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Formatting a HD w/Mac OSX to be used w/XP - Help

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Member Since: Dec 11, 2009
Posts: 5
themissilesilo is on a distinguished road

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Hey all,

A friend of mine works on a Windows machine (I know booooo!), I formatted a HD drive for him on OS 10.5.8 in Disk Utility last night with the MS-DOS FAT32 setting and his XP machine won't recognize it.

Here is the info he emailed me:

"When I plugged in the docking station my computer registered a new device and looked like it was installing drivers - however no device interface ever appeared on the "my computer" screen. I went into my disk manager settings and the disk manager recognized the device but I still could not get a device interface to appear on my screen."

Here is run down of the hardware we are working with:
-Black Widow BlacX USB Docking Station
-Western Digital 150 GB 10k RPM S/ATA
-Dell Inspiron E1505 Laptop (his computer)

I know it's not a jumper issue because it mounted fine on my Mac.

Any thoughts from anyone with Mac and PC experience?

Thanks in advance!


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You should not use Disk Utility to format a hard drive to FAT-32 which is to be used on a Windows computer.

The reason is this: Disk Utility will always format a drive using the EFI standard - that means it leaves a small 200 MB partition in front of the main partition. And that causes Windows to either not recognize the drive or only to recognize the small 200 MB partition.

You will have to wipe that drive clean (do not use Disk Utility) and start over by using another utility to format the drive. You can use something such as Partition Magic (Windows utility) from Symantec.

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Member Since: Jan 28, 2007
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I have an old laptop 80gig drive i just put in an external case and formatted on my iMac using Fat 32 and it works fine on both my PC and iMac.
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