USB flash drives formatted on OS X Disk Utility but not working on Windows

Discussion in 'OS X and OS X Apps' started by Cyronthegreat, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. Cyronthegreat

    Cyronthegreat Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Manila
    I learned to format my 2gb flash drives on Disk Utility by clicking the Erase tool bar and choosing volume format to MS-DOS FAT. I did this because I was assuming I can use my flash drive on PCs as well. As I was using my now formatted flash drive on a Windows PC, it was suddenly not recognized and needs to be formatted by Windows. Luckily, I had a spare 2gb flash drive with the same files in it. Then, I found out that the default format for Windows PC to recognize the flash drive is FAT16. I really didn't thought that MS-DOS FAT when Erasing a.k.a. formatting the drive in Disk Utility wouldn't work on PCs. This is the same with NTFS formats that Macs can not overwrite.

    I suggest that to be able to use your flash drive on both Macs and PCs, to format it first on windows so there will be no problem for windows recognizing it.

    But then again, is there an application in OS X that would format any drive for PCs to recognize it immediately?;)
     
  2. hitme64

    hitme64 PhilMUG Addict Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Messages:
    11,876
    Likes Received:
    11,530
    Location:
    Here
    my usb drives are formatted for ms-dos fat in my mac and is recognized by windows xp pcs, although i did encounter some xp machines not recognizing it...i found out those pcs with win xp sp 2 and 3 are able to read the disks, while only some vista machines read it (because they suck!)...

    if the pc asks me to reformat my drive when i plug it in, i just plug it out and tell it to go to hell...hehe :p
     
  3. rycua

    rycua Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    552
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Binondo, Manila
    cy! sup?!

    during my windows/PC days i've already encountered that very situation.
    flashdrives that get reformatted with vista sometimes tend to be unrecognized by XP.
    causing XP to trigger a format event upon insertion of the flashdrive that came from vista.
    (weird part is, they're both windows based OS! why the incompatibility?!)

    the culprit might be the combination of speedboost feature of vista plus the fat32/16 format.
    since rumors say that speedboost is actually designed for the ntfs system and not the fat32/16 format.

    too bad mac osx can't write ntfs natively...
     
  4. NeilJohn

    NeilJohn Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1,081
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Philippines
    it can... just install fuse and ntfs-3g.
     
  5. Cyronthegreat

    Cyronthegreat Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Manila
    Hey ryan. Thanks for the post!

    I've posted this on a thread to let everyone know about this usb flash drive formats.
    It's just sad because when you urgently need to plug in your MacOS-formatted flash drive on an XP SP1 (btw, i just confirmed about the os that doesn't recognize this Fat32 format), and your away from your mac, it will suddenly occur to you of this incompatibilities hassle! Especially when its a jurassic windows.
     

Share This Page

  • About PhilMUG

    Since the mid-1990s, PhilMUG (formerly the Philippine Macintosh Users Group) has grown to become not just the Philippines’ but one of the world’s foremost Apple user groups. Our online community brings together thousands of members from the Philippines and around the world for the latest news and discussions covering all Apple products and related hardware and software. Anyone can join PhilMUG, from newbies to experts, subject to our membership rules and guidelines.
  • Like us on Facebook

  • Buy us a beer!

    The staff works very hard to make sure that PhilMUG is running 24/7. Care to buy us a beer or help out with our hosting fees? We'd really appreciate it!

    Donate to us!