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How to reformat MAC External Harddrive for PC

by djylee / December 13, 2007 5:08 AM PST

HI. I've an external hard drive that I've used
on Mac. Now, I'm trying to format it so that I can
use it on PC instead of Mac. Unfortunately, I longer
have access to Mac so I have to find a way to format it
on PC.

When I plug in the external hard drive on my pc, 'new hardware'
box will pop up, however, on Computer menu, it doesn't recognize
an external hard drive.

Is there a way to reformat this external harddrive on PC?

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You didn't tell which OS.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 13, 2007 6:45 AM PST

For XP and Vista you head to the DISK MANAGEMENT to remove the partitions there, create new ones and format it. This is in the XP Help so I'll stop here.


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by roxyleem / April 30, 2010 9:24 AM PDT

sorry im new to all these technical terms...
im having the same problem. just bought a 320gb external to use between my mac at home and pc's at work. i formatted it to my mac (without realising that only may mac would be able to read it - as i said im a layman in terms of computers and the it world!!) and when i plug into my pc at work there is no recognition of it in My Computer. It recognises it in Safely Remove Hardware....

I have a Mac OS X 10.6.3.

I cant seem t remove partitions in XP...all grey in drop down boxes etc

should i try re-formatting on mac first?? aagggggghhhhhh

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 30, 2010 12:01 PM PDT
In reply to: partitions?

If you can't find disk management in Windows, can't find documentation on that, look up GPARTED on google. Plenty of documentation (which I never duplicate in full here but will answer a question or a few.)

For me I use disk management as my first choice.

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formatting mac drive to NTFS
by Koblog / May 7, 2010 2:20 AM PDT
In reply to: Or.

I bet you have not actually done what you propose. I attached a Mac-formatted LaCie 320GB ruggedized drive to the PC and opened Computer Management to reformat the drive as NTFS.

CM reports it's healthy but it won't mount, has no drive letter, no format information and, worst, all the formatting options are grayed back, especially the "Format..." option.

Bottom line: Computer Management on a PC can't reformat a Mac-formatted drive.

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Lost that bet.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 7, 2010 3:13 AM PDT

I've used that and when it fails then I boot GPARTED. This is why I noted both.

Hope this helps,

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how to reformat MAC External Harddrive for PC
by gene_cnet / November 6, 2010 12:00 AM PDT



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changing my hard drive
by KammyKan / September 8, 2012 7:28 AM PDT

Thanks Gene
I just bought a hard drive on ebay. I got it and found out it was a mac drive. Or just raw. I used this method and it worked great! I have windows 8 and I am loving the new version!

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Format hard drive from MAC to PC
by century13 / March 25, 2014 7:31 AM PDT

I have an external hard drive which is formatted for MAC and has been loaded with movies stored on a MAC computer. Is there any way I can reformat the HD to work on my PC without losing the movie content? I would really appreciate some assistance with this issue but am not very experienced in this area.

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Re: formatting
by Kees_B Forum moderator / March 25, 2014 8:30 AM PDT

Formatting means losing everything that's on it. So the answer to your question is simply "no".
I'm afraid these movies are inaccessable until you find a Mac somewhere.


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2 step (or more.)
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 25, 2014 8:33 AM PDT

I cracked this nut a long time ago. I had 2 drives, one mac and the other in NTFS ready for Windows. I booted a Linux from CD/DVD/USB (any will do) then copied the files from the Mac drive to the NTFS drive.


This thread is more than 2294 days old.

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Contd from How to Reformat MAC external HD
by century13 / March 25, 2014 7:35 AM PDT

I forgot to mention that my OS is Windows 7 and I don't have access to a MAC computer.

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If Disk Management won't work.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 25, 2014 8:13 AM PDT

Look up GPARTED to do the work. This thread is more than 2294 days old.

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