6 Replies Latest reply: Aug 23, 2008 3:50 PM by Rod Hagen
cec1976 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I have a mac book pro, but at school they just use PC's. I need to be able to save my homework on my flash drive at home and bring it into class and open it up on the PC. The programs I am using are the Adobe Creative Suite (photoshop, illustrator, dreamweaver,etc.) and they will let you go back and forth between the mac and the PC. The problem is that I used my flash drive to save my homework, no problem, but after a while it didn't work anymore.

I was told at school, I needed format my flash drive(when it was new) on my mac and then it would be fine to go back and forth. My old flash drive that is messed up, they said just to re-format it on the mac and then it would be fine. How do you do either of those things? Sorry this is so wordy.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5)
  • sig Level 8 Level 8 (35,780 points)
    Insert the drive. launch Disk Utility. Select the drive from the left side and then select Erase. Then select to format Fat 32 so it will mount on both your Mac and a PC.
  • Calum Level 2 Level 2 (255 points)
    If you're moving it between Mac and Windows, you want to format your flash drive with the FAT32 filesystem. It shouldn't matter whether you format it on your Mac or on a Windows machine.

    To do it on the Mac, plug in the flash drive, and open Disk Utility (in your /Applications/Utilities folder). The drive should appear in the list on the left of the DU window.

    Select the drive, then click the Erase tab. On that tab, select MS-DOS (FAT) as the volume format, choose a disk name if you want to, then click Erase, and wait.

    That said, if your drive just "didn't work any more" after a while, it may be faulty and it's possible that re-formatting it won't help. (All flash drives do have a finite number of read/write cycles before they don't work reliably any more, too, although it's unlikely you've reached that limit through normal usage.)
  • cec1976 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I don't see a FAT32. I just see a FAT16. And how do you format the brand new flash drive? I put that one in and didn't see anything FAT32. I'm not very computer savy.
  • Calum Level 2 Level 2 (255 points)
    Hmm, no FAT16 option on my Mac, only MS-DOS(FAT). Where exactly are you seeing that?

    Most brand new flash drives are formatted FAT32 out of the box, so you quite possibly don't actually need to format it at all-- have you tried it?
  • cec1976 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Yes. It works right off the bat, but my other flash drive worked right away too without doing anything and then after a few months it didn't work anymore.
  • Rod Hagen Level 7 Level 7 (31,985 points)
    Does the older flash drive work on a PC still, cec? If not it may simply be defective. Flash drives can live a hard life!

    You shouldn't need to reformat your new stick. I very much doubt that the failure of the old one has anything at all to do with the fact that it wasn't formatted on a Mac .

    What OS are you using, by the way? Your various posts seem to say different things.

    Just by the way many smaller/older memory sticks will be formatted as FAT-16 rather than FAT-32. Disk Utility , from memory , will actually automatically do this if the drive is under a certain size.

    see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FileAllocationTable#Future :
    +FAT is still the normal file system for removable media (with the exception of CDs and DVDs), with FAT12 used on floppies, and FAT16 on most other removable media (such as flash memory cards for digital cameras and USB flash drives). Most removable media are not yet large enough to benefit from FAT32, although some larger flash drives, like SDHC, do make use of it. FAT16 is used on these drives for reasons of compatibility and size overhead.+



    Message was edited by: Rod Hagen