Using it as a big usb stick between mac and pc

Hi all,

Sorry, I didn’t know whether to post this in the windows or mac section, so I posted it in both.

I know stuff similar to this has been posted on before but in reading much of it I’m just getting confused and I know I might have to but if possible don’t want to have to partition or reformat the disk.

With the simple small usb sticks I have no problem saving a word document, for example, in window then taking it over to the mac, openning it up, editting it and saving it again. This is basically what I want to be doing with the WD HDD but I used it first on the windows machine and now it won’t let me save anything on it from the mac and the documents saved from the windows machine are read only. It’s really really annoying.

Cheap usb sticks can do it… it seriously should not be this hard?

Sorry about the tone of this post but it’s really annoying me and any help would be very much appreciated.



Check the other post. I answered there,


Just answering here in case others come across this thread and don’t know where the “other thread” mentioned above is…

The default format for most WD HD’s is NTFS… which Windows can read and write to, but Mac’s can only read (not write).

If you want to use it on both Windows and Mac you will need to format either the whole drive (or a partition of it) to FAT32 (MS-DOS).

This is the only format that both OS can read.  However, it does come with some limitations, the most important of which is that FAT32 can only transfer a max file size of 4GB in one go… if you don’t need to transfer HUGE files, then this is the way to go. 

Here is the other post You can also download an app from Apple to use NTFS.