I have a mac formatted external that I need to put windows files on...

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Learjet035, Feb 17, 2007.

  1. Learjet035 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Location:
    S. Floriduh
    #1
    My girlfriends PC is about to crash and she needs a backup asap. I have three externals but one is firewire which she doesn't have, and the others are both mac formatted so the PC doesn't see them.
    Do I have to reformat one? If so, how do I do it in Fat 32 or whatever will allow the pc to use it. I see it in Disk utility but I dont see fat 32.
    Can I just partition a bit of it and keep my files on there?
    Thanks!!!
     
  2. Schroedinger macrumors regular

    Schroedinger

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2004
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #2
    I would recommend you get everything off of it, just to be safe, and then reformat it to FAT32, or if possible (not sure off the top of my head) leave the bulk of it unformatted. Then use her laptop to format the external. That way you can be sure windows will be very happy with it and she can save her stuff.

    Then tell her to buy a mac :D
     
  3. nightelf macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    #3
    When you use FAT32 you have a 4GB file size limit.
     
  4. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #4
    No. if you partition, or reformat, you lose everything on the drive either way.

    THe FAT32 setting is called MSDOS File System and you have to choose the whole drive, not just one volume (partition)

    the 4 Gb limit is per file. It should not be an issue for you unless the Windows machine has exceedingly large movie files or backup images.
     
  5. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Location:
    American Riviera
    #5
    If you have a budget for it, you might give MacDrive a shot. It'll allow your Windows machine to read the HFS+ (Mac) formatted drive.
     
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #6
    No No No
    The LAST thing you want to do with a failing Windows hard drive is to install more stuff on it. You want to turn it off and not use it at all until you are ready to do the file recovery / backup.

    In the normal course of events, for swapping a hard drive between two healthy machines, MacDrive is a viable commercial option.
     
  7. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Location:
    American Riviera
    #7

    Oops, good catch Trevor.

    Yeah, you're exactly right, I glossed right over that part and assumed they just wanted to be able to share the same external drive.

    *heads off to bed to avoid causing any catastrophes*
     

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