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Thread: Frustrated

  1. #1


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    Frustrated
    I have an external hard drive onto which I saved MOV video files from Mac. When I hook up the external hard drive to my PC absolutley nothing shows up, not even the external hard drive. But if I hook up the same external hard drive back to a Mac everything shows up, no problems. WTH? Also, video files that I saved on to an external hard drive from my PC show up as "read only" on Mac. Any help on how to figure all this nonsense out would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2

    mrplow's Avatar
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    OSX uses the HFS file system (mostly) - by default Windows can't 'see' this type of formatting.

    Windows uses NTFS file system (mostly) - by default OSX can only read NTFS

    I'd suggest that the external you have with the MOV files on is formatted as HFS and the other external formatted as NTFS.

    If no single file that you are dealing with is bigger than 4gb you can format the drive as FAT32 - this can be read and written to be both OSX and Windows.

    Alternatively, you can use NTFS (which can handle files sizes >4gb). But to do this you have to enalbe OSX to write NTFS. My preferred solution to this is to use Paragon NTFS, it's only $20. There are free alternatives that searching these forums will throw up but I've always found Paragon NTFS to be reliable and robust.

    The other alternative is to use HFS on your drives and get a product like Mac Drive for your Windows machine. Thereby allowing Windows to read/write HFS

    Personally, as NTFS can be read by nearly all operating systems that's the file system I'd use for externals that need to share data across OS's.
    Not been around these parts for a while. Trying to change that . .

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  3. #3

    cwa107's Avatar
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    Macs and PCs layout files on a disk in different ways.

    Generally speaking, most modern PCs will use a filesystem called "NTFS".

    Most Macs will use "HFS+".

    The Mac can read NTFS (although it can't write to it without third-party help).

    Windows can not see HFS+ formatted partitions at all (again, without third party help).

    Conventional wisdom has been to format external hard drives that are shared by both types of machines in "MS-DOS" (aka FAT32) on the Mac since both operating systems can read and write to that filesystem. This needs to be done on the Mac because Windows imposes an artificial 32GB partition size limit for FAT32.

    Alternatively, you can purchase a product like Paragon NTFS for Mac, or you can purchase MacDrive for Windows. Both are great options that are easy to use and won't require a format of the hard drives.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

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  4. #4

    robduckyworth's Avatar
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    the one i used to extract files (it can only read not write) is called

    Download HFSExplorer for windows 7, Read Mac OS Hard Disks Data in Windows 7

    and its free. You need a JRE in windows. saves you paying for macdrive (which has had mixed reviews)if you dont need to write to the disk.
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  5. #5


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    Quote Originally Posted by mrplow View Post

    If no single file that you are dealing with is bigger than 4gb you can format the drive as FAT32 - this can be read and written to be both OSX and Windows.
    How do I format the external drive to FAT32? Does this have to be done before any files are put on the drive (I have files on it already)? Thanks.

  6. #6


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    I have downloaded the Mac Drive 8 to my PC per the recommendation in this thread. I can now view the files off the external drive as QuickTime movie but the quality during play back is really, really bad--almost unwatchable. Any ideas?

  7. #7

    mrplow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramkuma View Post
    How do I format the external drive to FAT32? Does this have to be done before any files are put on the drive (I have files on it already)? Thanks.
    Formatting any drive, any way will destroy it's contents.

    Some file formats can be converted to others on-the-fly but this doesn't help in your circumstance.

    As for your playback woes..... if the files play OK on the your Mac. It's possibly the overhead of the file handling by MacDrive.

    Copy one of the files from the external to your Windows PC desktop and try and play it from there. If it plays OK it's MacDrive at fault. If it doesn't your PC is at fault (one way or another)
    Not been around these parts for a while. Trying to change that . .

    Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - bottom left of this post

  8. #8


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    I tried per your suggestion and the quality is horrible either way. Strange, because I have other MOV files that were put on the same drive months ago and the quality is good on those. In a perfect world everything would save as AVCCAM. MY AVCCAM files on my PC look awesome.

  9. #9


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    A good question would be - what created those MOV files? Were they from imports via Final Cut Pro?
    My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m, 16Gig ram; 2013 Mac Pro 6 core w/ D700, 16Gig Ram; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Linux; Apple TV (1080p version)

  10. #10


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    Yes. I imported all of them to my portable external hard drive from Final Cut Pro on Mac.

  11. #11


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    Yup, that's probably where some of the problem is. FCP uses by default ProRES - although Quicktime for Windows can play FCP prores files, I've never had much success with it playing those files well. You'll want to transcode the files on the Mac to something else that is friendly for the PC to play (like use compressor (or MPegStreamClip if you want, it will work, or Quicktime 7 pro) to convert the file to an H.264 mp4. ProRES is an AWESOME editing codec (doesn't require a lot of CPU power to work with the files in this codec), but it IS NOT a distribution codec
    My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m, 16Gig ram; 2013 Mac Pro 6 core w/ D700, 16Gig Ram; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Linux; Apple TV (1080p version)

  12. #12


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    How do you "transcode" files? How does ProRes differ from MOV file? Isn't a MOV file just a MOV file? And how is a codec differ from a file? You will have to excuse me, but I am thoroughly confused with all this technical stuff. Thanks for your help.

  13. #13


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    A .mov file is just a container. The extension just specifies the type of container and what standards it conforms to. Codecs are how the actual content is stored within the container. .mov supports several different codec types (including but not limited to h.264, prores, aic and several more) for video.

    Transcoding is the process of using software to convert a file from one codec and/or container to another and also the ability to do things like scaling, etc.

    Final cut studio comes with an application called compressor that can do the transcoding but it can be difficult for new users of the software. You can get a program Valle MPegStreamclip for free that is really easy to use. Im typing this on my iPhone ATM so I can't really create screenshots so you can see it. Basically you can drag a video file into its interface then in the file menu export it to a different container and codec.
    My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m, 16Gig ram; 2013 Mac Pro 6 core w/ D700, 16Gig Ram; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Linux; Apple TV (1080p version)

  14. #14


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    Yikes. I didn't realize what I was coming up against with all of this. Was naive to think I could just shoot and edit--thought an a HD file was an HD file. Looks like I will need to hire a professional editor to figure all this stuff out. Any ideas on why there has never been a universal, i.e., common sense filing system for shooting in HD video?

  15. #15


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    There could be any number of reasons. Licensing is a big one (certain people hold licenses and others don't want to pay for it) then there's the point that some companies feel their codec is better then another companies codec, then there are codecs that are distribution codecs and editing codecs (highly compressed lossy codecs usually don't make good editing codecs because of loss involved in compressing/decompressing/recompressing/decompressing/etc.) then there are the cameras that record in different manners that need to have their native format changed to an editable format, etc.

    Once you get used to it, it's really not a big deal.

    If you want to watch a very simple explanation on video editing (including work with compressor, motion, color, etc.) you may want to take a look at some videos put out by Izzy Video. He has a very simple way of explaining a lot of topics that many find complicated.
    My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m, 16Gig ram; 2013 Mac Pro 6 core w/ D700, 16Gig Ram; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Linux; Apple TV (1080p version)

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