You are here:

Macintosh OS/FLASHDRIVE FORMAT PROBLEM

Advertisement


Question
QUESTION: David. Here in Canada, Fed Ex photocopy is the main printing
agency. BUT, theIR equipment cannot read a FLASHDRIVE.
I format the drive MS-DOS FAT using disk utility ON MY MAC MINI, CURRENT OS X.
I put jpeg files on the USB flash drive. No dice ! They can't read it. They advise me to format for NTSC,or some such  term, the clerk mumbled. I have no idea what that term implies !

DisK utility only has MS DOS OR EXFAT. I tried 3 different
USB drives. What kind of madness have I ENCOUNTERED HERE ?

ANSWER: Storage devices are partitioned and formatted.
On a Mac in Disk Utility
Highlighting the Device (USBman 32gb - name depends on manufacturer) allows you to click Partition tab.
Your choices are  GUID Partition Table, Apple Partition Map, and Master Boot Record - YOU WANT MASTER BOOT RECORD
The one partition can be formatted HFS+, Fat32, Exfat, RAW - YOU WANT FAT32 OR EXFAT
Disk Utility will not format a device as NTFS (current Windows format) Macs can only read NTFS

YouTube has many videos about this subject
https://www.google.com/search?q=share+flash+drive+between+mac+and+windows
Click the Videos tab above this search

Go to a library or cafe with windows computers and test the flash drive.
The Fed Ex people sound pretty incompetent, try another location.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: David

As you know, Disk Utility provides 2 windows format selections.
i tried both on 2 different flash drives.
The print shop was unable to read either of the formatted disks.
They are running the previous version of windows, not the current OS.
Their computer viewed both my USB sticks and simply said, PLEAEE3 FORMAT DISK.
Another mystery here, is, simply : 2 months ago, I presented them with a flash drive in mac extended format. Their windows computer read it,
no problem. That's even more difficult to troubleshoot.
I will have to find a solution to this bizarre circumstance.
Thanks.

Answer
FORMAT IS ONE THING
PARTITION IS ANOTHER - the device likely has one partition (most do, although they could have 2 or 7 partitions)
The DEVICE is partitioned in GUID, APM, or MBR.
THE DEVICE is named by manufacturer
INDENTED under the DEVICE is the partition(s)
IF the device is partitioned in GUID or APM it is very likely a Windows pc will not be able to read the partition and suggest formatting.
IF the device is partitioned MBR, it is very likely a PC will read it.

AFTER the DEVICE is partitioned MBR and the partition is formatted FAT or EXFAT, most computers will read it.
UNLESS it is damaged.

YOUTUBE has videos showing this process in Disk Utility.
Macworld has articles with pictures.

IF it is partitioned and formatted for compatibility and is being tested on only ONE computer, that computer could have problems.

Macintosh OS

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


David Anders

Expertise

Seattle - The Computer Guy - 15 yr veteran Mac/PC/network problem solving. Clients are design firms, artists, freelancers and photographers. PLEASE PLEASE provide EXACT info for Mac Model and OS Version. RAM installed - added cards - external devices - recent changes. Do you do MONTHLY MAINTENANCE? With what Utility? What you have tried and what result do you want.

Experience

First computer experience 1969. Worked in 3 computer stores. Setup First Mac and First IBM-PC.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.