erase or partition it. It recognizes the disk though as i can do a 'get info' and even 'eject' it. When I do a 'diskutil list' in command line, it says that there is a /dev/disk1 but has a size of *0G. I've tried to use both fdisk and diskutil to partition and format it but comes back with an error to say that it cannot do so. I must have tried all the methods as advised on other forums. None of it seemed to work. Any ideas? I do not think its the external HD USB casing problem because it works perfectly fine with my PC (and it did say its compatible to Mac OS). Is there something that i missed out?
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Old 03-24-2005, 05:00 PM   #15
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i am having the same problems as described here. G4 1 GHz powerbook. seagate 200 Gb external hd. enermax USB 2.0 enclosure. How unbelievable that my 4 year old, windows ME Dell is the only functioning piece in this puzzle.

has anybody discovered anything new since the last post a couple of months ago??
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Old 03-29-2005, 12:46 AM   #16
et
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panachick
i am having the same problems as described here. G4 1 GHz powerbook. seagate 200 Gb external hd. enermax USB 2.0 enclosure. How unbelievable that my 4 year old, windows ME Dell is the only functioning piece in this puzzle.

has anybody discovered anything new since the last post a couple of months ago??

Same problem; no answers. G3 600 GHz iBook, 3 different USB 2.0 external drives. The one formatted in XP showed up on my Mac and had all the problems above. The Mac didn't even find the 2 unformatted disks so, I couldn't try formatting them. I'm new to Windows and had no problem. Started with Apple II, had a Mac II when they cost $7000... This has me stumped.
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Old 03-29-2005, 11:39 AM   #17
Las_Vegas
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Part of your problem is that your Mac does not have USB 2.0! The USB ports on your G3/600MHz are USB 1.1. This just isn't fast enough for practical use of external hard disk drives. You should limit yourself to Firewire compatible drives.
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Old 05-07-2005, 10:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karakal
...The limit of 32GB someone mentioned is a bug in the WindowsXP graphical disk administration....

Actually it's not a bug, it's a feature. Windows XP was designed to limit the size you can format a FAT32 partition to 32GB because, for larger drives, the minimum size allocated to a file goes up dramatically, e.g., a file with a single character might take up 32MB. The NTFS file system has much better allocation of disk resources and MS was trying to encourage the use of NTFS instead of FAT32 for large drives, hence the self imposed limit.
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:55 AM   #19
Isamu
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Just an idea

Hello,

I'm not an Mac user (yet) but I'm happening to be one soon. I'm planning to use one external HD for PC and Mac too. I know there are some issues around the FAT32, NTFS and HFS thing.

I had an idea to kinda solve this problem, I was wondering if this could work:

1. Connect the Mac to the Ex HD through FW and the PC through USB
2. Format the external HD to HFS with a Mac (then transfer all files on it)
3. (Buy and) Install MacDrive on the Windows PC

The Mac will have no problem reading or writing the files on the HD due to it's HFS

The PC recognizes the drive as an Mac format but it can read and write the files on that HD.

Could this work?
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Old 10-08-2006, 02:57 PM   #20
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Formatting the drive as HFS+ (Mac OS Extended) and using MacDrive on the Windows PC is a good idea, and will work well.

The one thing that probably won't work, and will probably cause big problems is...
Quote:
Connect the Mac to the Ex HD through FW and the PC through USB

I would NOT recommend that you have two computers connected to a USB/FireWire hard drive at the same time. (If you mean you would connect them to two computers at different times, that's fine.) The most likely result of having two computers connected to a USB/FireWire drive at the same time is that one of the interfaces (probably USB) will be turned off and not do anything. The other possible result is that you will have massive file system damage to the drive because it is getting control messages simultaneously from two different computers.

You should only connect the drive to one computer at a time.

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