How do I read-only a USB external hard drive on my Mac? Is it possible to do that? When I plug in an external drive, it is only partially written with files on it until I reboot my computer. So what should I do? How do I “read” the files on it and not lose any data along the way?
This all depends on how you’ve set up your external hard drive. If you’ve done your work normally and have the files you need, you probably won’t need to worry about doing anything special to make sure they are read-only. If you’re in a situation where you need to use some sort of recovery program (for data loss or corruption) then you may want to think about reading the files normally. Read-only in this situation usually means that you can still move the files around, but not to write them to disk yet.
If you’re dealing with a USB read-only situation, then there are a couple of options open to you. You can either format the disk as normal, or you can “overwrite” the existing data by using an application. These may not be good options for you if you’re expecting the files you’ve deleted to be able to be restored.
Formatting the drive is often the simplest option for most people. You just take the USB drive out of its packaging and connect it to the computer. Depending on the software on your computer, you can either format the entire drive or just parts of it. Most programs allow you to copy files to the partition as needed, then format the partition, saving the changes to the desktop or another location.
Of course, this isn’t foolproof. Certain applications can actually see the files you’ve marked as “read-only” as being accessible to other users. If you’re restoring certain files, you could risk losing the rest of your data. There’s really no way to completely prevent this from happening, but proper backup and restoration software can catch it right before it happens, preventing damage to your hard drive. It’s worth spending a few dollars on a good program for this purpose, even if you’re dealing with a USB read-only situation.
Of course, if you’re dealing with an external hard drive that isn’t connected to your computer at all, you won’t have any means of knowing what it looks like. Fortunately, though, there’s a software solution that allows you to look at the contents of your hard drive, allowing you to make sure it looks good before restoring any files to it. If you’re still wondering “why on earth is my external hard drive read-only?” then this solution should take care of that problem right away.
The best program for restoring an external hard drive to its original state is File Rescue. It’s a very powerful disk imaging tool that also has a very useful backup application. You simply connect your external hard drive to your Mac computer and then follow the on-screen instructions. This will backup your entire hard drive, allowing you to restore any files on the drive. It’s extremely easy to use and is one of the most reliable ways of making sure that your data stays safe even in the event of a system crash. The software is completely safe and won’t damage your Mac in any way.
It’s important to realize, though, that even though your external hard drive may be read-only, it’s still very much a part of your Mac. Even if the drive doesn’t show any information at all when you connect it to your computer, it’s still inside. This means that if you need to access some files on it, you can still do so – as long as you have the correct password. This is another reason why it’s so important to use a reliable recovery program.