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From NTFS to FAT32
Thread poster: Denyce Seow

Denyce Seow  Identity Verified
Singapore
Local time: 03:30
Member (2004)
Chinese to English
Nov 14, 2008

Hi all,

I just bought an iMac. Now I need to transfer documents from my Windows laptop to to this iMac. I plan to do this using my 250GB portable hard disk. However this hard disk is currently in NTFS format. It has to be in FAT32 format before I can use it with both PC and Mac. Can someone teach me a simple way of doing this? I went through a few IT forum discussions on this but I didn't understand a thing! I need something simpleeeee.

Thanks in advance.

Denyce

[Edited at 2008-11-14 02:52 GMT]


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ChrisWhite
English to Japanese
Possible Easy Way Nov 14, 2008

Hi Denyce (and hi forums for that matter),

Do you know what version of windows you're running? I can explain what might be an easy way to format it, but I need to know what version of windows it is so I can run through the exact steps for it.


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:30
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
No easy or simple way, I am afraid Nov 14, 2008

If you trying to take your NTFS portable harddisk with your files on it and use it with your iMac, then I am afraid it is not going to be too easy.
The NTFS and FAT32 are the file-structures, the fundamental structure that is defined when you originally formatted the harddisk. You cannot change that on the fly.
The only way is to copy all your data that you are currently storing on the HD out of it (not as a disk image, but as files), then reformat the HD as you want, and then copy your files back to the new structure. Then, you can use your data with your Mac.

Can you hook up your iMac and your Windows machine on the same network and transfer the data that way?

[Módosítva: 2008-11-14 05:08 GMT]


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Denyce Seow  Identity Verified
Singapore
Local time: 03:30
Member (2004)
Chinese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Problem solved Nov 14, 2008

Hi Chris,

I am using Vista. My problem is solved. I did the reformatting with Mac. Much simpler. I'm transferring the files right now... Yippieee...

There's only 3 USB port on my iMac. One is for the mouse, one is for the keyboard. That means I am left with one for everything else - printer, portable HD, mobile phone, USB stick. I can just get a normal USB adapter, right? Those that give you 4-5 more USB slots. And anyway, it is such a pain to have the original USB slots at the back. Arghhhh!

Denyce


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Denyce Seow  Identity Verified
Singapore
Local time: 03:30
Member (2004)
Chinese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Network Nov 14, 2008

Thanks, Katalin. I did try to set them up in a network but that didn't work. I screwed up my PC internet connection in the process. Now my PC refuses to get online. I don't know why. I think it is throwing a tantrum. Jealous of the new girl (yes, my iMac's name is Susie M).

[Edited at 2008-11-14 05:10 GMT]


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ChrisWhite
English to Japanese
USB Ports Nov 14, 2008

Hi Denyce,

Yes, you can get a USB hub which will take 1 port and translate it to many ports (they average around 4 generally). Being so common you can generally find them for cheap if you look around enough.


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Denyce Seow  Identity Verified
Singapore
Local time: 03:30
Member (2004)
Chinese to English
TOPIC STARTER
EUR 10 Nov 14, 2008

Hi Chris,

Yes, I just saw a cute, colourful hub on ebay. EUR 10.


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tectranslate ITS GmbH
Local time: 20:30
German
+ ...
FAT32 Nov 14, 2008

Just a tip: data stored on FAT32-formatted media is significantly more at risk of getting corrupted due to computer crashes, power outages etc. than data on NTFS file systems. Therefore, you should be doubly sure to have a sound backup strategy in place in case something ever goes awfully wrong and your data is corrupted.

Benjamin


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Denyce Seow  Identity Verified
Singapore
Local time: 03:30
Member (2004)
Chinese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Time Machine Nov 16, 2008

Hi Benjamin,

Thanks for the tip. I am using Mac now, so I need a FAT32 portable hard disk for Time Machine. Am I right?


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tectranslate ITS GmbH
Local time: 20:30
German
+ ...
"for Time Machine" Nov 16, 2008

Depends on what you mean exactly. You can probably backup data from FAT32 drives to another drive using Time Machine, but
Wikipedia says:

...the [TimeMachine] volume [that is used for storing the backups] needs to be formatted with the HFS Plus file system, with journaling enabled. If the hard drive uses a different file system type it will need to be reformatted before use, which will delete any pre-existing data on the disk.


Makes sense, too, considering that FAT32 is a relatively insecure file system. HFS is basically the Apple equivalent to Microsoft's NTFS.


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