4 Replies Latest reply: Jan 4, 2011 7:47 AM by Hotsouma
Hotsouma Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hi
I have an 80 GBs drive that I once formatted (erased) using Disk Utility. Now I have a 2 GBs flash drive that is empty when I open, but it says that 200 MBs are left, so I went to Disk Utility and erased that too, and now it says 2 GBs free. Good. Now when I plug either of these external drives to a Windows system, they never get recognized, they never show up. If I plug either of them on my Mac, they show up and work normally. I have two questions please:

1- Why does this happen?
2- How can I make them work on Windows normally?

White MacBook, iPhone 4, 64GB WiFi iPad, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • Matt Clifton Level 7 Level 7 (29,735 points)
    Depends how you formatted them. Windows doesn't recognize drives formatted as "Mac Extended" (also known as HFS+, which is the default Mac drive format). If you want a drive which both Mac and Windows can read and write to, the safest bet is still FAT32 - Disk Utility will show this option as "MS DOS format". It's usually a good format for flash drives anyway, unless you need to boot a Mac from them (in which case, you must use HFS+).

    Matt
  • Hotsouma Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    So whenever I want to format a flash drive I choose MS DOS format??

    What about my current drives? can't I change their format? or should I first transfer everything on my mac or to another external drive then erase with MS DOS format then get them back on it??
  • Matt Clifton Level 7 Level 7 (29,735 points)
    Hotsouma wrote:
    So whenever I want to format a flash drive I choose MS DOS format??


    If you want to be able to use it in Windows, yes.

    What about my current drives? can't I change their format? or should I first transfer everything on my mac or to another external drive then erase with MS DOS format then get them back on it??


    Reformatting them will wipe all data, so yes, you should transfer the files, reformat, then transfer back.

    If you have a Windows machine that frequently needs to access data from a Mac drive, you should look at the MacDrive software. Note also that network file-sharing does not care about drive format, so you could possibly transfer files that way if need be.

    Good luck!

    Matt
  • Hotsouma Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you very very much. That really helped me.