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reformatting an external hard drive from mac to pc

    Question

  • i have a 320GB simple tech external hard drive that i used for my mac book pro. My mac book pro broke down completely so i bought an Asus laptop which runs Windows 7. I go to plug in the external hard drive, however i cant access it. It does show up under devices and printers but i cant open it in anyway. The only option i get is to eject it. is there any way that i can get it so that my new laptop can read it ?
    Wednesday, December 09, 2009 5:25 AM

Answers


  • What’s the disk format, FAT32 or non-Microsoft format? Can you access this HDD on another computers?

    If there is no important data on this HD need to backup, you can try to reformat it in Disk Management as a test.
    ============
    1. Connect the HDD
    2. Start -> diskmgmt.msc, it will open Disk Management, can you find the external HDD listed as Disk x?
    3. If it shows partition space and status as “Healthy”, you can right click the partition and try to assign a drive letter.
    If we cannot assign drive letter for it, pls right click the partition and select “Format…”. All data will be clean but you should be able to assign drive letter.

    Can you access the HDD now?

    • Marked as answer by zvpiano Wednesday, December 09, 2009 5:26 PM
    Wednesday, December 09, 2009 9:29 AM

All replies


  • What’s the disk format, FAT32 or non-Microsoft format? Can you access this HDD on another computers?

    If there is no important data on this HD need to backup, you can try to reformat it in Disk Management as a test.
    ============
    1. Connect the HDD
    2. Start -> diskmgmt.msc, it will open Disk Management, can you find the external HDD listed as Disk x?
    3. If it shows partition space and status as “Healthy”, you can right click the partition and try to assign a drive letter.
    If we cannot assign drive letter for it, pls right click the partition and select “Format…”. All data will be clean but you should be able to assign drive letter.

    Can you access the HDD now?

    • Marked as answer by zvpiano Wednesday, December 09, 2009 5:26 PM
    Wednesday, December 09, 2009 9:29 AM
  • thanks a lot. it now works.
    Wednesday, December 09, 2009 5:27 PM
  • i have the same issue, but when I right click on the partion, the option to assign a drive letter is grey'd out.  i do not see a disk format either, it is blank in that section (FileSystem).

    What can I do?  i have Windows XP
    Wednesday, December 23, 2009 2:26 AM
  • i have the same issue, but when I right click on the partion, the option to assign a drive letter is grey'd out.  i do not see a disk format either, it is blank in that section (FileSystem).

    What can I do?  i have Windows XP

    Hey I had the exact same problem. I was using my external hard drive on a MacBook and wanted to format it so that it would work on XP but when I opened Disk Management all the options were greyed out. Here's how I solved the problem:

    1. Connect your external hard drive to your mac
    2. Open Disk Utility (command+F and type 'disk utility')
    3. Click the drive you want to format in the left hand pannel
    4. Click the 'partition' tab
    5. Select under Volume Scheme '1 partition'
    6. Under Volume Information, under format select 'MS- DOS (FAT)'
    7. Click 'Apply'

    The disk should now be formatted in FAT32 which is compatible with Windows XP. After completing those steps I connect the hard drive to my PC and I was able to read and write in the volume. Hope this helps!
    Monday, December 28, 2009 2:37 AM
  • My disk format is FAT32  is that right? cuz i have an Iomega UltraMax Desktop External Hard Drive hard drive - 1TB - Firewire / Hi-Speed USB.  It says the Partition is Healthy. And its Unallocated, whatever that means. really i just need to know if i need to format it. OR change the format type to something else like  NTFS? OR  exFAT? 


    Thursday, June 16, 2011 5:13 PM
  • If it says "Unallocated", that typically means there is no recognized partition on that drive.

    I found this in the Disc Management Help:

    Creating a simple volume

     

    To create a simple volume using the Windows interface
    1. In Disk Management, right-click the unallocated space on the dynamic disk on which you want to create the simple volume, and then click New Simple Volume.

    2. In the New Volume Wizard, click Next, click Simple, and then follow the instructions on your screen

    Thursday, June 16, 2011 5:34 PM
  • Ok thanks. what should be my  Simple Volume size though?   

     

    and Do i need to reformat it? to something other than FAT32?

    Thursday, June 16, 2011 6:21 PM
  • Ok well now that ive backedup all my files. can i delete them off my computer? or do i have to leave them on their? 

    cuz i bought the external hard drive so i can clear my bigger files off my computer and just use them through my external hardrive. when its hooked up to my computer. so i have the files when i need them. 

    EX: iTunes is a really big file and i kinda wanted to put that on my external hard drive so that i can take it off my computer along with all my music and just use it on my harddrive when i need to sync my iPod and whatnot.
    Thursday, June 16, 2011 9:11 PM
  • I've got a 300gb that is formatted with os-x and I wanted to try for reformatting for win 7. 

    in disk management, it doesn't show up, so I don't think this is the correct approach.

    Saturday, September 10, 2011 2:49 PM
  • Thanks so much for posting this!  It helped me a lot!
    Thursday, June 28, 2012 9:40 PM
  • This worked perfect.  Thanks!
    Saturday, July 07, 2012 5:23 PM
  • Thank you.  I know this is about 4 years too late but this advice worked for me.  I had formatted a FAT32 hard drive for ATV1 and now I'm looking to use the drive for something else. lol  ITs always the simple solutions.

    Thursday, December 12, 2013 2:03 AM