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I am trying to find out whether a networked external hard drive is using FAT32 or NTFS for its file system.

Is there a way to do this through the GUI or can I do it via Terminal. It is definitely mounted as I can see it in /Volumes/ but I don't have sufficient Unix knowledge to find this out.

Can anyone help?

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migrated from Oct 19 '11 at 18:44

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You can't directly, the file server hides it implicitly.

But you can guess: if all you need to know is whether it's FAT or NTFS, just copy a file >2GB on it - if it fails, it's probably FAT which cannot handle files >2GB. There are also some differences in how many files per folder, allowed characters and so on (have a look at the file systems wikipedia pages).

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FAT32's most annoying restriction (back then) is probably the easiest solution. – Daniel Beck Oct 19 '11 at 18:53

The information is available through /Applications/Utilities/Disk or via the command line utility diskutil info /Volumes/<VolumeName>.

UPDATE: Actually, those only provide information about file systems on locally attached disks and disk images. For other types of mountable file systems, you can use the mount command to get information about all mounted file systems including the file system types. Or, if you are just interested in one particular file type, you can use df -t.

$ mount
[...] on /Volumes/music/music (nfs, nodev, nosuid, automounted, nobrowse)
$ df -t nfs
Filesystem        512-blocks      Used Available Capacity  Mounted on   227067200 208996288   6536576    97%    /Volumes/music/music
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thanks. I already tried the Disk Utility through the GUI and it only showed my Macintosh HD and my External HD, not the networked drive. I will try the terminal way when i get home. – Alex B Oct 19 '11 at 11:39
Ah, you're right. Networked file systems do not show up in Disk Utility or diskutil. See updated answer. – Ned Deily Oct 19 '11 at 17:32
NFS isn't the underlying file system, just the protocol used to make it available via the network. – Daniel Beck Oct 19 '11 at 18:47

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