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Thread: External HD not recognized in Windows

  1. #1
    Default External HD not recognized in Windows
    Yes, I know that this is a Mac forum, but I'm sure that many of you have external HDs that you use on both Macs and Windows machines. I have a 500GB WD Passport, which I have been using exclusively on my Mac, but when I go back to school, I'm sure that I'll need to use it to transfer files between the two.

    My assumption is that it's probably just not formatted correctly. If this is right does anyone know a way to fix this without screwing up/losing the data that is currently stored on the drive.

    I also realize a simple alternative would be to just buy a flash drive, but before I do that (and yes I know how cheap they are now) I'd rather just see if I can get this working.
    iEat. iSleep. iPhone.

  2. #2
    I think you can just create another partition without deleting the things you already have on the HD. The new partition needs to be formatted as MS-DOS (FAT32) to be able to transfer files to/from a mac/pc. The only downside is that you only have a 4gb transfer limit.

  3. #3
    You'll likely need to wipe the drive clean and start fresh (Back up your files of course! Maybe borrow a friend's drive?); without special software on the PC the drive needs to have an MBR partition map for a PC to be able to read it. Your drive likely has a GUID partiton map, though you can double check in Disk Utility. FAT32 will be readable and writeable on both the mac and the PC, but will have a 4GB per file limit.

    NTFS will be read/write on the PC, but read only on the mac (Unless you install NTFS-3G, which is free: NTFS-3G: Stable Read/Write NTFS Driver) That installs MacFUSE.

    Good luck!

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