changing external hd from windows to mac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jaaperific, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. jaaperific macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2010
    So i've tried searching this topic and i think some stuff has come up but I really don't know enough about what people were saying to understand completely. Basically I have a 1.5 tb external harddrive that I had initially set up with a pc. And by set up i mean, put about 200gigs of movies music tv shows etc on it. Now, however, i'm using my macbook and I can't edit any of the stuff. Basically my question is there a way to work this so that I'll be able to edit on both os's? I have read permission on my macbook but i won't have access to the pc for much longer (giving it to sibling) and i kinda need to be able to change the stuff on it.

    Once again I think questions like this have been addressed but i don't think it's been recent and I don't thinkt he answers were directed to someone as helpless (in terms of terminal stuff on mac os) as i am. it seems like there's freeware out there that overrides the hd settings but i don't wanna risk it esp if i don't know what i'm doing. the data is too valuable to me.

    any insight would be greatly appreciated. thanks
  2. mbestel macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2010


    There is a windows utility called MacDrive that allows you to read and write HFS+ (Mac) drives from Windows.

    I have used it in the past and it has been ok. I think it comes with a 30 day trial.

    You will need to re-format the external disk for Mac though, but as you're going to be getting rid of your PC, it sounds like you will need to do that soonish anyway.


  3. jaaperific thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2010
    thanks for the suggestion. i was hoping there'd be a way i could do it without having to format since i don't have enough space on my laptop for all the stuff on the hd but i guess that's hoping for too much.

    thanks again!
  4. cderalow macrumors 6502


    I would assume that the external drive is formatted in NTFS, which allows you to read, but not write in OS X.

    a FAT32 formatted drive would allow read/write from windows and OS X.

    reformatting to not lose the info, is not so practical nor easy
  5. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    There are addons to read and write ntfs drives from OSx. IIRC one is called ntfs-3g. A mroogle search will find more or even a google search.

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