Mac formated drive (GPT Protective Partition) on Windows XP - possible to read?

Posted on 2010-11-22
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
A staff member brought in a USB hard drive from home to transfer some files. However he uses a Mac at home so I'm assuming it must be formated in some Mac specific format as when plugged into his Windows XP office PC it cannot recognise the drive.

Well that is, it does not give it a drive letter, and under Disk Manager it just says
Disk 1 - Healthy (GPT Protective Partition)

What can we do so that we can read the data onto the PC?

Thanks in advance.
Question by:afflik1923
LVL 33

Accepted Solution

Dr. Klahn earned 400 total points
ID: 34187349
The simplest solution is to reformat the drive on the PC using the FAT32 file system.  Then give it back to the Mac person, and tell him to export the files to the drive which is now formatted FAT32.

I suggest this for three reasons:

a) The standard for USB flash drives is FAT32,
b) Macs can export to FAT drives much easier than a PC can deal with a Macintosh file structure
c) The same problem is going to come up again on somebody else's PC, and they may not, and should not, have to deal with it.

Assisted Solution

Pro_ earned 400 total points
ID: 34187383
Get the user to copy information off the drive at home. Then get them to reformat the drive using disk utility as FAT32/NTFS and also make sure they select MBR under partition schemes (still will not read otherwise). They can then copy the data back to the drive and use on Windows and Mac.

Make sure you use a copy process and not move when moving the data around to avoid any loss.

There are also alternative options e.g. http://www.mediafour.com/ but I would just reformat the drive.

Let us know how you get on.


Author Comment

ID: 34187495
OK thanks. Client needs data on drive today and there is no Mac in the office, only PC. So hopefully there is a cheapish solution that will allow reading data of the drive.

So if there is a good particular recomendation for this circumstance, let me know.

Thanks again.
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LVL 47

Assisted Solution

noxcho earned 400 total points
ID: 34194953
Get a copy of this tool: http://www.paragon-software.com/home/hfs-windows/release.html
Paragon HFS+ for Windows.
Install it - connect the drive - copy out the data. Works like a charm, I do use it myself.

Assisted Solution

justadad earned 400 total points
ID: 34195706
I have used the HFS+ Explorer before.  It is free.  It is read only which would work for what you are doing. Basically it is a Windows App and which I think runs in user mode instead of kernel mode but for what you are doing that would be fine.

LVL 12

Assisted Solution

coredatarecovery earned 400 total points
ID: 34201249
macdrive 8 is a fantastic suite that let's you open and use mac formated hfs, hfs+ etc drives.

I'd just install that in windows.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 34304760
Thanks. In the end did not have to deal with it. But all input was welcome and contributed.

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