3 Replies Latest reply: Aug 15, 2009 6:42 PM by BRDVPRA
BRDVPRA Level 1 Level 1
I'm am very new to Mac (my first one). I plug my USB Seagate drive into the Mac and it reads it fine, but says everything is read only. How do i set it up to allow the Mac to modify the files? Does the hard drive have to be reformatted to a Mac OS and/or is it possible to use the same hard drive on the Mac and PC. I have windows XP Pro SP3 installed using VM Fusion as well.

I have done a lot of video editing Windows based and very rarely moved the files to my PC hard drive. I have to assume you can do the same with Mac, however I have been able to figure out how to do this in iMovie 2009.

Thanks in advance,

MacBook Pro 13", Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • S.U. Level 6 Level 6
    Welcome to Apple Discussions!

    You can use Disk Utility ( in your Utilities folder in your Applications folder) to reformat the Seagate. Mount the drive, open Disk Utility, select the Seagate drive, and use the partition tab to reformat. It may well have come pre-formated for Windows only.

    However, I don't know what format would work for both OS X and Windows since I never run Windows. For Mac only, you use "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)". I think there is a format for both--I just don't know what it is. Someone else will probably be kind enough to jump in and tell you.

    Good luck!
  • Scott Radloff Level 6 Level 6

    Your external drive is undoubtedly formatted as NTFS. As you already know, your Mac can read this format, but it cannot write to it. There are some third-party shareware applications that will allow your Mac to write to the NTFS volume; search for these on versiontracker.com, if you want to give this a try.

    The native Mac format is HFS+ (Mac OS Extended), which cannot be read natively by Windows. Again, there are third-party solutions for this (specifically, a Windows app called "MacDrive," also available on versiontracker.com).

    The only format that will allow reading and writing from both OS X and Windows is the FAT-32 format (called MS-DOS in Disk Utility). This format is older, and less compatible with modern file formats. For example, it will not support files larger than 4 GBs.

    The question that needs answering is whether or not you will using this drive cross-platform, or whether it will be dedicated solely to OS X. If the former, you'll need to use either the FAT-32 format or some third-party solution. If this drive will only be accessed from OS X in the future, you should copy the data, format it as HFS+ (Mac OS Extended), then return the data to it.

  • BRDVPRA Level 1 Level 1
    I get the idea for sure. Kind of wyrd to think i have both operating systems running on a single drive, but the to operating systems can's save to same drive without software support, but i reckon thats the way it is.

    Answer is to either use dedicated drives for each platform (very possible) or use a software that I will look into.

    This being said, if I had a drive I can write to can I assume IMovie 2009 will let me edit video from it without importing every single piece of video/picture?

    Thanks for the quick response,