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Old 09-01-2009, 11:25 PM   #1
marlene
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Default MacBook disses FreeAgent

I bought an FreeAgent external drive for the MacBook, but it's not Mac formatted. And the Mac refuses to play with it.

It saw it when I plugged it in -- the FreeAgent icon's on the desktop -- and asked me if I wanted to use Time Machine with it. I said no, and then tried to copy a test file to the FreeAgent and the Mac said:

"The item [filename] could not be moved because "FreeAgent Drive" cannot be modified."

So does it want me to reformat the drive? Buy it a new drive, and this time make sure I get one that's already Mac formatted? The FreeAgent might be NTFS, which I think isn't compatible with Mac. If I weren't so lazy, I'd hook it up the PC and find out.

The new drive won't go to waste -- I wanted another one for the PC anyway -- so I won't get heartburn if I have to buy another one for the Mac. But ideally, I'd like to have an external drive that'll work on both Mac and PC. I do have an old one that does (I guess it's FAT32), but it makes Funny Noises so I don't want to rely on it even for backups.

UPDATE: Yep, the new drive is NTFS. I unplugged it from the Mac (which complained -- I guess I was supposed to throw it in the trash first?) and into the PC to check.

mxh
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Old 09-02-2009, 03:11 AM   #2
Robin Springall
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How about just formatting it as a Mac drive, Marlene? (Erase it in Disk Utility and set it to Mac OS Extended, Journaled.) Should work.

   
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Old 09-02-2009, 07:47 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marlene View Post
I bought an FreeAgent external drive for the MacBook, but it's not Mac formatted. And the Mac refuses to play with it.
I think I mentioned that in an earlier message where I was warning you against getting a FreeAgent for your Mac .

My solution, which is not available for you, was to connect the FreeAgent to an older (non-Intel) Mac, and reformat it there. Then the new Mac was happy with it.

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UPDATE: Yep, the new drive is NTFS. I unplugged it from the Mac (which complained -- I guess I was supposed to throw it in the trash first?) and into the PC to check.
Yes — get used to doing that: to disconnect anything (thumb drive, camera cards, hard drives), first drag the icon to the trash, which turns into an eject symbol for the occasion. Then physically remove it. (If you forget, restarting the computer usually deletes the icon and fixes everything.)

   
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Old 09-02-2009, 07:53 AM   #4
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How about just formatting it as a Mac drive, Marlene? (Erase it in Disk Utility and set it to Mac OS Extended, Journaled.) Should work.
I bought a FreeAgent last year, and the iMac would not format it or deal with it at all.

There was a discussion about this drive’s disinclination to be formatted for an Intel Mac (or maybe a Leopard Mac; don’t remember), so I hooked it up to an old G4 (proving that hanging on to old junk is actually a good idea), and it reformatted it without complaint. Then the iMac was content, and I used it with Time Machine. But it turned out to be a lousy drive right out of the box, so it has been replaced by another drive (and another brand).

   
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Old 09-02-2009, 10:05 AM   #5
Howard Allen
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Marlene--

Macs can read NTFS drives, but not write to them, which is why you got the message "the drive cannot be modified". From your message, it sounds like you haven't tried to reformat the drive. I'd follow Robin's advice and reformat it to Mac, or to FAT32 if you need to use it on a PC. Go to Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility and choose either "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" (for Mac only) or "MS-DOS (FAT)" in the Volume Format popup menu.

   
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Old 09-02-2009, 05:29 PM   #6
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Marlene--

Macs can read NTFS drives, but not write to them, which is why you got the message "the drive cannot be modified".
Is that still true of Snow Leopard?
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Old 09-02-2009, 06:31 PM   #7
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AFAIK. I haven't got Snow Leopard yet (and I don't have an NTFS drive to test it on), and I don't see any mention of it in Apple's "what's new" page.

Maybe an early adopter can shed more light. Any early adopters here?

   
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Old 09-03-2009, 12:20 PM   #8
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I could do. But I wonder if I'd still be able to read that drive on the PC, too. I do have software on the PC that reads and writes to Mac-formatted media, so I guess it would work ...

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Old 09-03-2009, 12:26 PM   #9
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Yes, I think you tried to steer me away from a FreeAgent. I was seduced by their 5-year warranty. <g>

A friend has an older Mac -- G4? -- don't know if those were Intel. If not, she could format the drive for me.

Yeah, I need to remember to throw things in the trash. I didn't think the Mac would squawk when I pulled the USB plug.

You know that row of icons across the bottom of the screen (what's that row called?? Looks like tchotchkes on a table.). I've got three questions marks in the row, for various aspects of Stuffit (yes, I bought Stuffit -- I found it real cheap on eBay, and it was an unused, legit version that I was able to register). How do I replace the question marks with icons?

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Old 09-03-2009, 12:28 PM   #10
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You mean I can reformat the drive to FAT32 on the Mac?

Or would it be better to do it on the PC?

mxh
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