PC will not read my external HD

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by yani2k8, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. yani2k8 macrumors member

    yani2k8

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hi all

    I'm selling my iMac so I bought a new external hard drive today. I formatted it to FAT32 so that I can transfer all my data from my Mac to my PC. So I moved all the stuff onto it and then when I connected the HD to my PC, it wouldn't come up.

    It comes up on the 'Safely Remove Hardware' thing but not in My Computer. What am I doing wrong? Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #2
    You can check in Start Menu > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Disk Management to see if it shows up there and to mount it. Also did you check on the Mac to make sure you did not accidentally choose Mac OS extended or some other format?
     
  3. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    From the disk management utility mentioned above you can also assign a drive letter if the drive is visible. I've had occasions where Windows tried using an existing drive letter to mount on causing a conflict.

    If that's not helping, let us know what version of Windows you're using. It might make a difference.
     
  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #4
    You may have formatted the partition as FAT32, but left the partition map as APM or GUID. In which case Windows wouldn't see it, unless you have a Mac drive support add-on installed.

    If you're not sure, you can check by mounting the drive on a Mac, opening Disk Utility, and selecting the drive (least indented item in the left pane) rather than the partition; at the bottom of the window the bottom-left item should show the Partition Map Scheme. If it says "Apple Partition Map" or GUID, there's your problem.

    In which case you need to reformat it as an MBR drive (Partition tab, select "1 partition" from the pop up, then click Options and select Master Boot Record, and apply), at which point it should work. (Alternately, you can of course erase and reformat it using Windows, which will of course give you a compatible partition map.)

    If it's already MBR, not sure what could be the problem.
     
  5. yani2k8 thread starter macrumors member

    yani2k8

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Thanks for all the replies!

    I did as you said and this is what I got. Not sure if it's supposed to like that but I'm really bad with these things:

    [​IMG]

    Also, I'm sure it was FAT32 because when I tried to copy my HD movies, it wouldn't let me as they are larger than 4GB.


    The partition that was installed on the HD when I bought it comes up in My Computer (WD SmartWare (F:)) but that only includes user manuals and stuff.

    The thing is, I don't remember making a partition for my data - I just copied and pasted it directly onto the HD.

    I am using Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit.


    I installed Mac Drive 8 but it didn't recognize any of the drives as Mac formatted drives so don't think that would be the case.

    The trouble is that I already gave my Mac away so I can't use it to check.
     
  6. IvanLasston macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    #6
    As Makosuke - the format may be fat32 which is one tab on the Mac. The problem is - after you format the drive in disk utility you have to go to the partition tab - select the partition (which should have been the whole drive in your case) and set it to MBR - that is how to format a fat32 so it is readable on both a PC and a Mac. This is the non-obvious step that most people miss.

    The easiest thing to do is find a Mac, copy the data, reformat the drive, and then copy it back.
     
  7. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #7
    Ahh, that would be problematic.

    If you didn't format it at all--just connected it and started copying data, it should theoretically be fine (since almost all externals come formatted as FAT32). And even if you did reformat it, if you didn't repartition, the partition map would be in the same format as it was originally, which should be MBR.

    That's backed up by the fact that you still see the WD utilities partition--if you'd completely reformatted it, that wouldn't be there anymore (unless WD is doing something weird with a protected partition not visible to the OS even at a low level, but that's unlikely).

    In which case, I don't know what's wrong. Either the partition was partly hosed, or, more likely, the WD software that's automatically running to mount the utilities partition as if it were a CD (which from that screenshot is what it appears to be doing) is failing to mount the main partition for some reason.

    It's a long shot, but maybe there's something you need to install off of that partition for the rest of the drive to show up? Did you look through the manual?
     

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