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SATA external drive: partitions?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by alto and omega, Jun 29, 2007.

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  1. alto and omega

    alto and omega Thread Starter

    Jun 28, 2007
    I recently bought a Seagate SATA 320 GB hard drive/Veris (by Antec) MX-1 HDD Enclosure with USB 2.0 connection but I am having problems connecting to my Windows XP SP2. The computer recognizes to some extent that it has been connected (it shows up in Computer Management>Devices>USB Mass Storage Device and Computer Management>Disk Management) but it does not show up in My Computer and I cannot save any data on it. I have seen people on other threads with the same problem and the answer is usually that it needs to be partitioned.

    However, I was under the impression that partitioning a device made it very reliant on the operating system (or vice versa). Rather than having these 320 gigs as a "second hard drive" (as I've seen others call it), I'd rather have it as "Removable Storage" - like a big clunky USB flash drive. I want to be able to remove it and use it on other computers whenever I need to, just like I can with my more compact 2-inch flash drives.

    If possible I would also love to figure out how to make it work on a Macbook. I had been hoping that it was as simple as having compatible files (I'll only be putting mp3, jpg, gif, and possibly mpg files on this drive), but I'm sure it's not that easy.

    Thank you so much!
  2. Elvandil


    Aug 1, 2003
    Not quite that easy. Different OS's have different file system reading abilities and differing file systems, regardless of the file types.

    There are programs available for Windows that allows it to read Mac file systems. Probably vice versa as well.

    Partitioning is required before any drive can be used by any operating system. Without the "invisible lines' that file systems and partitions create on a drive, there is no way for the operating system to locate the contents of the drive.

    You'll need to make some decision. FAT32 is probably the most compatible file system in use, but it is not universal for all OS's.

    These sites give some info on cross-platform drive solutions:

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