FAT32 and OSX

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Hi all!



I've got a seroius problem.



I've got an external 80GB USB hard drive formated in FAT32.

I plug it into my iBook, and it says that it doesn't contain any volumes OSX can read. But I've read elsewhere that OSX supports FAT32 volumes.

It has only one partition.



Any ideas?





Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Sh337

    Hi all!



    I've got a seroius problem.



    I've got an external 80GB USB hard drive formated in FAT32.

    I plug it into my iBook, and it says that it doesn't contain any volumes OSX can read. But I've read elsewhere that OSX supports FAT32 volumes.

    It has only one partition.



    Any ideas?





    Thanks in advance.




    OS X is supposed to be able to read FAT32. Are you sure it is FAT32? I've never had any problems.
  • Reply 2 of 18
    Mac OS X 10.3 can read NTFS disks, not FAT32 disks. Sorry.
  • Reply 3 of 18
    chychchych Posts: 860member
    Um, OS X should be able to read FAT32 disks, since OS 9 even (see http://www.apple.com/macosx/upgrade/compare.html ). I don't think OS X can write to NTFS anyway.



    Maybe it's an issue of reading over usb?
  • Reply 4 of 18
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Panther can read and write FAT32 and read NTFS.
  • Reply 5 of 18
    sh337sh337 Posts: 8member
    Ok... Some news...



    First of all I had the disk as dynamic in Windows. I had to convert it to basic again (by writing in one sector... scary stuff).



    But still OSX refuses to automount it.

    If I do it manualy it works (mount -t msdos /dev/disk1s1 /Volumes/test).

    So my question is... Why does it still says that the disk doesn't contain any volumes it can read?





    Thanks once again.
  • Reply 6 of 18
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    You should check Console.app if that gives you any useful info (console.log and system.log). Also, try and see if disktool or diskutil (two CLI tools) give you any useful info.
  • Reply 7 of 18
    sh337sh337 Posts: 8member
    Console.app doesn't give me anything.



    disktool -l:



    ***Disk Appeared ('disk1s1',Mountpoint = '', fsType = '', volName = '')

    ***Disk Appeared ('disk1',Mountpoint = '', fsType = '', volName = '')

    ***Disk Appeared ('disk0',Mountpoint = '', fsType = '', volName = '')

    ***Disk Appeared ('disk0s1',Mountpoint = '', fsType = '', volName = '')

    ***Disk Appeared ('disk0s2',Mountpoint = '', fsType = '', volName = '')

    ***Disk Appeared ('disk0s3',Mountpoint = '', fsType = '', volName = '')

    ***Disk Appeared ('disk0s4',Mountpoint = '', fsType = '', volName = '')

    ***Disk Appeared ('disk0s5',Mountpoint = '', fsType = '', volName = '')

    ***Disk Appeared ('disk0s6',Mountpoint = '', fsType = '', volName = '')

    ***Disk Appeared ('disk0s7',Mountpoint = '', fsType = '', volName = '')

    ***Disk Appeared ('disk0s8',Mountpoint = '', fsType = '', volName = '')

    ***Disk Appeared ('disk0s9',Mountpoint = '/', fsType = 'hfs', volName = 'Macintosh HD')



    (The external is disk1s1)





    diskutil list:



    /dev/disk1

    #: type name size identifier

    0: FDisk_partition_scheme *74.5 GB disk1

    1: Windows_NTFS 74.5 GB disk1s1



    It shows as NTFS but it isn't. It's FAT32 (I'm sure of it).
  • Reply 8 of 18
    Only Sure?



    Maybe we should be positvie?



    Have you tried searching osxhints
  • Reply 9 of 18
    Forgot to mention this, there is a man page for osx, type man mount_ntfs in terminal for help mounting yer drive. You never know it might work.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    sh337sh337 Posts: 8member
    Ok... Maybe I didn't explain too well.



    I'm certain that the drive is formated as FAT32. And I can mount it by the command line (mount -t msdos /dev/disk1s1 /Volumes/test).



    The problem is that OSX doesn't automount it. Instead it asks me if I want to initialize it, ignore or eject.
  • Reply 11 of 18
    sh337sh337 Posts: 8member
    Ok... I think I got it...



    FAT32 is limited to 32GB. My drive is 80GB. I formated it with Windows XP. So, probably, it isn't "standard" FAT32. That's why OSX thinks it's NTFS.



    Only solution is to back up all data and format it... Oh welll...





    Thanks for the help.
  • Reply 12 of 18
    irfotonirfoton Posts: 15member
    This is a common issue with FAT32 and all Windows versions from 2000 and newer. FAT32 can support partitions greater than 32MB without issue. For example take that same disk and use Win98 to create your partitions. It will have no problems. MS in their desire to move people to NTFS crippled their disk utilities to only allow 32MB partitions for FAT32. I used to have a URL handy that described this issue in detail but no longer have it. You should be able to Google it.



    irfoton
  • Reply 13 of 18
    sh337sh337 Posts: 8member
    I am now trying to find an alternative to FAT32.

    Something that could be used in Windows and OSX with a minimum fuss.



    Any sugestions?
  • Reply 14 of 18
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    FAT16!
  • Reply 15 of 18
    mimacmimac Posts: 870member
    Hmmm, I'm having similar problems with A USB flash memory stick.

    Still no joy \
  • Reply 16 of 18
    ghost_user_nameghost_user_name Posts: 22,667member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Relic

    FAT16!



    FAT12
  • Reply 17 of 18
    irfotonirfoton Posts: 15member
    Stick with FAT32. Just find a Win98 machine or WinXP utility (other than MS home grown version) that will create FAT32 partitions greater than 32MB.



    irfoton
  • Reply 18 of 18
    sh337sh337 Posts: 8member
    FAT16 is out of the question, so I'll go for what irfoton wrote instead.



    Thanks all for the help!
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