Could someone comment on the following re FAT

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by bgoodman4, Nov 4, 2017.

  1. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,205
    I have an NTFS drive that I want to give to a friend so she can have access to my music collection but it turns out that she has a Mac and she is unable to access the files. I read on-line that you can convert a drive to FAT without affecting the data but that the converted drive should not be used for long term storage of the files for some reason (reason was not given). Is this last correct or would the files be "safe" on the FAT drive long term?
     
  2. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Posts:
    3,680
    Location:
    The Pond - USA
    BG, as long as you understand the limitations below you should be fine. The conversion is available in most FREE partition tools. I don't understand the "long term" issue with FAT32 other than eventual non-support. I assume you're not talking FAT, those limitations are serious.

    upload_2017-11-4_11-52-56.png
     
  3. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Posts:
    1,736
    MacOS should have no problem reading any data from NTFS drives. The only limitation is that MacOS does not support writing operations on NTFS. If your friend couldn't access files on NTFS then it's something else, not because of its NTFS.
     
  4. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,205
    Thank you both for the comments, I will speak to my friend and find out exactly what she is or is not doing.

    Froggie, I don't know what problem the article was referring to but I had looked up (googled) how to access files on a Windows drive with a Mac system since my friend said she was having a problem. The implication was that Macs could not see the contents of Windows compatible NTFS drives and that it was easy to convert to FAT without affecting the data files but to convert back from FAT would mean the loss of these files. Beyond that I don't know what was being implied in the article and just assumed FAT was FAT, I never heard of FAT32
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  5. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Posts:
    3,680
    Location:
    The Pond - USA
    BG, there are actually 3-versions of FAT formatting... FAT16 (old DOS file format, serious limitation to both file and partition sizes), FAT32 (last Format prior to NTFS, also has file/partition limitations but much larger than FAT16), and exFAT (Windows special FAT formatting with almost no practical file/partition limitations and fully understood by Macintosh).

    I just created an NTFS partition and loaded about 10gB of music into it, quick test (all works) then used my favorite partition tool (Partition Wizard) to change the format to FAT (it changed to FAT32), chck files (all OK) then used the same tool to convert back to NTFS. All works just fine...
     
  6. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,205
    Thanks Mr Frog, I am waiting to hear back from my friend as to what she has done. I have no idea why she has not been able to access the music and there is little I can do about it as I am back home in Canada and she is in Los Angeles.
     
  7. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Posts:
    2,699
    Hi bgoodman4,

    what drive is it? Is it a usb one? If yes it could be related with the plug.
    I have 2 lexar flash drives which my mac mini refuses to see them when I plug them directly...
    But when I plug them through a usb-hub or I use a small usb extension cord, they are recognised right away.

    Panagiotis
     
  8. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,205
    Hi pandlouk, its a Western Digital USB 2, I cannot imagine what the problem is but it will probably have to wait until I am back in Cal in the new year to see what she is doing wrong. I doubt its the drive or the plug though. To give you an idea of her level of computer savvy,,,,,,when I handed the drive to her she said "whats this". I explained to her that it was just like a thumb drive, that the only diff was the size and that a cable was involved,,,,,,she looked doubtful but really, how hard could it be (thinks I).
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  9. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Posts:
    2,699
    Hehe :)

    For me is either the plug/cable or the hdd does not get enough power to initialize/start spinning (e.g. too many usb devices connected).
    I have not seen a mac fail to see an hdd or having problem to read the ntfs partitions.

    Panagiotis
     
Loading...