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Computer help - Conundrum - The art of Thornwolf — LiveJournal
thornwolf
thornwolf
Computer help - Conundrum
I'm trying to put my PC out of commission but transfer all of my files from that computer to my desktop mac. I'm switching everything over to Mac for graphics and the like.

I bought an external harddrive and was able to put said files onto the harddrive no problem, but then i tried to plug the harddrive into my mac laptop and it wouldn't read the drive at all, as in the little icon saying I have something plugged into my usb drive didn't pop up.

I don't know if its because I don't have enough room on my laptop for the harddrive, but even so it should at least /read/ it right?

That aside, I don't have my mac desktop set up yet as I have very little space and I was going to put it where my desktop PC is, so I was trying to avoid hooking it up until I was ready.

What would you guys suggest I do? I can still take the harddrive back as I have the receipt and the packaging. I've so far successfully transferred some files from my PC to my laptop using a flash drive but it's way tedious, and I'd really like this harddrive to work.

I'm really not good with computers at all. I know how to use them for art but I don't know how to maintain them very well, so any help would be much appreciated.

Current Mood: confused confused
Current Music: Longevity - Assemblage 23

24 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
tarnac From: tarnac Date: April 11th, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Depends on the format of the external hard drive. If it's set up NTFS, mac can't do much with it. If it's FAT32 or 16, the mac can read and write to it.

It's either failing to mount, or you don't know where to look. Plug it in and look under finder. Below the "Macintosh Hard Drive" (or whatever you named it) may be the external HDD.

You may also be plugging it into a firewire port, though I kind of doubt that. I have had a client do that in the past.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: April 11th, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
My firewire port is a different size but I'm going to double check everything. I think very possibly its what you said that this particular hard drive cant go to a mac. Where would I find that information on the harddrive itself you think? If its NTFS or FAT32/16?

I had asked the guys at staples if it would transfer stuff from a pc to a mac and they gave me an answer but the way they gave it didn't seem so sure so at worst I can take it back and get a refund and find something else that /will/ work.
tarnac From: tarnac Date: April 11th, 2008 07:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
When ya gonna be home? Easier to talk you through this, as I'm at work.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: April 11th, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
im already home, you know the house number right?
tarnac From: tarnac Date: April 11th, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't remember if I put it in my cell phone or not. Appears not. I'm at work though, but I'll give you a call when I can. TXT or email me your house number.
kevinblanchard From: kevinblanchard Date: April 11th, 2008 08:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
The hardware will definitely do it. No need to return it. The default OS for Windows is NTFS (which macs do not read by default). The default OS for Macs is HFS+ (which by defauly Windows machines do not read). BUT FAT32 can be read by BOTH Windows and Mac machines. (hooray!)

When you plug it into your windows machine right click on the drive and do a get info on it. It should tell you what it is formatted as. More than likely the drive shipped pre-formated with NTFS. That is pretty common when they ship external HD's. What I would do is format it to FAT32 (if you right click it it should show an option to format). Format it to FAt32 (this will erase your entire external drive and put a file system both machines can read).

Then transfer your files from your Windows machine to the external and your external should be visible to your Mac.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: April 12th, 2008 01:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Ok here's whats happening. I checked on the PC and it /is/ formatted for FAT32, but still the Mac isn't reading it at all when I plug it in. What would you suggest to do then?
(Deleted comment)
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: April 11th, 2008 08:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nah it didn't. Just the USB. I have a fireport (which has a separate power supply) but my dad says its formatted to the mac already and I can't grab stuff from my PC with it to bring it to the mac.
shockwave77598 From: shockwave77598 Date: April 11th, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Most ordinary drives out of a desktop need more current than a single USB port can supply. Many have a connector that can plug into the keyboard jack as well as the USB port so enough power is available. I'll bet it isn't spinning up - listen to it when you plug it in and see if there's a rising whining pitch as the motor powers up. If not, you need more power to the external box by whatever means the external box provided.
skorzy From: skorzy Date: April 11th, 2008 08:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
What Katze said. He might know a easier way to get it to work though... In the meantime:

Try this: Turn on your laptop and let it completely boot. Plug in the external drive, then go to your utility folder and boot the application "Disk Utility". Do you see the external drive on the left-side column? If you do, but it does NOT appear on the desktop too, then its likely NTFS format. Easy fix. Use Disk Utility to re-format the external drive using MS-DOS FAT. Afterwards, an icon for it should pop on the desktop.

If you DON'T see the drive in the Disk Utility column, then you've got one of the rare external drive mechanisms that just don't work with Mac for whatever reason. I bought an external USB drive case last year that did that. I ultimately took it back and got a different brand external case..and everything worked.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: April 11th, 2008 08:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Where is the utility folder located?

And just curious, I already have files added to this harddrive, would reformatting erase the drive completely?
skorzy From: skorzy Date: April 11th, 2008 08:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Double click your mac's drive icon, then open "Applications", then "Utilities". Its in there somewhere. Or click "apple-F" and type "disk utility" in the find box.

Anything on the external drive will be erased if you re-format, so you'll need to start over.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: April 11th, 2008 08:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
so if i reformat it, i can still take it back to the PC and plug it in and get the files yes? Just wanna make sure.
skorzy From: skorzy Date: April 11th, 2008 08:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
If you reformat the external drive as "MS-DOS FAT", it will be readable by both Windows AND MacOSX, so yes.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: April 12th, 2008 01:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Ok here's whats happening. I checked today on the PC and the drive is already formatted for FAT32, but when I plug it into the laptop it doesn't read it at all. I clicked on the Macintosh HD drive (on the desktop...is that the right place to look for this?) and it's not there. Not showing up as an icon on the desktop or anything.
skorzy From: skorzy Date: April 12th, 2008 02:41 am (UTC) (Link)
What if you boot "Disk Utility", is it in the left hand column of available drives?
skorzy From: skorzy Date: April 11th, 2008 08:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
It migh be "Drive Utility" based on what version of OSX you're running.
quilzas From: quilzas Date: April 11th, 2008 08:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yep. Formatting wipes out everyone on the drive.

Quite likely a format issue. It should just mount to the desktop.
sabarika From: sabarika Date: April 11th, 2008 08:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
..not only was this post useful for me ('cause I'm lookin for external HDs) but I wanted to point out that the mood icon you're using is too cute. :D
keovi From: keovi Date: April 11th, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is your laptop reading/acknowledging other USB devices? Until an update released yesterday, some Macbooks would turn off their USB ports after sleeping. I had to restart mine to get them activated again after sleeping it, but there's now a software update to fix the issue entirely :3
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: April 12th, 2008 01:16 am (UTC) (Link)
It read my flashdrive just fine just previously before I plugged in the hard drive. weird!
chlorophyta From: chlorophyta Date: April 12th, 2008 12:15 am (UTC) (Link)
May have already been said, but you may need to format it for mac BEFORE putting the pc files onto it?
chlorophyta From: chlorophyta Date: April 12th, 2008 12:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah. I should read other comments first.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: April 12th, 2008 01:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Its formatted for FAT32 which from what I've gathered is readable by both Mac and PC, but the Mac still isn't reading it D:
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