- dotTech - http://dottech.org -

You bought a “Mac hard drive” but you are a Windows user; how to make it work on Windows?

I was roaming SlickDeals as I usually do and came across a post about a 1 TB USB external hard drive going for $65 (!). Naturally I jumped when I read that and decided to get more info. Turns out Best Buy is selling a 1 TB “Mac” Western Digital My Book for $65 [1] (you can get it for $58 with 10% off coupon [2]). I had to chuckle at the obvious (yet successful) marketing at work here. I say “successful” because by reading the posts made by some people, Best Buy (and/or Western Digital) has effectively convinced people people this external hard drive is a proprietary Mac hard drive and will not work on a Windows PC… as if Mac and Windows PC use different hardware (ha-ha). Well people, if you ever happen to see a good deal on a “Mac hard drive” yet you are a Windows users do not pass up on the deal.

You see the only difference between a “Mac hard drive” and a “Windows PC hard drive” is the file system. A “Mac hard drive” is formatted using HFS or HFS+ while a “Windows PC hard drive” is either FAT or NTFS. The physical hard drive, the actual hardware, is the exact same and will work on a Mac and Windows PC both. A “Mac hard drive” will work just fine on a Windows PC (after a little work).

That being said, what to do if you have a “Mac hard drive” but you are a Windows user? Well there are many ways to turn the “Mac hard drive” into a “Windows PC hard drive” but I did it this way (in my opinion it is the fastest, most simple, and universal method):

2009-09-06_161743 [4]

This is your “Mac hard drive”. If you have more than one hard drive in your computer, your hard drive may show up as “Disk 3”, “Disk 4”, etc.

2009-09-07_120508 [5]

2009-09-06_161805 [6]

Type in the “partition label” (i.e. what you want the name to be) and click “OK”.

2009-09-07_144628 [7]

2009-09-06_161915 [8]

2009-09-06_161928 [9]

That should say “Applied all the…” not “Apply all the..”.

2009-09-07_143750 [10]