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External hard drive compatibility

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by KStuckey28, Mar 29, 2019.

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  1. KStuckey28

    KStuckey28 Thread Starter

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    I have an external hard drive that worked with my PC. Looking to switch to a Mac but the hard drive was not able to be saved to when used on another Mac. How can I transfer all of my files to a drive compatible with a Mac?
     
  2. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Chuck
    Hi, and welcome to TSG.

    Unless you are dealing with individual files over 4GB in size, the easiest way to make a drive readable and writeable on both a Windows PC and a Mac is to format it using FAT32. Reformatting a hard drive to FAT32 from another format will erase the current contents of the hard drive.

    EDIT: FAT32 has a partition limit of 32GB. If your hard drive is much larger than this, you may want to consider NTSF formatting (may be the current format) and commercial third-party software on the Mac to read and write to the hard drive.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
  3. KStuckey28

    KStuckey28 Thread Starter

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    Thank you. I am fine to get a new drive, but do not want to lose all of my current files and want to be able to access them on my new computer. Can they be transferred some how?


     
  4. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Can you connect your old computer and Mac to a single LAN? I have not done it in almost 20 years, but I believe there are still ways of sharing files on a Windows computer so that they can be accessed by the Mac.
     
  5. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    If you want to continue to use your external hard drive with your Mac. Use your Windows PC to determine if it is NTFS formatted. If it is, the quickest solution may be a $20 program from Paragon Software for your new Mac.

    https://www.paragon-software.com/us/home/ntfs-mac/#
     
  6. lynx1021

    lynx1021

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    I tried to look at the files on a hard drive that came out of a Mac with my windows 7 machine and it wouldn't work. Downloaded a program for windows to read "MAC" but all I was able to make out was pictures, the rest was like Greek . Very different! Sounds like KStuckey28 wants to transfer his old files on his PC hard drive to his new Mac. Here is a link that might help https://www.howtogeek.com/394286/how-to-transfer-data-from-your-old-pc-to-your-new-mac/
     
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