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Am I Stupid? PC Help Pls


(@scrybe)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2246
Topic starter  

Okay, I have a Western Digital My Passport hard drive. I'm trying to copy files from a Mac to a PC, usually a straightforward affair. Everything works fine on the Mac, but every time I plug into the PC, it recognises I've attached a USB mass media storage device, but won't let me access it. Does the same thing with my USB sticks too. They just don't show up anywhere other than that "safely remove hardware" button.

Gah, I've done this kind of thing so many times before with no problems. Any ideas why it isn't working this time?

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


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(@hyperborea)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 833
 

What's the format on the drive? If it's HFS+ (the standard Mac drive format) then Windows won't recognize it. You'll need to buy some software on the Windows side to get it to understand that disk format. The Mac will read and write FAT (the old MS drive format) but only read NTFS. So, for best compatibility you need to have those devices formatted as FAT.

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


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(@greybeard)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5899
 

I've had similar if I have changed to contents of a USB device and not unloaded it before removing from the USB slot.

Try putting the device into the USB slot and then unloading it.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 7850
 

Yeah, I have everything formatted FAT or FAT32 that I swap between Macs and PCs. My thumb drive still somehow got corrupted several months ago so that neither one could read it or reformat it till I downloaded a utility from the drive company that would reformat it, in FAT, then the PC could properly reformat it in FAT32. Erased the drive of course, but I didn't lose anything. Got it with me now, it's worked fine since.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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 KR2
(@kr2)
Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2725
 

Got this off macosx.com forum . . . don't know if it helps . . . (I don't use Macs)

" If you wish to format the drive as FAT32 on the Macintosh, simply open "Disk Utility" from /Applications/Utilties, highlight the disk in the left-hand sidebar, select the "Erase" tab, and select "MS-DOS File System" from the volume format pull-down menu."

It's the rock that gives the stream its music . . . and the stream that gives the rock its roll.


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(@scrybe)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2246
Topic starter  

Ah...okay, that should solve the MyPassport problem, but I still don't know why my USB sticks don't work as they've been used to switch between computers before with no problem. Must have got corrupted somehow. but the good thing is the Mac reads everything fine, so I won't lose any data fixing this. Thanks guys, you're awesome! :D

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


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(@faultythinking)
Eminent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 23
 

It's probably not relevant, bit of a long shot, but a problem I have with attaching other drives (USB sticks, my mobile phone, whatever) is that I use too many drive letter mappings in Windows. Namely on my work PC, it's not that bad a setup at home. So, my desktop has the usual C: drive, but also a D: partition. Then E: is the DVD drive. Windows tries to allocate F: to the USB drive (for example), but F: is already mapped to <some other place to do with work>.
However, the problem is, Windows doesn't tell you that it's hit this conflict. It just sits there not letting you see the drive. My next steps are... (this is on Win XP)
1. right-click on My Computer, select Manage
2. choose Storage - Disk Management
3. hopefully your USB drive shows up there, and tells you it's "F:" or whatever, and you realise the conflict
4. Right-click on the drive and choose "Change Drive Letter and Paths..."
5. Change the drive label to B: (no-one uses a B: drive floppy any more do they??)

Hey presto, the USB stick can now be accessed as B:, F: is still <some other place to do with work>

Hope this helps someone :D

FT
I think I can rock and roll
Probably just twisting...


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(@joehempel)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2418
 

As a general rule macs can read a PC drive, but PC's cannot read a mac formatted drive so hopefully it wasn't formatted on a mac.

In Space, no one can hear me sing!


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(@scrybe)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2246
Topic starter  

drive letter mappings.
one more reason branches out
to love the apple.

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


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(@hyperborea)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 833
 

As a general rule macs can read a PC drive, but PC's cannot read a mac formatted drive so hopefully it wasn't formatted on a mac.

Macs can read the Windows drive formats, FAT and NTFS, but can only write to FAT without extra software. The Mac can correctly (as pointed out above) format drives to the FAT filesystem. Windows can't without extra software understand the native Mac format of HFS+ (Hierarchical File System Plus).

If you do need/want to have Macs deal with NTFS or Windows deal with HFS+ there is software out there that allows that to happen. For Macs to handle NTFS there are a number of choices one of which is the free MacFUSE (which also supports other filesystems). The only real monkey wrench in all this is that NTFS is a proprietary MS format and they won't release the details (which is why Apple only reads and doesn't write to NTFS - too many liability issues) so anybody implementing it is reverse engineering the format. This product works well but there is the danger (low probability - maybe zero) that you could corrupt the drive and lose the data.

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


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(@scrybe)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2246
Topic starter  

I've reformatted the MyPassport drive and done the necessary work. Thanks for all the posts guys, I know very little about PCs (and keep forgetting stuff if I don't use them regularly) so I've learned a fair bit from this. Appreciated.

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


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