can't share external HD data w/a PC?

boynigel

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 19, 2009
231
1
I have an intel imac running snow leopard. I’m trying to share mp3 files (legally, of course) with a friend who has a windows pc. He purchased a brand new external usb hard drive that says on the box that it works w/both mac & pc. When I hooked up the drive to my computer, I had to format it. My computer recommended doing it as “enable mac os journaling” (I believe that’s how it was worded). So I did that way, and put the music on the drive. My friend hooked it up to his pc and now the drive doesn’t show up. What gives? Should I have formatted the drive a different way? I don’t understand why this isn’t working considering I’ve transferred music to his pc previously via his usb thumb drive. FWIW, this is not a licensing issue. Do I need to reformat the drive a different way so that his pc sees it?
 

Nov 28, 2010
22,668
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located

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Overview of the four major file systems (called "Formats" in Mac OS X) used on Windows and Mac OS X, compiled by GGJstudios. You can use Disk Utility to format any HDD to your liking.

Any external hard drive will work with PCs or Macs, as long as the connectors are there (Firewire, USB, etc.) It doesn't matter how the drive is formatted out of the box, since you can re-format any way you like. Formatting can be done with the Mac OS X Disk Utility, found in the /Applications/Utilities folder. Here are your formatting options:

FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
  • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
    [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
  • Maximum volume size: 2TB
  • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.
NTFS (Windows NT File System)
  • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
  • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
    [*]To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
    • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
    • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
    • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
    • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
    • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, but is not advisable, due to instability.
  • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
  • Maximum file size: 16 TB
  • Maximum volume size: 256TB
  • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.
HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)
  • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
  • Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper! backups of Mac internal hard drive.
    [*]To Read/Write HFS+ from Windows, Install MacDrive
    [*]To Read HFS+ (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
  • Maximum file size: 8EiB
  • Maximum volume size: 8EiB
  • You can use this format if you only use the drive with Mac OS X, or use it for backups of your Mac OS X internal drive, or if you only share it with one Windows PC (with MacDrive installed on the PC)
exFAT (FAT64)
  • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
  • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
  • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
  • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
  • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
  • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
  • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.
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boynigel

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 19, 2009
231
1
if that's the case, any idea as to why his PC isn't seeing the drive then?
 
Nov 28, 2010
22,668
27
located
if that's the case, any idea as to why his PC isn't seeing the drive then?
Because HFS+ can't be read by Windows without additional software, as stated here:

HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)
  • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
  • Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper! backups of Mac internal hard drive.
    [*]To Read/Write HFS+ from Windows, Install MacDrive
    [*]To Read HFS+ (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
  • Maximum file size: 8EiB
  • Maximum volume size: 8EiB
  • You can use this format if you only use the drive with Mac OS X, or use it for backups of your Mac OS X internal drive, or if you only share it with one Windows PC (with MacDrive installed on the PC)
 

boynigel

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 19, 2009
231
1
Disk Utility did not have FAT32 as an option, only FAT. same thing?