Data recovery: Mac or Windows?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by MacGvr, Aug 5, 2016.

  1. MacGvr macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2016
    If I want to recover data from USB memories where I've stored files (pics etc) from my Windows computer, does it matter if I do the recovery on a Mac or on a Windows machine?
  2. 960design macrumors 68030

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
    maybe... it depends on how the USB was formatted.
    'Disks' can be formatted in several ways. The most common for Windows is NTFS. NTFS is a proprietary file system for Windows and cannot be read by Macs, Unix, Solaris, ect. Mac commonly use HFS+ which is incompatible with other operating systems as well.

    There is a catch all. You may have formatted the USB as FAT32 ( I believe FAT32 was/is the default file system for many USB, although I have found many that are NTFS and thus need to be formatted to work on my Macs ). This can be read by most operating systems.

    So, maybe is the answer. It depends on how you initially formatted the drive.
  3. MacGvr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2016
    Okay, thanks. But doesn't Macs often read (but not write) NTFS? And if so, is reading enough to do file recovery?

    I also am wondering if, let's say, Macs are better at recognizing and recovering files created on a Mac and vice versa. Or does that not matter?
  4. IHelpId10t5 macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2014
    Generally, if your were using the disk with Windows then use Windows to do the recovery. There are many tools to do so depending on your skill level. One of the easiest to use is
  5. MacGvr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2016
    Yes, I'll try that.
  6. hobowankenobi macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2015
    on the land line mr. smith.
    If you invest in recovery software, be sure to get something that works on every common file system. Disk Drill is one I have run from Macs to recover several different camera SD cards and USB sticks, of both FAT and NTFS formats. Has worked very well, with good speed compared to others I have used.

    Have not used it yet, but bumped into Mac Data Recovery Guru the other day, and it looks very promising. File system agnostic. Free demo to see what it can see.....

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