Swapping an external IDE drive between my iMac and PC?

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Hi guys, this is my first post but I have been a long-time fan of the Fritter hacks.

I've got an external Maxtor disk that I want to use for swapping data between my iMac and a PC running Windows XP. Trouble is, the drive has a ton of my Mac files on it, and I can't get the PC to see the data. Since the drive has never been initialized for use with the PC (it's currently Mac OS formatted), I'm afraid that if I initialize it on Windows XP that it will erase all my files. And then there would be no point in using the drive to transfer files between the Mac and PC. There must be some way around this. Is there?

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Dr. Webster's picture
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Joined: Dec 19 2003
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Your best solution would be t

Your best solution would be to copy the data off the drive, plug it into the PC, and format it as FAT32. Then it'll work fine on either the Mac or the PC.

There's software for the PC that enables it to read Mac-formatted disks, but it's commercial software. Reformatting the drive is much more elegant and, of course, free.

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Applefritter Admin

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yes, but...

Sorry, did I mention that the Mac has since died and has yet to be resurrected? So, I've got the hard drive out and need to get the data from my remaining computer, the PC. I just need to copy the files over for now. Short of buying or borrowing another Mac, I may need to use that commercial software you mention. Can you give me the name?

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MacDrive
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Applefritter Admin

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Thanks

That did the trick.

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Fat32

Ok, now that I've been able to get the data off the drive, I would like to format it in Fat 32 so that I can swap it between the PC and Mac without any further problems. When I started the format process in Windows XP via the Disk Management program, it only gives me the option of formatting in NTFS. Am I missing a step?

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Windows will only let you for

Windows will only let you format a drive as Fat32 if it's up to a certain size (IIRC, 32GB). Anything larger will automatically be formatted as NTFS.

When I formatted my 80GB external drive, I used Partiton Magic 8. It'll allow you to format pretty much anything as anything (except Mac HFS, of course).

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Applefritter Admin

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So then the better solution,

So then the better solution, if I wanted the whole of my 80gb disk formatted in Fat 32, is to do the formatting on a Mac, which doesn't impose the 32gb limitation for a partition.