Reading OSX Drive in Windows

Kevin Mcpherspm
Kevin Mcpherspm used Ask the Experts™
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Dear Expert Team
I have been asked to check some hard drive that has been used with mac operating system I only have windows OS systems, and when I connected to the HD, I am unable to see the system is there any free software that would allow me to get access to the hard drive.
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Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
Fractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
Likely this will be impossible, as Windows has no knowledge of the default OSX (Mac) file system.

Tip: You can mount an OSX default file system on a Linux machine as read only, which means you can spin up VirtualBox on a Windows machine, install Ubuntu Bionic, mount the disk read only, view contents of the disk, including copy or rsync of data off the disk onto a Windows disk.
David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Or use the code MASQ just suggested, which will be easier to use.
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Jackie Man IT Manager
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
APFS for Windows by Paragon Software
https://www.paragon-software.com/home/apfs-windows/

The above software can also fulfill your needs.
The free hfsexplorer will only read older hfs+ file systems (Sierra 10.12 and earlier).   If you need to read newer High Sierra (10.13), Mojave (10.14) and Catalina (10.15) systems, you will need to buy Paragon's Software.
Kevin McpherspmIT Assistant

Author

Commented:
Dear David
I tried your approach, but I am having some difficulty with the virtual box each time I lunch the machine with the Ubuntu OS system I can see the hard drive but when I try to access the file each folder the system hangs I have to boot the system all over. I think my system is not able to handle the application Virtual box.
If you are going to use the more convoluted virtualbox method, you'll still need to get apfs-fuse to read the newer APFS files systems and hfsprogs to read the older hfs+ file systems.  It's probably hanging because you're not using the correct file system reader for APFS.
Kevin McpherspmIT Assistant

Author

Commented:
They both was very helpful advice and instruction
David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Generally the way I approach this is to run Macs at the hardware level, then run Windows + Linux inside VirtualBox.

Any other way... generally creates complexities...

So if you have to do this type of work continually, you might save a good bit of time by using a Mac for your host setup, rather than Windows.

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