External HD not recognized by Windows 7

By Steven
May 15, 2012
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  1. I recently formatted an external HD on my IMAC with the following option Mac OS Journaled . This is how I've been advised so the HD will be recognized by Windows OS as well as MAC. Unfortunately it is not so since my laptop windows 7 recognizes the HD only thru disk management utility but doesn't see it as a separated Drive indicated by letter. "My computer " lists only internal HD, DVD drive. Any thoughts??? Thanks to all.
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +422

    The problem is Windows won't read Mac formatted drives natively.

    You could see if Windows will format it to exFAT (because exFAT works on OS X 10.6+ and Windows), but Windows may only do that to flash media. And doing so would wipe out any data you have on the drive now.

    If you format as NTFS you can read it on a Mac, and write to it in Windows. In Snow Leopard (and presumably Lion) you could enable experimental NTFS writing, but it may not be stable. I certainly wouldn't try it on a drive with important data.

    You can get 3rd party (generally pay) tools for each OS.

    Paragon makes one for each OS. I have HFS for Windows installed on my main PC, I was lucky enough to get it when they offered it for free. So you could buy and install that on your PC and it would be fine.

    If you want to go the other way, you can get NTFS for Mac.

    If you are primarily a Windows user with Windows friends, formatting as NTFS and then using NTFS for Mac (or enabling the experimental stuff in Lion and Snow Leopard) would be best. If you are primarily a Mac user, I'd get HFS for Windows.

    There may be other 3rd party tools too, I'm only stating the one I've used, you are certainly free to look for others.
  3. Steven

    Steven TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thank you. I will try to reformat in NTFS as I did it before.

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