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Convert files from external hard drive saved from Mac to PC

Discussion in 'All Other Software' started by Tyler5, Jun 23, 2019.

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  1. Tyler5

    Tyler5 Thread Starter

    Jun 22, 2019
    My job recently came to an end and I had an editor save all my work onto an external hard drive, My HD Passport Ulta. However, he works on a MAC.

    Now that I’m home and trying to open the files on my PC, using Windows 10, my computer doesn’t recognize the hard drive.

    After watching YouTube clips, I learned that I may have reformat the hard drive so the files are converted from NTFS to FAT32.... and / or that it needs a letter assigned to it and “primary partition” removed. However, I can’t clean/ delete it because I need to access those files.

    Please help! I’m past my deadline because I can’t access these files on my PC and I need them ASAP. How do I convert this external hard drive so I can go from a Mac to my PC?

    Thank you for your time and consideration!!

  2. lunarlander


    Sep 21, 2007
    plodr likes this.
  3. plodr


    Jun 27, 2014
    First Name:
    If you format the hard drive, you lose all the files. So don't do that. The files aren't converted. The hard drive is converted and writes over what is on it. The files are then gone.

    The hard drive is either formatted HFS+ or exFat. You probably don't know which of the two. exFat is easier for linux to read.

    You might be able to read your files if you boot to a linux live USB stick then plug in the Passport Ultra and make sure it is mounted. You would then be able to copy the files (don't move them!) from the hard drive to your current desktop or another USB device.
  4. tomdkat

    tomdkat Retired Trusted Advisor

    May 6, 2006
    I actually did this about a month or so ago. I booted Linux Mint on an iMac and copied about 56GB of data from the internal hard drive (HFS+) to an external USB hard drive (NTFS). Worked perfectly. :)

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