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Thread: Reformat read-only NFTS external drive

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Beans
    123
    Distro
    Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Reformat read-only NFTS external drive

    Short version:
    How do I reformat an external hard-drive (read-only, NFTS) so that I can rw to it.

    Long version:
    I had a self-built Ubuntu desktop that is now dead. I have pulled out the hard-drives and have bought one of the connector's to convert the SATA cable to USB so I can put the data on my Mac. Unfortunately, my Mac is not able to read the hard-drive for some reason... So, I've decided to boot my old Ubuntu laptop to pull the files from the SATA drive to an external drive then hopefully connect that external drive to transfer the files to the Mac. The external drive is currently formatted as NFTS and I'm unable to reformat it with gparted--I'm guessing that's because it's read-only mode...?

    This might help

    Ubuntu ext3 SATA -> connector -> Mac OS X

    or

    Ubuntu ext3 SATA -> connector -> Ubuntu ext3 laptop -> external NFTS HD -> Mac OS X

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Beans
    26

    Re: Reformat read-only NFTS external drive

    Did you unmount the volume first?

    Formatting problems like these can often be solved by removing all partitions. Then create one new partition and format it as desired.

    You are using Mac by default?

    Then do the following in OSX:
    - Connect HD
    - Open Disk Utility
    - Select the disk (left side)
    - Go to the partition tab
    - Set volume scheme to 1 partition
    - Type name
    - Select desired format
    - Apply

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Beans
    123
    Distro
    Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Re: Reformat read-only NFTS external drive

    Quote Originally Posted by Autodidact View Post
    Did you unmount the volume first?

    Formatting problems like these can often be solved by removing all partitions. Then create one new partition and format it as desired.

    You are using Mac by default?

    Then do the following in OSX:
    - Connect HD
    - Open Disk Utility
    - Select the disk (left side)
    - Go to the partition tab
    - Set volume scheme to 1 partition
    - Type name
    - Select desired format
    - Apply
    Damn, never thought of reformatting the drive with my Mac... That worked perfectly (although I had to format it as FAT so Ubuntu could rw to it.

    Thanks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Beans
    26

    Re: Reformat read-only NFTS external drive

    Great it worked!

    Btw, now you should be able to format it to any (native) file system using gparted.

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