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Transferring Files to a PC formatted Hard Drive

by dbash / October 14, 2011 11:57 AM PDT

A friend brought his portable hard drive, that he uses on a pc, over and asked me to transfer some files from my MacBook Pro. I could not even though I was able to open or copy any of the files on his hard drive. How can I copy files to his drive?

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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by dbash

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It is most likely
by Jimmy Greystone / October 14, 2011 1:28 PM PDT

It is most likely formatted as NTFS, which OS X only has read-only support for by default. There are a couple of commercial options and also the free NTFS-3G which will add write support to OS X, though you use any of them at your own risk. They will work probably 99.99% of the time, but there's always a chance something will go wrong.

The other option would be to format the drive in some format both operating systems can read such as FAT32. This would of course mean losing anything currently on the drive.

One other possibility would be if you have Boot Camp set up and a copy of Windows installed on your MBP, you should be able to use that to bridge the gap. Copy the files over to the Windows side of things, then from there to the external.

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Transferring files
by dbash / October 15, 2011 1:04 AM PDT
In reply to: It is most likely

Thank you Jimmy for your time and suggestions! I'll tell my friend to reformat in FAT32.

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Just in case ...
by Kees_B Forum moderator / October 15, 2011 1:09 AM PDT
In reply to: Transferring files

"some files" are less than 16 GB all together, you or your friend might consider to use a 16 GB USB-stick for the transfer. Or a 8 GB stick and do it in 2 parts.
It saves the hassle of repartitioning the drive.


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One thing to keep in mind
by Jimmy Greystone / October 15, 2011 1:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Transferring files

One thing to keep in mind, is FAT32 cannot deal with files over 4GB. So if you have any files over that size, they will need to be split somehow.

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