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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Apr 24, 2010
    external HDD Mac/PC
    I have an external HDD that is formatted for the Mac (FAT) but when I plug it into my PC it does not read it - how can I fix this without reformatting to to NTFS and losing all me data?!

  2. #2

    chas_m's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
    Victoria, BC
    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    "Formatted for the Mac" and FAT are contradictory.

    HFS is the default format for the Mac; FAT32 is a Windows format.

    If the disk is unpartitioned and all formatted FAT32, then both a Windows and a Mac should be able to read and write to it.

    If the disk is actually formatted HFS+ (aka Mac OS X Extended), then you will need to either reformat the disk or install a utility like MacDrive on your PC to allow it to read the Mac formatting.

    If you're certain the disk is formatted FAT32 and your PC isn't reading it, you will need to copy all the data on it onto another drive or computer and reformat the drive for FAT32, then restore the data.

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