Mac Hardware forum


Sharing an external drive

by bpatrick1537 / July 27, 2013 11:40 PM PDT

I have an external hard drive that is connected and is being recognized but it's not shared (I can only read). Is there a way to share it out?

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All Answers

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Can we take bets on the format of this external drive?
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 28, 2013 6:24 AM PDT

Can one presume that this external drive is being shared with a Windows machine?

If so, and you were late to the dance, the drive may be formatted as NTFS which the Mac can read but cannot write to.
Couple of ways around that, one free and one not so free.
NTFS for Mac by Paragon is a very good piece of software that enables your Mac to read and write to an NTFS drive. This one is not free. Find it at

NTFS-3G also does the same thing but is a little more difficult to install. It is Free.
Find it at

If the drive is not formatted as NTFS, get back with us


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Put your pencils down, folks, we have a winner...
by bpatrick1537 / July 29, 2013 10:35 AM PDT

Much as I hate to admit to being such a luddite, I'm guilty as charged today. The drive is not being shared with a pc currently but it was originally on a pc and has now been moved to a mac. Further, it is formatted as NTFS.

Allow me to go into the goal if I may. The Reader's Digest version is that there is a lot of (legitimately purchased) recorded music on the drive that I would like to move over to my mac. I am purchasing a new backup drive that will be formatted for the Mac. What would be the easiest way to move it over to the new drive (and/or iTunes)?

Thanks for the help!!

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Now that you have pleaded guilty,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 29, 2013 10:02 PM PDT

were you also guilty of not reading the rest of the post.

Install either of those two pieces of software and your Mac will be able to read and write to that drive.

Just drag the folders containing the music onto the Mac and once done launch iTunes.
Now select File > Add to Library, navigate to the folders you just dragged over and select one of them.
iTunes will now add those tracks to the library.
Rinse and repeat as necessary


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For clarification
by bpatrick1537 / July 30, 2013 12:13 AM PDT

Actually I did read the rest of the post and I do appreciate the instruction. However I was unsure if I had to go the extra step if there was a new , Mac formatted drive coming into the picture. More clearly, I wasn't aware of I could simply drag the folders from the NTFS drive over to the new drive and, with the files now on a mac formatted drive, have total access. I'll assume now that that is not a possibility and that I will have to go the route of installing one of the two softwares you've noted above.

Would that be an accurate assumption? And, again, the education is much appreciated.

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Paragon software
by bpatrick1537 / July 30, 2013 12:43 AM PDT
In reply to: For clarification

If I can take a left turn here and ask for more detail on the Paragon software you suggested, I was looking at the NTFS software you linked to above and I'm leaning towards that as my spouse has a pc laptop and I'm thinking it could come in handy in the future (with her backup external). I'm also looking at the free Rescue Kit For Mac but thought I would ask your opinion on that before just moving ahead with it. It's free and I think we all know what some "free" packages can bring you...thanks!

(And I can post this in a more appropriate category if you wish as well)

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Sorry, I seem to have missed the post where you
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 30, 2013 8:47 AM PDT
In reply to: For clarification

mentioned that there would be a new, Mac formatted, drive coming into the picture.
With both the drives connected to your Mac, you can just drag the files from one drive to the other and have total Read/Write access on the new drive. (Just as you described)

However, if you still want Read/Write access that original drive the Paragon software will work well for you.

Where are you seeing the Rescue Kit for Mac? If it is anything to do with MacKeeper, STAY AWAY from it.


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Maybe I was unclear...
by bpatrick1537 / July 30, 2013 11:11 AM PDT

but when I wrote "I am purchasing a new backup drive that will be formatted for the Mac. What would be the easiest way to move it over to the new drive (and/or iTunes)?", I thought it was clear. Not trying to be snarky, just trying to learn here...

The Rescue program can be found here -

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