Cannot copy files over?

Hi (again), apologies for the newbie posts but i’m having some trouble working this thing out…

i was hoping to plug this essential passport into my mac and then drag files onto it for safekeeping. It’s turning out to be a bit of a pain.

So, i’ve installed the hardrive and been taken through the setup process.

Now all i want to do is manually select files form my mac and put them onto the drive.

However, when i try dragging something into the drive, i get an error message that reads: '‘item could not be moved because “my passport” cannot be modified’… err, what?!

Why is this?

Does this have something to do with this whole partitioning/formatting process? And if so, could someone please explain this to me as i don’t understand.

Thank you.

Hey, It may just be that you have to reformat your harddrive.

First: Copy the files on the harddrive onto your mac desktop

Second: Go to Finder -> applications -> Utilities -> disk Utilities

3rd: select your hard drive on the left hand side list

Chose the Erase tab.

And for the volume format, chose MAC Os Extended

Let it reformat, when it’s done, open up your hard drive, and copy back in the original files back onto it

You should be able to drag in files and what not!

I hope this helped, hopefully your problem is what I think it is :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

Thank you soooooo much for posting that. I had the exact same issue and your instructions were perfect. I was a little nervous hitting erase but I did what you said and voila I was able to copy files over. Thanks for your help. You saved me sooooo much time. You rock! 


I kinda have the same problem although i’m hesitant to reformat in case I won’t be able to use my drive on PC. Right now on it’s NTFS format I can read and write on it on PC however can only read on Mac. If I format it will I be able to read and write from both PC and Mac?

Thanks in advance!

I am currently using both Windows XP and Mac OS X. My drive is WD My Passport Essential SE 1TB. Current format NTFS. 

I would like to be able to keep using the drive on both OS’s for storage. How can I do this?

PS: I can already read from the drive using either OS however only Win XP is able to write on the drive–which i would like to remedy.

Please help.

Thanks in advance!

Hi all,

Ok here it is.  The only fully compatible native format for both Mac and PC is FAT32.  However, FAT32 has some major limitations associated with it.  Among these are a 4GB file transfer limitation which could rule out large videos created with final cut or other software.  Although you can render to the external you will not be able to move the file video once rendered.

Windows is not able to natively see HFS+ (Mac default) format and although Mac can see NTFS it is a Read-only.  You can copy to and from the drive just not modify files on the drive when attached to your Mac.

There are third party software programs for both Mac and PC that would allow you to have the drive formatted one way or the other and still have access to it.

But here is a warning, although I know people who use both Mac and PC and use drives in FAT32 between both of them, I have seen data or file corruption occur form having multiple operating systems working with files on the same drive.  As FAT32 has been obsolete for oh about 10 years now, I would not really recommend using it.  I would pick a platform and stick with it (Mac or PC) both are great computers for their uses, but they never have communicated very well since the inception of both.