5 Replies Latest reply: May 17, 2011 5:13 PM by Kappy
909 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Before I got a MacBook Pro, I was a long-time Windows computer user and used to store all my files in an external hard drive. Now I would like to transfer all the data from that external hard drive (obviously not formatted for Mac) to my MacBook Pro or to my recently purchased Seagate external hard drive that has been formated for Mac out of the box, whichever way is easier. Can anyone help? Thanks!

MacBook Pro
  • tjk Level 7 Level 7 (24,175 points)

    Hi 9,


    Connect the HD to your MBP, open the external HD image on your desktop and drag whatever files you want to your internal HD wherever you want them.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (245,380 points)

    Well, it's not clear what you ultimately need to accomplish, but the basic task of copying files from a Windows formatted drive to a Mac formatted drive is to simply select the files, then drag and drop.


    I suspect there's more to your question, so you might expand on your question.

  • 909 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the quick reply, Kappy and tjk.


    Since the external hard drive used for the PC is not formatted for Mac, can I safely connect it to my MacBook Pro and trasnfer all the data (mainly pictures and videos) without having to reformat and in turn lose all my data? I'm a first-time Mac user. I've heard that one has to format an external hard drive before he can use it for Mac.

  • tjk Level 7 Level 7 (24,175 points)

    Yes you can simply copy from it. There are situations a HD needs to be formatted, but it depends on what you want to do with it (such as install a bootable OS X on it, then you'd need to format it for Mac).

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (245,380 points)

    If you were planning to use the drive exclusively with the Mac, then you would get better performance from it by partitioning and formatting it for the Mac.  If you wanted to use the drive to shuttle files between a PC and a Mac, then you would need to format the drive using FAT32.  If all you need to do is read from the drive then it could be formatted FAT or NTFS (cannot write to an NTFS drive.)