Files cannot be copied onto HD

I have a WD 500 GB external drive that was reformated by another party. I have many files on it, but cannot copy files onto the Drive on a Mac. I believe it was formated for a PC. I checked the disk utilities and it states the volume format is MS-DOS (FAT).  If I want to be able to copy to and from files on my Mac, what steps do I need to take to do this?

Thanks in advance for your help!

hi there i have a 1TB external hard drive and i am using a mac and i two problems.

1 - when i plug the HD into the mac the only icon that appears is the smatware icon but not the HD icon

2 - i cannot copy images from my desktop onto the hard drive even though i still have half the memory left.

if anyone can help with these questions it would be very much appreciated.


Michael Boyd 

Hello Mikey500,

what type of hard drive is in because most of the drive come preformatted as NTFS (for  pc) for mac it requires refoematting try going into disk utilities and formatting the drive  for mac also make sure that you don not have  the drive connected into a power strip and that it is connected directlry in the wall out let 

here is the format procedure.

To share data on both Mac and PC computers you need to do these steps below:

Take the drive an plug it back to the Mac computer.

Note: Re-partition the drive will erase all data. Please back up first.

Go to Disk Utility.

Choose the “Partition”

Under “Options” choose “Master Boot Record”

Under Format " choose “MS-DOS (FAT)”

click “Apply” and “Partition”

The drive is now Formatted with Master Boot Record.

It can be read/write from both Mac and PC computers.