Transfering data from PC to MAC


macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 27, 2006
I have been unable to get my USB 40 gig HD (Q-memory) to work in both my MAC and my PC. I need to make it work in both computers so I can transfer large amounts of data from the PC to the Mac.

I was told that if I want to use it on Mac and PC, I'll have to format it (on the Mac) as FAT32/MS-DOS format or format as Mac Extended/HFS+ and get MacDrive so the PC can use it.

I tried this but I was unsuccessful. First of all, the disk utility did not give me the option of a FAT32/MSDOS format. I formatted it as MAC Extended/HFS+ (or something like that) and this did not work either. The formatting did allow me to use the Q-memory with the Mac. The Mac recognized it after the format and allowed me to read and write from/to it. However, it then did not work in the PC (whereas before it did work in the PC but not in the MAC). Now, the PC says the Q-memory external HD is working (when going through the install hardware/trouble shooting function) but it won't "show" it on Windows Explorer. Therefore, I can't work with it on the PC.

The Mac is a blue and white PowerMac G3 running OS 10.3 and the PC is running Windows 2000.

If I remember correctly the Mac Disk utility only gave me 3 or 4 options when formatting – one of which was Unix.

Also, somebody told me to "get MacDrive so the PC can use it" but I don't know what this means.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


macrumors 68020
Aug 30, 2006
MacDrive is a piece of software that lets Windows read and write to Mac partitions. It's not free, and I haven't used it, but it's supposed to work.


macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2004
Johannesburg, South Africa
MacDrive is a windows program that allows windows to read Mac formated drives, including drives like yours. It integrates very nicely, but it costs a few $...

But you should be able to use a FAT32 formatted drive on both windows and your mac. In Disk Utility, what options do you have? There should be a UNIX option as you noted and a mac option, what are the other options? I dont know the version of Disk Utility that comes with Mac OS 10.3 but there has to be a option for you to format a drive to any of the FAT file types.

You have tried the options I would have tried, lets see if this works, format the drive on the mac to a FAT type, then see if any of the machines pick it up.... :)


macrumors 6502
Oct 20, 2005
Sussex, England
Some of the PC guys here where I work use MacDrive and its helped when I need to transfer clips and files over to them. I just hand them my Mac formatted HD, and they're able to read and write to it. Will solve your problem and is worth buying if you are likely to use PCs and Macs together in the long run.

Formatting the drive to FAT32 is another alternative, but this will only support files up to 4GB (as far as I remember) in size.


macrumors 601
Nov 16, 2004
Just as a pointless frivolous aside... "Mac" is short for "Macintosh" - it is not an acronym for anything. So it's just "Mac" not "MAC" (which is the cosmetics company). :)


Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
Portland, OR
CommonMan said:
If I remember correctly the Mac Disk utility only gave me 3 or 4 options when formatting – one of which was Unix.

Don't click on the name of the HD, click on the hard drive info above it.
Then the option to erase it as MS-DOS (FAT) shows up.