mac formatted iPOD with windows

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by andiwm2003, Jul 28, 2004.

  1. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA

    is it possible to use a mac formatted iPOD as a USB HD on a WinDOS machine without reformatting it? I want to transfer once in a while a few GB from my work machine to my mac.

  2. kgarner macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2004
    I am assuming it is a 3rd or 4th gen iPod as you say using it as a USB HD. It is my understanding that those models were already compatible with both systems. If this is not the case then someone please correct me.
  3. the_mole1314 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2003
    Akron, OH
    No, you cannot use a Mac iPod on a Windows machine. Windows uses FAT32 for their drive recognition software, but Apple dosn't. A Mac uses another format, which I can't remember off the top of my head. Anyway, you can use a Windows iPod on a Mac AND PC, but you can't use a Mac iPod on a Windows machine.

    NOW, that's without any software, but there are software packages out there that allow you to transfer information from a Mac iPod on a windows machine.
  4. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Not so sure about that, mole.

    I use my mac formatted iPod as a USB HD in WinXP Pro with no third party applications.

    mmmm...But now that I think about it, how do I know which platform my iPod is formatted for?
  5. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020


    Jul 6, 2003
    Los Angeles
    While it's true that Windows uses (or at least did use) FAT 32, Macs can read and write to FAT 32 disks. So can Linux for that matter. So if you ever want full compatibility with any machine you're likely to run into, format in FAT 32.

    Can you cross formats with the iPod? Probably, but I haven't done it. As an experiment I plugged my (Mac formatted) iPod into an XP machine. It wanted to reformat it. I pretty much expected that but I didn't go ahead with it. I suspect that if I did reformat it for Windows that it would have still worked on my Mac--at least the hard disk portion of it. iTunes might want the Windows machine to be the one it syncs with, but that's just an educated guess.
  6. JDOG_ macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2003
    PC wise, you're not going to be able to read the MAC-formated (Hfts+) drive unless you have a program like Macdrive (, on the other side of that a FAT32 (windows) formatted iPod is not going to be able to Sync up on a Mac using iTunes, but it will be recognized as a Fat32 firewire drive & will mount accordingly.

    Alternately, when I used a Windows PC I used a program called XPlay which worked pretty well with both systems (barring that nice, easy feel of freely syncing). Their new version looks a bit improved from when I was using it, but you're still bound to run into problems here and there. There's also another mac/pc program called Anapod Explorer, but that is mostly rubbish from my experience with it. Just look around and experiment with your music safe somewhere until you find a solution that works for you. :D
  7. jalagl macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2003
    Costa Rica

    You can use something like Xplay2 to read your mac-formated ipod in windows. I am planning on buying it once I get my 4G iPod in a couple of months, to be able to carry files from my work windows-based PC.
    The good thing is that it allows you to use it as a HD in windows, and is less expensive than thier other option, MacDrive 5.

    The URL is:

    Hope that helps
  8. Jovian9 macrumors 68000


    Feb 19, 2003
    Planet Zebes
    I just received a new 4G 40GB iPod (so far no problems that I've noticed, no blemishes, and no irregularities in the great).
    I decided to try formatting it on a friends pc first just to find out if it would then be compatible with both Mac and pc. It is. I can use iTunes to get songs off of a Mac or a PC.....and I can use the Firewire Disk mode on both a Mac and pc to transfer files back and forth........I am doing this with XP and with Panther.
    Here is what I did:
    1. Put iPod Software Installation Disk in pc and ran it
    2. When it asked for the iPod I plugged it into the pc via USB.
    3. It then updated the versions of iTunes & Quicktime on the pc.
    4. I then restarted the pc and was able to sync with iTunes and use disk mode on the pc after it restarted.
    5. I then ejected the iPod from the pc and plugged it into my PowerBook via firewire
    6. It seemed to take a bit longer but it was recognized by the PowerBook and I was able to sync with with iTunes and use Firewire Disk Mode.

    -Note: One thing I noticed though (and I'm not sure if this is b/c it's a 4G iPod or not b/c it's the 1st time I plugged it into a Mac) - when plugged into my PowerBook the disk icon that popped up onto the desktop did not look like an iPod, but like a white disk (like it does on lots of application installs).....every other iPod I've plugged in has brought up a disk icon matching that model of iPod. So possibly by formatting on pc first, it caused the iPod to appear on the Mac desktop with a generic disk icon.

    I sometimes have to transfer m$ office files back-and-forth to work (usually burn disks) so that is why I tried this experiment (to see if I could just use my iPod....and I can). Hope this helps anyone thinking about doing this.
  9. tomjleeds macrumors 6502a


    Jul 19, 2004
    Manchester, UK
    I used my old 2G Windows-formatted iPod on both a Mac and a PC without re-formatting. However, it was only used as an external drive on the Mac ;)
  10. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2003
    New Jersey USA
    If you format in FAT32 you can read it on a Mac and Windows as a drive. Apple does not support this method. You cannot get it to Sync with iTunes in both Windows and PC unless the 4G are able to. My 3 G will not allow this.
  11. jonnyblobby macrumors member


    May 25, 2003
    Aus, Sydney
    iPod icon

    This is true, a PC formated iPod will not have an iPod icon when plugged into a mac, this is probably due to the fact that winblows does not really have high quality icons, and that they just use generic icons for removable discs.

    The best way to use an iPod between mac and PC systems just for transfering files is using MacDrive, sure you need to pay for this software, but it means your iPod is in a better drive format, and you get the icon =)
  12. ehurdler macrumors member

    Mar 6, 2004
    jonnyblobby I have a G3 ipod. I have well many computers, but the 2 i connect my ipod too are 1. Windows XP machine via usb2 or firewire port, and 2. My powerbook G4 via firewire. My ipod i originally formatted on my PC, but that is it, just formatted it didnt run any other software. I can connect my ipod to either system without a problem, and also with it showing the icon you are talking about. I can copy any file either way, mac->PC or PC->mac with the ipod. I even had adobe CS on my ipod and ran the app from there for a while.
  13. guitarmann macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2004
    Windows iPod with Mac

    I am a former Mac user who made the big mistake of switching to windows PC (have mercy!) because of my work; however, I'm so frustrated with Windows that I'm really serious about switching and getting the iMac G5. My problem is that I bought a 4G windows iPod two weeks ago. Will I be able to use it to upload songs off of the mac? Will it have to be (or can it be) reformatted? Has anyone out there already gone through this?

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