External HDD works on Mac but not windows?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Radeon123, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. Radeon123 macrumors newbie


    Sep 24, 2010
    Hey there,

    From a bit of searching around, this seems to be a rather confusing topic, and no-one really seems to have the answer :(

    I have an iOmega HDD and I use it for extra space on my Mac all the time. But I want to back up all the files on my PC (111gb) onto the HDD, wipe the PC and install windows again and put some of the files back on. However, when I connect the HDD to a PC, it says; "The disk in drive G is not formatted."

    Now is there any way I can use the HDD on both my Mac and my PC? And I can't copy the files to my Mac as there is 700gb of data on the HDD and only 240gb on the Mac.

    Any help is appreciated, thanks :)
  2. basesloaded190 macrumors 68030


    Oct 16, 2007
    Mac and PC Harddrives are formatted differently so no you won't be able to use it between both machines.
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Some of us do.
    Your external drive is probably formatted as HFS+, which can't be read natively by Windows. Read the following for details about how to use HFS+ or NTFS between Mac and Windows:

    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)

    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.
    Yes, you can. See above.
  4. Radeon123 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Sep 24, 2010
    Thank you very much!

    I now kind of understand this... :confused:

    But yeah, I tried using MacDrive but it wouldn't install for some reason, but googled 'MacDrive alternatives' and came up with this list of disk sharing programs.

    TransMac is now installed and working fine, albeit a little slow.

    Thanks for your help :)
  5. barredfreak macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2012
    If you have a Mac, trash your PC, my friend. You should have realized/will come to realize that it is incompetent.

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