My snooty Mac doesn't like my external drive

By C Cronk
Apr 24, 2015
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  1. I have a Toshiba 1TB external drive formatted in NTFS. I works just fine on my Windows computer but won't show up at all on the two Macs I've tried. My Mac is running OS X 10.9.5 and I'm pretty sure the other one is running the same.
    I've tried looking in Disk Utility and it doesn't show up in there either. I can plug it into my PC and it works just fine. From what I've read, my Mac should be able to at least read the drive.
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,315   +618

    BE CAREFULL - - The partition table has been known to get corrupted attempting just this.
    It should not, but it has happened - - as I recall when the NTFS was created on Win/8
  3. NTFS is Windows format at unlimited size of each file (Windows Read and Write) (Mac Read Only)
    Mac Journal Mac format at unlimited size of each file (Windows can't recognize) (Mac Read and Write)
    MS-DOS (FAT) Recommended Bridge 4 GB Size of each file (Windows and Mac bothRead and Write)
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,714   +397

    I've heard of this type of stuff happening, I'd caution you to be careful of your topic wording in the future though.. If it doesn't show up in disk utility on OS X but it does show up in Windows. I'd copy that data to somewhere else if you ever consider using that drive on OS X again. OS X will read FAT, NTFS, and exFAT from WIndows, it will not write to NTFS. Since your observed behavior seems 'odd' I recommend not even touching it with OS X.

    "fix" the drive. if you want it in NTFS then copy all that drive contents to another drive and repartition (yes, repartition, I wouldn't even screw with reformatting, repartition and reformat), and try again.

    side note - you can't format as exfat on OS X and have Windows read it. I'm not sure why that is, but it is real. If you want to do exfat, format it on windows first.

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