Mac-PC External HD

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by kevindosi, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. kevindosi macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2006
    I've got an external HD that I use to store media. I know that some formats will allow you to plug your HD into both a mac and a PC (correct me if I'm wrong). How can I see if my hard drive is in that format, whatever it is? I don't want to plug it into a PC if it's not compatible and screw something up. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
  2. msevild macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2007
    Okay so here is what you need to do to find that out. Do a spotlight search(magnifying glass in upper right corner) for disk utility. Open that program up. Now assuming you have your external hard drive plugged in it should show up in the sidebar of the disk utility program. It will most likely state the manufacturer of your hard drive and underneath that the name of the "volume" that shows up on your desktop when the hard drive is plugged in. Select the volume and at the bottom of the disk utility window the second item it tells you is the Format. If it is Mac OS "anything" then it is Mac compatible only. The one you are looking for that is universal with both is the FAT-32 format. There are some limitations to the format that you might want to further investigate, but this should help you out. Let me know how it goes.
  3. ayeplussjr macrumors regular

    Dec 29, 2008
    Alright....i'm in the same boat. I'm a noob to the mac so bare with me. I originally had my external hard drive formatted to NTFS, but found out that it would not read on my iMac, so I formatted my external through disk utility to MS-DOS (FAT 32). My iMac is recognizing the external hard drive, but my windows computer is not. I want to transfer some files from my Windows PC to my iMac using my external hard drive, but windows just won't recognize hard drive now that it is formatted to FAT 32. Any suggestions on what I may be doing wrong?

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