Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1


    Member Since
    Dec 06, 2007
    Posts
    1
    Portable Hard drive works on Mac, but Not on PC
    Hi there everyone!

    Im new to the forums as well as being new to my Macbook which I just got for school

    Now the problem I am having is I have it set up for Time Machine and that works great, but there are times when I need to connect my portable hard drive to PC's. That where the problem occurs. The PC doesnt read it. Now from what Ive read and searched around on is that it needs to be formatted to do both. Now since im new to all of this, Im not sure how to format it for PC/MAC usage. Can anyone chime in and help me out? That would be great!

    Justin

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Jul 12, 2006
    Posts
    135
    You need to run Disk Utility and "erase" the drive and have it use the "MSDOS File System" (from the drop-down menu).

    I could be wrong, but I suspect that you NEED it with the Mac OS file system to use Time Machine.

    And, again I could be wrong, but I think the disk has to be dedicated to Time Machine (you can't/shouldn't use it for other purposes).

    If Time Machine does require the Mac file system, you could try partitioning the drive with 2 partitions (done via Disk Utility), put Mac OS file system (journaled) on one partition and MS DOS file system on the other.

    I do this with a very large external drive I use for different things. On the Windows machine it will mount only the MSDOS partition; the Mac will mount both.

    But, again, I do not know if this will work with Time Machine.

  3. #3

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location
    The Republic of Neptune
    Posts
    7,759
    As jc said, you need to format the drive in a file system that both OSes can read and write to. While OS X does support FAT, it's a pretty lousy file system.

    If your Windows PCs are running a Windows NT variant (Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista), then I'd suggest, as a free alternative, installing some software in OS X that will enable it to read/write to NTFS-formatted disks. To do so, you need to install 2 different packages: MacFUSE, then NTFS-3G. A tutorial is here:
    http://macntfs-3g.blogspot.com/

    AFAIK, you would have to use Windows to format a drive in NTFS still, but once done, OS X will read/write it just fine with those packages installed. And NTFS is a much more robust, safer file system than FAT is. Now... there are other commercial programs that will let Windows read Mac-formatted drives and vice versa, but this solution works very well.

  4. #4

    smartyMAC's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 21, 2007
    Location
    Land of Rising Sun
    Posts
    337
    Specs:
    MB White 160GB, 2GB RAM,
    On windows to read mac filesystem, you would need MACDRIVE. But it's not a freeware.

  5. #5

    Eric559's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 18, 2007
    Location
    Central California
    Posts
    3,185
    Specs:
    2.16GHz C2D MacBook w/ 2GB RAM & 120GB HD. HTC Droid Incredible.
    It makes more sense (to me and maybe others) to just format the drive to something both OSes can read.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Jan 08, 2007
    Posts
    49
    is it possible to partition my 500GB hd so one partition can be used for Time Machine and the other partition can be used for just normal data backup for both mac and pc?
    help and tutorial possible?
    thanks

  7. #7

    walmartconnect's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 13, 2006
    Location
    Blacksburg, VA
    Posts
    724
    Specs:
    13'' Macbook w/ 2Ghz Core Duo, 2GB DDR2, 250GB HD, 10.5.4. iPod Touch.
    msen612,

    That should work with no problems. Time Machine simply creates a folder on whatever drive you use anyway, you can still use the remaining free space on that particular drive/partition. Partitioning is a good idea however, since Time Machine will eventually fill it's alloted space (the drive) to capacity.

    Send back your traffic if it doesn't work.

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Jan 08, 2007
    Posts
    49
    Quote Originally Posted by walmartconnect View Post
    msen612,

    That should work with no problems. Time Machine simply creates a folder on whatever drive you use anyway, you can still use the remaining free space on that particular drive/partition. Partitioning is a good idea however, since Time Machine will eventually fill it's alloted space (the drive) to capacity.

    Send back your traffic if it doesn't work.
    Thanks walmartconnnect,
    i will try this out..not too sure how i'm going to do it but i'll test and try some things.. unless you know a way to partition everything..
    thanks

  9. #9

    Weird Fish's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 17, 2007
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Posts
    267
    Specs:
    MacBook Pro 15" Matte 2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
    Quote Originally Posted by msen612 View Post
    Thanks walmartconnnect,
    i will try this out..not too sure how i'm going to do it but i'll test and try some things.. unless you know a way to partition everything..
    thanks
    Just pull up Disk Utility. It's very easy. I just did it for my 160GB External Drive, and I'm using 130 for Time Machine, and 30 for transfers, just like you described.

  10. #10


    Member Since
    Jan 08, 2007
    Posts
    49
    thanks guys, +rep for both
    but i have one question, before i partition my harddrive, i used time machine to back everything up. after i partitioned, i backed up my info again but this time it is very very slow at backing up, is this normal?

  11. #11

    walmartconnect's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 13, 2006
    Location
    Blacksburg, VA
    Posts
    724
    Specs:
    13'' Macbook w/ 2Ghz Core Duo, 2GB DDR2, 250GB HD, 10.5.4. iPod Touch.
    How much slower? Remember that it's recopying everything since you erased whatever backup you had.

    What format did you use on your Time Machine partition by the way?
    One last push!

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. WD external/portable hard drive for mac -- difference and system/os compat
    By Straitsfan in forum Other Hardware and Peripherals
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-09-2012, 01:21 AM
  2. Network Hard Drive, works on PC not on Mac
    By Unimatic1140 in forum Internet, Networking, and Wireless
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-07-2010, 06:53 PM
  3. e Mac & Portable Hard Drive Advise
    By Larry Bird in forum Apple Desktops
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-23-2009, 12:42 AM
  4. PC To Mac on a portable hard drive
    By mathuex08 in forum iPod Hardware and Accessories
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-25-2006, 03:13 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •