Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Ok, so just bought myself a dock so I can wipe some drives and use others as storage. Most of these drives originated from windows Machines and thus are formatted NTFS and not FAT/FAT32

Currently I can dock the drives with little to no issue what so ever. However the one issue I do have is the fact that these drives are mounting as read only. I can take the files off of the drives I think, if I need to.

Now I guess my question would these be read only because they are NTFS formatted drives, or is there another reason? If there is other reason, is there any means I can get around read only attributes. Or am I going to have to format the drives somehow? How would I format them to a useable medium if they are read only?

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Natively, Mac OS X cannot write to NTFS formatted volumes. There are downloads like NTFS-3G which can enable you to read/write to NTFS partitions, but I've had mixed success with them.

If you want to format the drive so you can perform read/write operations and want to boot from it, please follow this link. The format you want drives in is HFS+ (Mac OS X Extended Journaled).

share|improve this answer
Yea after much digging and searching I found the means to format the drives from within Mac OSX, Its under utilities, the same component you would get from holding down the option key on boot. What I did for the volumes I wanted large data storage 4+ gigs a file I ended up formatting as Max OS X Extended Journaled, then the rest of the drives Im wiping or just using as glorified flash drives I formatted into FAT. Everything seems to be working well. Thank you for your input as well. – chris Jun 13 '12 at 19:03

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.