Can an external Hard Drive be used on both Mac & Windows?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by manfronix, May 31, 2010.

  1. manfronix macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2010
    I'm trying to access my WD Passport using firewire 800 on both Windows & Mac.

    The current situation is:

    I have partitioned the drive through Mac Disc Utility with three partitions.
    1. Time Machine
    2. Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
    3. MS DOS (FAT32)

    I can access all partitions when running the MAC OS.
    However when using boot camp to lunch Windows 7 Ultimate (64bit) I cannot see the drive.

    I've tried going into windows disc manager and can see the disc as an unallocated drive with no partitions.

    What I want to achieve is to have the one external drive like this;
    1: Time Machine (for MAC backups)
    2: A partition for storing my MAC files on
    3: A partition for storing windows files on (accessed while using bootcamp).

    All without losing the existing backups on the drive.

    Sorry I'm a newby to MAC (but love it :D) any help appreciated.
  2. JoshBoy macrumors 6502


    Oct 12, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    you should have no issue at all seeing it however what if the two were FAT32? because mac will see both.

    I have an external running on my network similar but everything can gain access.
  3. JoshBoy macrumors 6502


    Oct 12, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    actually i just found your problem............ windows ;)
  4. neenja macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2008
    i installed:



    NTFS for Mac

    format fat32.. i find it best to format it using a windows machine.

    then it works on both machines like a charm.


    sorry just read your post again.. would it be possible to back up everything onto your mac first, doing a format then throwing the files back on?
  5. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    My guess: You managed to partition the drive using Apple Partition Map (So that Mac OS 9 can boot from it :rolleyes:) instead of MBR or GPT. Since you are using W7 64 bit, GPT should be preferred.

    This happened to me once....

    As neenja mentions, you should be able to use CCC or something like it to image the data on the drive, repartition and replace the data. There is no non-destructive way of changing the partition scheme that I am aware of.


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