General Question

simonPARASITE's avatar

How do I get my Mac to recognize my HP flash drive?

Asked by simonPARASITE (195 points ) February 1st, 2010

I have a Macbook (latest model) and recently bought an HP flash drive to hold school projects on, the thing is, my computer isn’t recognizing it. I plug it in, a green light flashes on the drive and then nothing else happens. It didn’t come with any software and the packaging says it’s compatible with Macs. Help would be appreciated.

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6 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

Applications—> Utilities—> Disk Utility

Does that see it?

sndfreQ's avatar

On the Mac: Go Menu/Utilities then open “Disk Utility”; you should see the flash drive in the list of icons on the left, under your main “Macintosh HD” icon. Click on the icon for the Flash drive, then on the right-hand side use the format pull-down to select “HFS+ Journaled” and then click the “Erase” button on the lower right corner.

Note that any data currently on the flash drive will be wiped when you do this process; If you plan on using the flash drive on both Mac OS and Windows, you can partition the drive and set one partition to MS-DOS or FAT 32, and the other to HFS+ Journaled, and you can size the partitions accordingly.

simpleD's avatar

To add to @sndfreQ‘s excellent post, I don’t partition my flash drives. Formatting the whole drive as MS-DOS allows you to use the whole space of the drive on either a Mac or PC.

jerv's avatar

I find FAT32 to be the best option when available, though for smaller drives (like most USB Flash drives) FAT16 works. Windows sees them natively, as do newer Macs and just about any Linux distro from the last few years.

The same cannot be said for HFS, HFS+, ext3, ReiserFS, or most other formats; those are pretty much for one OS only.

jrpowell's avatar

A couple notes:

OS X can read and write to FAT32 volumes.
OS X can only read from NTFS volumes. It can’t write to the drive without using something like MacFUSE.

I would format as FAT32 to make things easiest if you plan to swap files between a Mac and PC.

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