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I was wondering if anyone could tell me how to use USB under OS X on my iMac. I have just got my first ever iMac and am frustrated with using my USB drive. I had previously converted this drive's filesystem from FAT32 to NTFS so that it copies faster and so I'm able to copy large files as well.

Anyway, I plug it into the iMac via USB and I want to delete some files from there but there's no option "Move to Trash". Then when I drag it to the trash, it pops up a message saying, "Cannot move to trash because it cannot be deleted". I right-click on some files there and go to "Get Info", then at the bottom of the window, under "Sharing and Permissions", it says "Read only" and I cannot change it.

Any tips for me? I have a 500GB external hard drive full of stuff and same thing, unable to delete or copy or paste.

share|improve this question

Mac OS X's built-in support for NTFS is read-only. You can drag things off of that volume and onto other (non-NTFS) volumes on your Mac, but you can't delete things from that drive. I would think copy/paste would work, but not cut/paste.

There are third-party NTFS read/write solutions for Mac OS X if you need the ability to delete things off of NTFS volume.

If you need to create a volume (drive partition) that can be used equally well on both Mac OS X and Windows, go with FAT32. Windows can't even read the Mac's native HFS family of volume formats without third-party software.

share|improve this answer
Oh no FAT32 is too slow on copying, not too sure if it's slow for mac but diffinitely slow when copying on windows. Any suggestion on that third party you mentioned? I've just googled some and there are quite a few you can get but just thought you might have any suggestion for me. Thanks – James1 May 3 '12 at 5:18
You could also try exFat. Doesnt have the file size limits supported on both Mac and Windows. Not sure about speed though – OrangeBox May 3 '12 at 5:25
FAT is also not a particularly robust filesystem. So ideally don't store anything on it long term. Perhaps dropbox or similar would be a better option for moving data between distant devices? Or if they are on the same network, copy the files using SMB machine to machine. – Paul May 3 '12 at 6:10
@Paul in what way? And for reference, I used MacFUSE and 3g-ntfs on my Mac to see and edit NTFS formatted drives – Canadian Luke Aug 11 '12 at 3:08
@Luke in the sense that beyond having a duplicate FAT table, it offers none of the reslience of a modern file system like NTFS or EXT3/4 – Paul Aug 11 '12 at 3:39

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