Read a Windows drive on OSX

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by steveflash, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. steveflash macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2013
    Hi folks!

    I stumbled across an old PC of mine the other day I thought had been thrown out. I took the Sata drives out of it and would love to have a look on them.

    I'm now on a 2011 Macbook pro running Lion.

    My question is if i buy a USB drive caddy for the eSata drives, will my Mac read them? I don't want to boot windows on them, i just want to have a look at some of my old files.

    I would have performed a fairly standard install of windows XP at the time, so is it just the same as having a Fat32 drive that I can read but not write to?

    Cheers for any help!
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    OSX has the ability to read NTFS volumes, you just can't write to them. if you wish for write access you'll need some third party applications
  3. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2009
    New Brunswick, Canada
    FAT32 drives actually have read and write on both mac and PC so if it is FAT you're in luck.

    Far more likely though is that the drive is formatted as NTFS which, as maflynn said, your mac can read so if you just want to look at the files you can. However if you want to write to the drive you would need a program like Paragon NTFS or Tuxera NTFS
  4. steveflash thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2013
    Thanks guys! Just the answer i was hoping for!!
  5. MacPC macrumors regular

    Sep 25, 2006
    If you just need to migrate files from the old PC drive, copy the necessary files to your Mac first, then reformat the drive to Mac format then tou can use this drive as an external USB drive for Time Machine backup.
    However, if you want to use the Windows applications, you won't be able to use them directly on your Mac. You will need either install a copy of Windows on the Boot Camp, or better yet, use a Virtual Machine such as VMWare's Fusion, Parallel
    or VirtualBox--I think this one is still free :)

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