fixed : (re)format a drive in FAT32 MBR using macOS

Question :

I need to reformat a USB-stick in FAT32 MBR.

Is it possible to do that on a Mac ?

 

Answer :

Yes, you can.

To (re)format a drive, like a USB-stick, external HardDisk or external SSD in FAT32 MBR (MBR = Master Boot Record) do this :

  • plug the drive (USB-stick) into you Mac
  • make sure that there are no files or documents you need to keep left on the drive (USB-stick)
    • copy all files and documents you are not willing to lose to your internal disk space, or to another external drive
  • goto Applications –> Utilities –> Disk Utility
  • double-click on the application’s icon to startup Disk Utility
  • in the window that opens, click on the View-button (top-left) and select “Show Alle Devices”
  • then, select the drive (USB-stick) from the list of drives on the left
    • it should be listed in the “External” chapter
    • make sure you select the drive itself, not the formatted partition that is on it
      • drives are listed entirely on the left (and have a small triangle in front if they are formatted)
      • partitions are listed shifted slightly to the right of the devices list
  • then, click on the Erase-button (top-center, just below the Disk Utility name)
  • in the pulldown window that opens, select these settings :
    • Name : Untitled [ …or any name you prefer, the choice is up to you ]
    • Format : MS-DOS (FAT)
    • Scheme : Master Boot Record
  • then click on the Erase-button
  • now, wait for the process to complete
  • then, click on the Eject-icon (underlined triangle) next to the name of the drive (USB-stick) in the list on the left
  • when de drive (USB-stick) disappears from the list, you can unplug the USB-stick (or external HD or SSD)
  • close the Disk Utility app

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

info : I can’t get write-permission to external harddisk from Windows-user

Question :

A Windows-user asked me to put some file on his external harddisk, but when I try to do so, I get a message that I only have ‘read-only’ permissions to the harddisk.

How can I copy the files over ?

Answer :

If you get this problem, it usually caused by the fact that MacOSX does not support NTFS-formatted disks ‘out of the box’. [ NTFS = Windows NT File System ; a format that, mainly for server, has replaced the old DOS-originating formats FAT16 and FAT32, which are fully supported by MacOSX, but are less suited for use on large volume harddisks ]

There are 2 main solutions to this :

– 1 –

If you are going to frequently swap this external harddisk between your Mac and a Windows-PC, you’ll be best off reformatting it to FAT32 :

– connect the external harddisk to your Mac

– copy the entire contents over to your Mac (or to another external harddisk or to a diskimage on your Mac)

– check and make sure you have copied everything over

– then reformat the external harddisk to DOS-format (= FAT32) using OSX’s Disk Utility app

– when finished, copy all content that originally was on the external harddisk back on to it

– that’s it !

– 2 –

If it’s only a one-off for you to use this NTFS-formatted harddrive, you’re probably better off installing a special NTFS-driver/utility for OSX.

– download Tuxera NTFS (to use in demo-mode) :

http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/33122/tuxera-ntfs

– install Tuxera NTFS, and open it (NOTE : it’s not a regular application, so it can’t be found in your Applications folder, but it’s a Control Panel in the System Preferences)

– now the external NTFS-disk should appear on your Mac in read&write-mode, and you can start copying files onto it

If you run into problems using Tuxera NTFS, read the FAQ :

http://www.tuxera.com/products/tuxera-ntfs-for-mac/faq/#startup-disk

And if you do exceed the 15 day free Demo-mode of Tuxera NTFS and are not willing to upgrade to the full payed version, you can start using the FREE open source program that is at the origin of Tuxera NTFS ; it’s called  NTFS-3G and can be downloaded here :

http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/24481/ntfs-3g

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