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External HD can't read on windows 7

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  • Hard Drives
  • Windows 7
  • HD
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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September 13, 2012 2:25:13 PM

Windows 7 Home Premium 64gb
Seagate Portable HD 500GB

I accidentally formatted the harddrive on my other macbook through Time Machine.
I think this changed the format of the HD (It says FAT32 as the format I believe)

I heard this type is unreadable on windows.
How do I go about changing this so i can read it on windows?

I already recovered all the files within the hard drive so data recovery is not what I am looking for.

I need my windows desktop to be able to read it


any softwares?

Also another potential problem... I accidentally deleted the partition/volume on disk management on device manager... so it doesn't show up at all - although it couldn't even be read beforehand anyway.

If I reformat the HD into windows-compatible, would this be an issue?

More about : external read windows

a b $ Windows 7
a c 87 G Storage
September 13, 2012 2:36:14 PM

Goto disk management, right click on the disk, create a new partition and format it. And FAT32 is windows readable!
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September 13, 2012 2:44:02 PM

thats the thing: it doesnt show up on disk management since i deleted it...
and before i deleted it, the formatting didn't work either; the only option i could click on was delete volume. I assumed this was because windows could not read my HD
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Best solution

a b $ Windows 7
a c 104 G Storage
September 13, 2012 3:10:27 PM

Hi there,

Is the external HDD connected to your computer by a USB port? If so, turn it on before you boot up your computer.
Then go to the Device Manager and see if it is listed there as a Removable Drive. What Drives are listed there?

Then go to Disk Management, and see if it is listed in the graphical area in the lower section.
It could say "Initialize", or show you "Unallocated Space", or it may be listed under the Disk Column on the left as "Offline"

Report back what you find, or if possible, upload a screenshot of the Disk Management Dialog so everyone can see exactly what is being recognized and reported there.
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September 13, 2012 3:31:37 PM

by turn it on before booting up my computer do u mean hooking the HD to the USB port?

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September 13, 2012 3:51:38 PM

on device manager, my HD was visible but unable to do anything to it. After removing volume, its gone
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September 13, 2012 3:53:35 PM

and it makes the 'bing bong' noise as it shud when something is connected to the usb when i plug it in
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September 13, 2012 3:57:52 PM

Best answer selected by crowfm.
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a b $ Windows 7
a c 104 G Storage
September 13, 2012 7:11:18 PM

Hi again,

Plug it back in, boot up your computer, and go back to Disk Management.
If you could upload a screenshot of the Disk Management Dialog, showing your HDD's in the lower section, that is worth a thousand words in telling what is going on, and how to correct it. Can use ImageShack, or Photobucket, or even Skydrive (shared) for the image.

From what you related, and the sound on disconnect, it sounds as if it is working OK. Just a matter of setting up the HDD to work correctly.

A lot of folks get into trouble by connecting a USB HDD to their computer and while it is on, disconnecting it. There is a chance of corrupting or incompletely written data to the USB drive, so I always use either the "safely remove mass storage" icon in the system tray, or just shut down my computer before disconnecting any storage device. Just safer.
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