Format external hard drive mac only

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  1. How to Share an External Hard Drive Between Mac and Windows | Digital Trends
  2. Start a Discussion
  3. How to erase a disk for Mac
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Luckily, there are solutions to these problems, either by formatting the device, changing settings, or repairing your device. Besides, if you get your data lost during the problem-solving process, you can retrieve your data with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Try these tips without worries! I'm having this problem that my Seagate external hard drive suddenly turned to read-only this morning when I connected it to Mac.

I could only read and view saved data on the drive.

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How to Share an External Hard Drive Between Mac and Windows | Digital Trends

But get no access to use the data on my external hard drive. If you have any clues to get permissions to access the read-only external hard drive on Mac, please tell me. Thanks very much. If you right-click your external storage device, select 'Get Info', and see 'You can only read' at the bottom of the info window, you are encountering one of the commonest problems with an external hard drive.

When you can't use your external storage devices normally, it could be quite annoying and frustrating for the problem not only represents a threat to your work efficiency but also shows the possibility of data loss.

How To Format An External Hard Drive For Mac

Why can you only read the external hard drive that is connected to your Mac? There are three possible reasons.

Right-click your hard disk and select 'Get Info'. If you find your external hard drive is NTFS format, that's what the cause is. The incompatibility of the file system is the main cause of the error-external hard drive 'Read Only' on Mac. NTFS is a file system that is optimal for Windows-based computer.

Although the Mac operating system allows you to read the files on external hard drive, you can't write files to it because the way that NTFS writes data to the device is incompatible with the way of macOS doing it. Go to the Fix. An external hard drive is subject to the access permission set up by OS X for all files and folders on the system. When you use the device on another computer with a different OS, the permission settings with it may not be recognized or prevent access to the files on the hard disk. Another common cause for the external hard drive 'Read Only' problem on Mac is the formatting errors of the storage device itself.

If you see a warning says the device is only being mounted in read-only mode while connecting, your hard disk is diagnosed to have formatting errors that prevent you from writing files to it.

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Identify the cause that leads to the 'Read Only' error on your Mac from the information above, then follow the corresponding solution to solve the problem with ease. If your external hard drive is read-only on your Mac due to its NTFS file system, you can easily fix it by reformatting the device to a Mac-compatible format with the built-in Disk Utility on Mac. Before that, remember to back up your external hard drive quickly with a highly-efficient data backup software since the formatting will erase all the files on the device.

Step 2: In the list of available drives on the left, choose the problematic external hard drive. Then click the 'Erase' option in the main window. Step 3: Choose a proper file system and rename your hard disk. Wait for the reformatting process to complete and then go to the information window, this time you will see the 'You can only read' has changed to 'You can read and write', which means you can read and write the drive on your Mac normally. Generally speaking, when a storage device shows up as read-only, you can still copy files off of it.

If you cannot view or see all saved data on the drive, don't worry. Step 1. Click the Scan button. First Aid tool will check the disk for errors and then attempt a repair as needed. It helps to verify and repair a range of issues related to startup HD and external drive problems.

How to erase a disk for Mac

If you are able to fix the hard drive or SSD in your Mac or an external drive using Disk Utility you will hopefully be able to recover your files. Thankfully, there is an app for that. Powerful enough to retrieve long-lost, mistakenly deleted files from Macs, external hard drives and USB drives and camera cards. Disk Drill Pro recovery app is available from Setapp , along with dozens of Mac apps that will make your life easier. Never have to worry about a crashed or corrupted external drive again.

Then use a different port to connect the external hard drive. For Macs with removable batteries, you need to switch them off, remove the battery, then press and hold the power button for 5 seconds. After that, put the battery back in, plug in the power adapter and switch the power on again. It is possible to format a hard drive so it can be read on Mac and Windows computers, providing you format using exFAT. The common issue is Ext2- and Ext3-formatted drives are not readable on macOS. The easiest would be installing Linux to a secondary drive or virtual machine.

If you go with Linux installation, dual boot your Mac with Linux on another drive and use FAT32 as a transfer intermediary. Basically, it works as an extra interface enabling file system access via specially installed modules. Employ the handy all-powerful Terminal, which always comes forward with solutions for difficult problems. Console shows if an external drive or any error is detected under the Errors and Faults tab. If no errors show up, then the problem is not caused by the device.

To sum up, there are lots of potential solutions for a Mac not reading an external hard drive. If we were to pick one, Disk Drill seems to be the most well-rounded, offering plenty of customizations and power in an easy-to-use interface.

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Start with the basics: Check whether the drive is properly plugged in. Faulty cable. Try connecting the same device with a different cable. Damaged USB or flash drive port. It could be a hardware issue with the Mac. Reboot your Mac. Hopefully, some data damage that can be fixed by restarting. Or press and hold the power button and, when a dialog box appears, click the Restart or press R. Incorrectly formatted drive. Not every external drive is optimized for Macs. It could be that you are trying to connect something only fit to interact with Windows devices.

See if the external drive shows up here. For more information, go to the same menu option, then select System Report.

Mac not formatted to display external drives on the desktop. Even if that is the case, the drive will still appear in the left-hand column of the Finder menu under Devices. To do this, shut down or restart your Mac, switch it back on and immediately press these four keys together for at least 20 seconds: Option, Command, P, and R.


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It should look as though your Mac has started again; if it has, release the keys when you hear the second startup chime. Hopefully, the hard drive has shown up now. Disk Utility is within System Preferences, or you can find it using Spotlight. If it is visible, then click the option to Mount, which should make it visible on the desktop and in the External Drives option in the Finder menu. From General tab tick External disks to ensure that from now on it shows on the desktop. How to add cloud storages to Finder You can also mount cloud storage as local drive on your Mac.