Disk Utility and PC format drives

in macOS edited January 2014
I have been asking quite a few of these technical sort of questions lately, here an elsewhere, but they seem to be things that either don't come up often or are hard to search for.

My query this time is about disk utility.

I believe (although I never used it) that the 10.2 Disk Copy allowed you to format hard drives in FAT formats. I can't seem to do that in 10.3 Disk Utility. Is it possible? Can it be done on the command line (I tried fdisk, but couldn't get it to work). Specifically, I want to format a firewire external drive.

The drive originally had a Windows 98 partition. It was an internal drive from a working machine. I figured that the contents were not so important that I couldn't afford to lose them. In any event, I created an image of the drive in Disk Utility (both a compressed and an uncompressed read only version). I formatted the drive as journalled HFS+ and tried out partitioning etc to understand how Disk Utility Works.

I would like to restore the image to the drive. However, even after following the restore instructions, I kept getting errors saying it couldn't be restored. I don't know if that is a limitation caused by the FAT format, or some issue with the drive or software.

I tried to format it as FAT32 or FAT16 so that I could copy all the files back to the drive, but I couldn't work out how to format in that file system on Panther. I then plugged the drive into my PC and formatted it there. I haven't yet tried to see whether I can successfully copy the files from the dmg back to the drive. I will do that tonight.

Can anyone enlighten me on whether Disk Utility's restore feature only works with HFS and UFS volumes? Is there another way to restore a FAT volume?


  • Reply 1 of 1
    spookyspooky Posts: 504member
    I have a similar problem.

    I had a 160Gb hd in an external case and wanted to format it into 2 FAt32 partitions. DiskUtil would allow me to format the whole drive as one DOS partition but if I tried to partition it into 2 I could only format it using Mac standard or extended!

    Is there a way to format external hds so that both macs and pcs can read them?

    My pc btw is win98se and my mac is 10.2.8
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