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Formatting a Mac drive to FAT32 using a PC

Hi,

I was given a Mac-formatted external hard-drive that was surplus to requirements and want to use it on my Windows-based set-up. I need to format it to FAT32 however I can't even see the drive to format it. I can read the device using HFSExplorer but have yet to find a way of formatting the drive.

Many thanks
8 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about formatting mac drive fat32
  1. In Windows Explorer right click on "Computer" and select "Manage". In Computer Management there should be a section for storage and you should be able to set up the drive from there. Otherwise you can use a program like Partition Master to partition, format, and initialize the drive.
  2. Hi

    Does Disk Management show the external (USB ?) hard disk ?

    Since HFS Explorer can see the drive it seems to be working

    Have you tried a Linux Live CD ?
    Since Mac OS is related to Unix / Linux a Linux live CD should see the disk & its Partitions

    GParted (Gnome Partition Editor ) is one free option. (download a ISO and use ImgBurn to put iso on a CD
    then boot from CD

    Then you will be able to resize, remove & replace and format partitions with Unix / Fat 32 / NTFS file systems

    regards

    Mike Barnes
  3. mbarnes86 said:
    Hi

    Does Disk Management show the external (USB ?) hard disk ?

    Since HFS Explorer can see the drive it seems to be working

    Have you tried a Linux Live CD ?
    Since Mac OS is related to Unix / Linux a Linux live CD should see the disk & its Partitions

    GParted (Gnome Partition Editor ) is one free option. (download a ISO and use ImgBurn to put iso on a CD
    then boot from CD

    Then you will be able to resize, remove & replace and format partitions with Unix / Fat 32 / NTFS file systems

    regards

    Mike Barnes


    Disk management should be able to see any drives attached to the computer. Personally I tend to use Partition Master on my own computer for the ease of use, but typically use diskpart on other people's machines as it is built into windows. Sadly diskpart is not exactly user friendly (though it is powerful), and so Partition Master is probably the easiest way to go.

    OSX being based on freeBSD is like saying that Android is Linux... Yes, they are loosely related... but not really. Either way a linux box is not going to read a mac partition any more than a windows box will because the partition language is not supported. The trick is not reading the partition, it is recognizing that the drive exists and being able to format it, and just about any disk management software (windows or otherwise) can do that just fine.
  4. Hi CaedenV

    I like to use software I am familiar with.

    I have never used a Mac OS PC so I can not personally confirm this but I would be very surprised if the info on supported file systems on their web site is incorrect

    http://gparted.org/

    It States
    ------
    GParted can be used on x86 and x86-64 based computers running Linux, Windows, or Mac OS X by booting from media containing GParted Live. A minimum of 128 MB of RAM is needed to use all of the features of the GParted application.
    Manipulate file systems such as:

    btrfs
    ext2 / ext3 / ext4
    fat16 / fat32
    hfs / hfs+
    linux-swap
    lvm2 pv
    nilfs2
    ntfs
    reiserfs / reiser4
    ufs
    xfs
    ------------
    I used to use Partition Magic before Symantec bought the company
    now I use GParted or Parted Magic Live CD or USB stick

    Windows often refuses to see or work on Linux / Unix hard disks unless the MBR is wiped
    (or you use a special driver or program such as HFS EXplorer)

    regards

    Mike Barnes
  5. I can see the disk in Disk Management but no option to format the drive. I don't want to extract or keep any of the data (I used HFS Explorer for that), I just need to fmt to FAT32
  6. Best answer
    rmurgz said:
    I can see the disk in Disk Management but no option to format the drive. I don't want to extract or keep any of the data (I used HFS Explorer for that), I just need to fmt to FAT32


    Use Partition Master or diskpart. Either will work just fine.
  7. Linux has no problem with OS X partitions, providing the correct kernel modules are present. It can recognize just about any partition scheme under the Sun (no pun intended, but it can recognize Sun partitioned drives) and every file system you can think of as well as several that you have never heard of. However, that is all irrelevant. In this case you just need to delete all partitions and repartition the drive using an MBR partition table. The easiest way to do this is with one of the free partition managers - Paragon or something similar.
  8. mbarnes86 said:
    Hi CaedenV

    I like to use software I am familiar with.

    I have never used a Mac OS PC so I can not personally confirm this but I would be very surprised if the info on supported file systems on their web site is incorrect

    http://gparted.org/

    It States
    ------
    GParted can be used on x86 and x86-64 based computers running Linux, Windows, or Mac OS X by booting from media containing GParted Live. A minimum of 128 MB of RAM is needed to use all of the features of the GParted application.
    Manipulate file systems such as:

    btrfs
    ext2 / ext3 / ext4
    fat16 / fat32
    hfs / hfs+
    linux-swap
    lvm2 pv
    nilfs2
    ntfs
    reiserfs / reiser4
    ufs
    xfs
    ------------
    I used to use Partition Magic before Symantec bought the company
    now I use GParted or Parted Magic Live CD or USB stick

    Windows often refuses to see or work on Linux / Unix hard disks unless the MBR is wiped
    (or you use a special driver or program such as HFS EXplorer)

    regards

    Mike Barnes



    While Linux does not support Mac format, that distro is using something which can view the files, so that is quite a handy tool indeed.

    Partition Magic was great software, and it was a shame that Symantec ate it up and burried it. Partition Master is based upon Partition Magic and is put out by EaseUS where the home version is free to use. It is just as handy as Partition Magic was, including the same interface and everything. Truly great stuff, and a handy utility to keep around, and it works well with Vista/7/8 where Partition Magic really didn't play well with others after XPSP2
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