External Hard drive backup to a PC...

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by bclizzle, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. bclizzle macrumors 6502

    Apr 29, 2009
    i trial and errored for an hour on this, and am annoyed...

    i want to back up my itunes library (7,000 songs) onto my 1TB drive.

    I want to take that hard drive and transfer my songs onto a PC of mine running windows 7.

    Everything ive seen online is pointing me to the time machine, which doesnt work because then its not formatted for a pc. and i havent seen enough info on other software to get it done.

    any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010


    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.
    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
    • Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    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: Install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free)
    • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx 33USD).
    • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard, 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
    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended)
    • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
    • Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner 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
    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

    If the above has brought some light, you should just be able to manually copy the iTunes library via Finder to an external HDD of your choice, unless, that is not what you want.
  3. bclizzle thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 29, 2009
    so i need 3rd party software? hard for me to comprehend most of that, lol
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Not really, but depending on what format (file system) the external HDD uses, you might need to.
    If the HDD is empty, use Disk Utility to format it using exFAT as file system.
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    If you read it carefully, it's quite simple to understand. It explains for each format whether Mac or Windows can read or write to that format natively, or whether they need 3rd party software to do so. Take your time and read simsaladimbamba's post. It will tell you everything you need to know.

Share This Page