External HDD won't format to MS-DOS (FAT)

Discussion in 'Apple Desktop Hardware/Software' started by bevanbraves, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. bevanbraves

    bevanbraves Member

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    I own a MacBook Air. I am trying to copy files from my MBA to a new Western Digital WD Elements external HDD.

    In the past i've had to format the external HDD to MS-DOS (FAT) to be able to copy/paste to it.

    This new WD Elements is currently in OS X Extended (Journaled) and will not let me Disc utilities/erase/MS-DOS (FAT) it. It gives me a "Erase process has failed. Press done to continue" message.

    the WD Elements also won't let me copy/paste to it or create new folders in its current state (OS X Extended (Journaled).

    Any ideas how to make the external HDD accessible?

    * I'm using Safari 11.0.3
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  2. damo13579

    damo13579 Member

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    Can you erase it via disk utility while keeping the format the same or does the same issue happen?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    bevanbraves

    bevanbraves Member

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    I have been trying to erase it via disk utility and i can choose to change the format type. But it was giving me the "didn't work" message.

    I tried again today and realised i could choose to format "a level up", and that has formatted it and i have been able to save to it thanks.

    New problem ..... it says 1.8 gig available when i do "get info". And it should be a 4 gig unit. Is it the wrong size, or can i do an extra check?
     
  4. power

    power Member

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    use a GPT partition and ex-FAT. not sure it that will work but you need a GPT partition for 4TB drives.
     
  5. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    That, and FAT32 has a maximum volume size of 2TB with standard cluster size:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_Allocation_Table

    FAT is old, unreliable, and out of date. So is HFS+, for that matter. If you're a Mac user, APFS is a better choice. If you want interoperability between operating systems, then you're SOL with proprietary vendors at the helm.
     
  6. power

    power Member

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    the best way imo is just to use a GPT/NTFS drive and add some sort of NTFS writer to your mac there are a few.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    bevanbraves

    bevanbraves Member

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    SOL = shit out of luck? OR something else?
     
  8. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Shit Outta Luck.

    Open standards make for good collaboration and cross-system compatibility. Closed standards make for "fuck, what can I format this disk so everything can write to it, and performance doesn't suck?" type questions.

    Oblig XKCD.

    Indeed there are a few. All of them suffer poorly for performance, and can corrupt data if devices aren't ejected properly or systems power down unexpectedly.

    In 2018, there is no universal, high performance, trustworthy, cross-platform file system. And that sucks.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    bevanbraves

    bevanbraves Member

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    ffs.

    10 char
     
  10. theSeekerr

    theSeekerr Member

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    exFat is a better choice for Win<->Mac. Apple paid to license the relevant technologies from Microsoft, so their exFat implementation is fine.

    No mainline support in Linux though.
     
  11. power

    power Member

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    agree - which is why it was what i suggested first - OP seems to want FAT32 or the highway. well highway it is OP.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    bevanbraves

    bevanbraves Member

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    Thanks for your replies. I'm in a bit over my head with the technical talk. I don't know that i have a preference as such.

    I just want my external HDD to be able to work on windows and apple.

    Picture below of what choices i have. Can you please tell me which one is the one i should be using? Sounds like its the bottom choice, being "ExFat".
     

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  13. Hater

    Hater Member

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    Yes, ExFAT.

    If you want to use Fat32, you're going to have to format the external and make a few smaller partitions
     

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