external harddrive and data recovery and using on mac and pc.

Posted on 2012-09-15
Last Modified: 2012-10-15
how to format a external harddrive so that it  can be used on both platforms i.e mac and PC
 what is the best data recovery software.
 i have a 2 tb hard drive which was used on mac machine to transfer data .
 the hard drive  was connected to pc but then it showed no drive in my computer but it showed drive  in disk management.
 drive letter could be assigned to it .
thinking it was unallocated and not formatted it was formatted to ntfs file system .
 it was told to me that there some video /audio files on it and after some searchig it was found out that now the harddrive cannot be used on mac as it is formatted by using ntfs file system.
now the task is to recover all the files,format the drive to usable on both platforms.
Question by:Kanishka2
    LVL 87

    Assisted Solution

    In order to be able to access an external disk from a MAC (running MAC OS) and a Windows PC you will need to format it using fat32.

    To recover data from a formatted MAC drive you could try using testdisk, which is included on the PartedMagic LiveCD, but I can't guarantee success:
    LVL 31

    Accepted Solution

    What happened was your external hard drive was originally formatted as HFS - a mac-only filesystem.

    NTFS is a Windows proprietary filesystem but I think it CAN be made to work on mac through some third party / not-apple-supported methods and drivers.

    FAT32 is fully supported on both platforms, but has some limitations (e.g. max file size is 4GB, and I'm not sure if there is a maximum volume size)

    If you re-formatted the partition, you just destroyed most of the data. There may be some recovery software you can use to recover a bit of the data from the old mac filesystem. If you google you will find a multitude of different tools, but I can't recommend one off the top of my head.

    Most of these tools require a purchased license, but they come with a trial edition that lets you test if they will work - they will discover, but not recover the data. If the trial edition indicates that the software can detect recoverable data on your disk, then purchase a license and perform the recovery.

    Author Comment

    i am using testdisk and iam getting good data but theyare having random numbers as file names and folder structure is not preserved. what can i do to get proper filen namesand proper folder structure.
    LVL 87

    Assisted Solution

    You'll just have to rename the files and copy them into a new folder structure when done.
    LVL 46

    Expert Comment

    Format it FAT32 and it will work on both.

    Author Comment

    i tried some trial versions and they were awfull. they scanned the disk for two days and then didnt do anything not even showing  the file structure. some showed files tructure. some software couldnt be run for 4 hours it caused abrupt shutdown .
    thanks for the help . test disk was good it recovered some files .unfortunately i didnt try it more.

    i have new problem .some recovered avi files are not readeable.
    thanks for the help.

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