Using an iPod nano as an external drive

Posted on 2006-05-29
Last Modified: 2013-11-24
I've been trying to configure my iPod Nano to work as an external disk drive but it can't be read on Windows machines - it says it's unformatted.  Works fine on the Powerbook.

Reading the iPod FAQs,  it mentions formatting it as either HPFS or FAT32.  

Please tell me I've missed something really obvious,  but all I want to do is use it to share files between platforms and listen to some music as I go.  Someone else mentioned using some special software to let it work between platforms.


Question by:GlennGilbert
    LVL 53

    Expert Comment

    I know nothing about it, but this looks promising:
    LVL 9

    Accepted Solution

    The actual issue here looks to be that you have it configured as a MAC iPod, you need to configure it as a Windows iPod and then you will be able to transfer files back and forth between Mac and PC.  You can try the third party app if you wish, it may solve the issue as well. If you are looking into 3rd party apps, you might want to investigate Pod Plus at -- it's a great set of iPod tools.

    Go to and you should be able to download the Windows tool.  

    *WARNING*  This WILL require you to completely reformat your iPod.  During the reformat and configuration process it will ask if you want to use your iPod as a hard drive and will warn you that doing this will then require you to Eject your iPod before unplugging it.

    Hope this helps!
    LVL 3

    Author Comment

    Many thanks.  

    It strikes me that this is a bit of a PITA and Apple could have done better!

    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    Glenn -- that is for certain.  I think you will find that is always the case w/Apple.  They engineered everything (including their computers) to read Windows formatted devices but haven't changed any of their devices to be Windows compatible.
    LVL 3

    Author Comment

    Except for Intel :-)

    Featured Post

    How to run any project with ease

    Manage projects of all sizes how you want. Great for personal to-do lists, project milestones, team priorities and launch plans.
    - Combine task lists, docs, spreadsheets, and chat in one
    - View and edit from mobile/offline
    - Cut down on emails

    Join & Write a Comment

    Suggested Solutions

    iCloud Drive was introduced after iOS 8 was launched last year. This drive is Apple’s online storage device that lets users sync their files and access them from all their Apple devices.   There is a lot of data that is not automatically backed up…
    In this article we discuss how to recover the missing Outlook 2011 for Mac data like Emails and Contacts manually.
    This video discusses moving either the default database or any database to a new volume.
    Here's a very brief overview of the methods PRTG Network Monitor ( offers for monitoring bandwidth, to help you decide which methods you´d like to investigate in more detail.  The methods are covered in more detail in o…

    755 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    21 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now