Windows not seeing USB External HD

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Edwardz, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. Edwardz macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2007

    Just recently installed Vista Business on my Mac. I have a 320 GB external hard-drive, but it is not coming up anywhere on my Windows (Via USB). How do I fix this? Thanks

  2. greenythebeast macrumors regular

    Mar 24, 2008
  3. Edwardz thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2007
    I'm not too sure what you mean. I have a MyBook 320 GB 2.0 via 2.0 USB. I connect it to vista, and I hear a little ding sound, but it's not showing up anywhere.
  4. MeganMiller macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2008
    I'm having a similar problem with getting my computer to recognize a camera and microscope. I'm running boot camp and trying use software on windows to do image acquisition. I was told by the camera company that windows won't recognize hardware if it is running through boot camp. Is this true?
  5. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Your external HDD has to be formatted in FAT32 or NTFS for Windows to recognize it. If it is formatted in the Mac's HFS+ file system, Windows can't do anything with it.

    Boot Camp should, for all intents and purposes, be no different then a Wintel PC, at least as it relates to hardware. The only real differences is Boot Camp provides a virtual BIOS for Windows, but hardware like a camera or microscope should not care about that.
  6. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    I'm using Leopard (10.5). If you using Tiger (10.4) I believe you will see the same things. If you are using an OS X older than 10.4 then I don't know what you will see.

    Plug in your External Drive.

    Go to Disk Utility (found in the Utilities folder, in Applications), and open it up. You should see a white vertical box on the left with icons that look like hard drives. One of them should say Macintosh HD. Others may start with a number (2 or 3 digits plus decimal eg 80.2 GB ST350063NS). These are the drives, volumes, etc that the Mac can see. Clicking on them won't hurt anything.

    If you see an Icon called Macintosh HD, that is your internal one. Click on it, and look at what it says at the bottom of the window, at the line called "Format: " This is the line that appears under "Mount Point". It will likely say something like Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

    Now click on the icon that you think might be the external drive. What does it say next to the "Format" line at the bottom of the window?

    Telling us that will help with the next step. Don't click on the other buttons unless you know what you are doing. Just look.

    Good Luck
  7. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    took the words out of my mouth. it must be ntfs or fat32 to have windows see it. if you have it in hfs+, which is the default for osx, then windows will not see it
  8. greenythebeast macrumors regular

    Mar 24, 2008
    Unless you have MacDrive! :)

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