How to copy files from Windows to external HDD (mac os extended)?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by gen66, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. gen66 macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2015
    I couldn't find any solutions online, I hope you guys can help me.
    I just have an external drive MAC OS Extended journaled format. Windows doesn't even detect it? I download some win software and I'm just able to see the files on the drive now but still cannot copy from Windows to this Drive? Any solutions? Thank you!!!
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Windows by default is not compatible with OS X file formats, i.e., HFS+. You said "some software" what exactly did you download?

    The usual and most recommended is MacDrive Once installed, your windows environment can then read/write to HFS+ volumes.
  3. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    The Mac disc format is HFS+, the default Windows format is NTFS.

    Without extra software, windows won't read HFS+ at all, the Mac can read, but not write NTFS. You could either buy MacDrive (mentioned in a previous post), or Paragon HFS for Windows to let Windows read/write HFS+. However, that could be an overkill.

    What exactly do you want to do?

    1. If you just want to recycle a Mac drive as an external drive for your Windows machine don't need to use it on Mac again, and don't need the files already on it, just use the windows disc formatting tools to erase and re-format the disc in NTFS format.

    2. If you want to use it regularly to exchange data files between Mac and PC (but don't want whatever is currently on it) reformat it in 'ExFAT' format - which both Windows and Mac can read/write.

    3. If you have a Mac, a PC and a home network, leave the drive attached to the Mac and enable file sharing (google how to set it up for your OS X and Windows versions). That makes the disc format irrelevant.
  4. gen66, Mar 24, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 24, 2015

    gen66 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2015
    Thank you.


    I just want to copy once, only once all of my data from windows to this hdd, luckily the MacDrive has 5 day free trail ver!!! THANK YOU GUYSSS

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