14 Replies Latest reply: Apr 15, 2013 2:27 PM by Bimmer 7 Series
ddledet Level 1 (0 points)

I have a MacBook Pro and a Windows desktop...and an external hard drive.  I want to load some music on the external hard drive using the MacBook and then copy from the external hard drive to the Windows desktop.  Is this possible?

Dell, Windows XP Pro
  • Bimmer 7 Series Level 6 (10,275 points)

    to do that make sure your external drive is formatted exFAT - connect it to your PC and format it there.


    before you do the format - make sure any files you have in your external drive are backed up to your Macbook or PC.


    good luck

  • ddledet Level 1 (0 points)

    The external drive is new and never used so it shouldn't be a problem.

  • Bimmer 7 Series Level 6 (10,275 points)

    you still need to check it's format - if it's on a NTFS format - then it becomes read only in your Macbook.


    if it's on a Mac OS format - then your PC can't read it.


    Hence the reason I told you to format it to exFAT using your PC.


    end result will make it readable and writeable in both PC and Mac

  • ddledet Level 1 (0 points)

    Last dumb question ....  any external hard drive can be formatted in this exFAT format??

  • Mingle Cao Level 1 (5 points)

    Yes, absolutely.

  • Bimmer 7 Series Level 6 (10,275 points)


  • studyplenty Level 1 (60 points)

    Tangent: what are the downsides of exFAT?

  • ddledet Level 1 (0 points)

    It's a Seagate drive.  When I right-clicked "FORMAT" and chose "EXFAT" I got the message "Windows is unable to complete the format".


    The box says "Flexible for all your needs.  Use with PC and Mac computers - no reformatting."  EEK

  • Bimmer 7 Series Level 6 (10,275 points)

    ExFAT - A newer file format, supported in Mac OS X 10.6.5 or later.

    Advantages: exFAT has many of the same advantages as FAT32 in that it's a disk format that offers interoperability between Macs and PCs. It has one big advantage over FAT32: exFAT supports file sizes larger than 4 GB, so if you have a need to move huge files between Macs and PCs, this is likely the format you'll want for your flash drive.

    exFAT is supported by the following operating systems:

    • Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6.5 or greater)
    • OS X Lion
    • Windows XP SP2 or later (with an additional update for exFAT support)
    • Windows Vista SP1 or later
    • Windows 7

    Disadvantages: As a relatively newer file system format, exFAT isn't supported in older versions of Mac OS X (anything prior to 10.6.5) or anything older than Windows XP SP2. If you won't be dealing with older Macs or PCs, this may not be a problem. Of greater issue is that most consumer electronics (cameras, camcorders, video game systems) don't support exFAT, either. If you need to transfer files between your Mac and one of these non-PC devices, you're almost certainly going to have to format your flash drive in FAT32 instead.

  • Bimmer 7 Series Level 6 (10,275 points)

    You can try it the way it is right now and see if it works with both your Macbook and PC with no issues.


    otherwise - connect to your Macbook and format/erase it using exFAT.


    see screen shot below:


    Screen Shot 2013-04-15 at 1.31.26 PM.png

  • ddledet Level 1 (0 points)

    I read what you said about the support for Windows XP and I downloaded it.  It seems to be formatting now!


    This old grandma really apreciates your help.  Thanks a million!!!

  • Bimmer 7 Series Level 6 (10,275 points)

    You're welcome...

  • ddledet Level 1 (0 points)

    Well, everything worked ... sort of.  I was able to format the hard drive in exFAT.  I copied a CD onto the hard drive using my MacBook Pro.  When I connected the hard drive to the Windows XP CD, the music was there but in AIFF format -- iTunes doesn't seem to recognize it.


    Oh well -- guess this is a question for a different thread.  Maybe what I'm trying to do is impossible.


    Thanks for all the great help!!

  • Bimmer 7 Series Level 6 (10,275 points)

    see if the link below helps you out with your itunes issue.