10 Replies Latest reply: Mar 26, 2009 12:21 PM by Tom Craigen
chris romano Level 4 Level 4 (1,910 points)
I have a hard drive in a USB enclosure and I need to format it FAT32 from my Mac. Can I do this and confirm that it's FAT32?


chris

dual 2.7 GHz G5, Mac OS X (10.4.8)
  • Templeton Peck Level 9 Level 9 (60,150 points)
    Use Disk Utility and format it as MS-DOS
  • chris romano Level 4 Level 4 (1,910 points)
    So the MS-DOS is FAT32, without question?

    Not to be ridiculously reiterative, but I'm just double-checking. I'm trying something specific (formatting a hard drive in an external USB enclosure so I can back up my PS3), but it's not recognizing the drive. I thought, perhaps, I wasn't getting FAT32 out of Disk Utility. But I guess my problem is elsewhere.

    Thanks.
  • Fortuny Level 7 Level 7 (21,430 points)
    Hi Chris,

    So the MS-DOS is FAT32, without question?


    No doubt about that. Apple just calls it MS-DOS.

    Not to be ridiculously reiterative, but I'm just double-checking. I'm trying something specific (formatting a hard drive in an external USB enclosure so I can back up my PS3), but it's not recognizing the drive. I thought, perhaps, I wasn't getting FAT32 out of Disk Utility. But I guess my problem is elsewhere.


    While you are formating the external HD, click on the Option Tab and set the Partition Table to MBR (Master Boot Record).
    Maybe the 'standard' GPT (GUID Partition Table) is the culprit.

    Thanks.


    Hope it helps

    Stefan
  • chris romano Level 4 Level 4 (1,910 points)
    I get the feeling it's the actual USB enclosure that's the issue... not the formatting.
  • Fortuny Level 7 Level 7 (21,430 points)
    Hi Chris,

    is the enclosure self-powered or does it rely on USB to provide the power ?

    Maybe the USB ports on the USB do not provide enough power.

    Do you have access to a Windows-PC to see if the HD works with it ?

    I don't have a PS3 so I do some guessings.

    Stefan
  • OddyOh Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi Chris. I agree, it is probably your enclosure that is incompatible with the PS3. I bought an AcomData Samba 3.5IN USB Hard Drive Enclosure to use specifically with my PS3, but the PS3 doesn't even see it, no matter what.

    I had been using a 2.5" Macally PHR-S250CC successfully, but I wanted to upgrade to a bigger hard drive. Very disappointing.

    No use contacting Sony either...they just hide behind "Oh, we can't guarantee compatibility with every USB enclosure out there". Which, I understand, but this AcomData enclosure works great on my other computers, so it's obviously something Sony has done with their USB mass storage host drive.

    Anyway, I'd recommend you keep trying other enclosures...I have a few at my work I can borrow, hopefully I find something that works. Good luck!
  • tripm Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    {quote:title=Fortuny wrote:}While you are formating the external HD, click on the Option Tab and set the Partition Table to MBR (Master Boot Record). Maybe the 'standard' GPT (GUID Partition Table) is the culprit. {quote}


    Stefan,
    THANK YOU SO MUCH! I have read about 40 different forums around the web tofigure out how to format my drive correctly to operate with the PS3, but no one ever suggested to look at the Partition Table Setting. THIS WORKS!

    Instead of simply using the "Erase" tab, use the the "Partition" tab:
    You need to select "1 Partition" instead of "Current" under Volume Scheme to activate the "Options" button at the bottom, then you can select "Master Boot Record" and hit OK. Then name the disk under Volume Information and select MS-DOS (FAT) for the format and hit the Apply Button.

    This worked like a charm on my Western Digital 500 GB MyBook, which I had previously formatted about 5 other times to no avail.

    I am able to perform a backup from my PS3 as well as load videos from my Mac to play on the PS3! You can copy videos from the PS3 to the external drive as well, and you can play them directly off of the drive without first copying them to the PS3 internal drive.

    Again, thanks so much
  • Fortuny Level 7 Level 7 (21,430 points)
    Stefan,
    THANK YOU SO MUCH! I have read about 40 different forums around the web tofigure out how to format my drive correctly to operate with the PS3, but no one ever suggested to look at the Partition Table Setting. THIS WORKS!

    Again, thanks so much


    Hi tripm,

    you're welocme anytime.

    Glad to hear that I could be of help.

    Have Fun

    Stefan
  • suzi_suz Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    OMG Thanks I posted a similar question not long ago and didn't get any useful replies!

    Formating as FAT32 is so easy, Mac is genius when you know how!
  • Tom Craigen Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    First: Check to make sure MS-DOS (FAT) shows up, this is FAT16 NOT FAT32 as everyone says it is. I am 100% sure as I checked the block size on linux and windows.

    This part can get very TECHY for some, so don't go any further unless you know what I am talking about.

    If you are not seeing MS-DOS in the erase or partition tabs this means the MBR (Master Boot Record) has not been added to the Hard Drive. Doing so will ERASE everything.

    Adding MBR (open disk utility):
    1. Click your HARD DRIVE on left you want to format
    2. Click Partition Tab
    3. Click the "Volume Scheme" Pull down, Partition 1, 2 and so on.

    NOTE: Before you begin, if you have a Firewire 800 Drive, i recommend you partition most of you space as Mac OS Extended. This is so you can take advantage of the Speed on FW800 and size of individual files. On a FAT32 partition you have a limitation on a single file size. If you are NOT doing video then this is not really a problem for you. I think the limit is 2GIGS per file in FAT32, on Mac OS Extended its unlimited.

    4. Once you select a partition type you should see the "Options..." button enabled.
    5. Click "Options"
    6. Select "Master Boot Record", Click "OK"
    7. Set your first partition to your larger of the two, (Example: 300gb to Partition 1, 200gb to Partition 2).
    8. Select the Format you want under "Format" menu, do this for both partitions or a single partition if you choose to do a single FAT32 partition.
    9. Click "Apple" when done, keep in mind this will erase everything on the drive
    Tech Part: This may damage the drive if not used correctly. Be very careful what you type. BE WARNED!! I am not responsible for your damages.
    1. Select the drive you want FAT32
    2. Right Click the drive select Information (or press Apple+I)
    3. Disk Identifier is what you are looking for, should be something like disk1s#
    4. Right Click the drive select Unmount
    4. Open a terminal (Application->Utilitiies->Terminal.app)
    5. Type:
    newfs_msdos -F 32 -v "MyDriveName" /dev/rdisk1s#

    The drive should be the same exact name as you noted above, only with the "r" added to the beginning of the name.

    Be sure to DOUBLE check everything, this will wipe the drive.

    After running newfs_msdos, you can mount your drive by going back into Disk Utility right click the drive and select Mount.

    Also, be sure the first step of checking if "MS-DOS (FAT)" is an available option. If it is not, you will get an error when running the newfs_msdos command on the drive when inside "Disk Utility" and repair will NOT work on the drive.



    I hope this helps someone. As it took me a few hours of playing around to get this to work correctly. I still don't know why apple does not have FAT32 as an option yet you can do it via the command line.