External USB Hard Drive FAT32 corruption via Mac OS 9!
December 21, 2004 2:55 PM   Subscribe

External USB Hard Drive FAT32 corruption via Mac OS 9! Help me Obi-Wan Kenobe! (More inside)

I have an 80gb AcomData HD which has - until now - worked flawlessly. The other night I mounted it on a Mac OS 9 machine to transfer some graphics files, and now it no longer is even recognizable or moubtable to any of my Windows machines. (98/2K/XP). I'm thinking my mistake was dragging the mounted drive to the trash to unmount it rather than just yanking the cable or shutting it down like you're not supposed to.

Are there any Windows disk utilities that can repair the FAT without losing the data even though I can't even properly mount the damn thing?

(And despite this, I still recommend AcomData. The web support requires an account/login, but the call-in support was excellent. I got a sharp fellow who abandoned any scripted solution the instant I began articulating my problem in detail and my troubleshooting procedures thus far. That's wonderfully refreshing these days.)

Thanks in advance! (Wanders off to try to mount it in knoppix)
posted by loquacious to Computers & Internet (1 answer total)
I think your problem may stem from the artificial "limit" WINXP imposes on FAT32 Drive partitions. Was the disk originally formatted with the W98 machine? I ask because WXP (and perhaps W2K?) imposes a 32 GB limit on drives formatted with FAT32 instead of NTFS. (That is just formatting with Windows - I know Partition Magic, WINXP Admin tools, and other software will let you format larger drives under FAT32.) Will the Mac still mount the drive? If so, obviously you'll want to copy all your data off it. If not, Knoppix or even just DOS may allow you to copy the data off. Then reformat in NTFS (will Mac OS 9 read NTFS? I think maybe only Mac OS X will), or reformat in FAT 32 with 3 partitions no larger than 32GB each. You're also probably better off just using the drive on one of the PCs with the Mac using it as a networked drive. The trade off, of course, is your data transfer speed will be a lot slower.
posted by sixdifferentways at 12:18 PM on December 23, 2004

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