Cant see external hard drive after Mac transfer to Pc


Apr 19, 2013
HI, Just joined but have read and learned alot from this site!!!
Ok, Windows 7 Pro plenty of ram etc etc..............

I have an external hard drive (GoFlex Seagate 1.5 TB) that works great on my Windows XP Pro machines. When I opened it up

in the past I just saw all the folders of things I have in there. It was under my computer and the little pop-up would happen

in the lower right corner of my computer with a sound. There was no partitian.

Someone put some music and a program (altho I dont think the content matters but trying to give all details). He did this

from a macbook. I was not there. He then showed me what he had done thru his computer. It was all there!!!! I could see

our recordings and the program he gave me. Now, I was seeing this thru his computer on my hard drive just to be clear.

I have a new computer that is the Windows 7 Pro. I never plugged it in there yet till now.
I plug it in on new computer and can hear the beep. There is a hard to see icon that says when I place the mouse over it,

"safely remove hardware and eject media"! When I pursue it and press it I get 2 options.
1, Open device and printers.
2, Eject the Goflex (when I do hit eject I get a pop up saying it is now safe to remove)
I am not sure what all that means!!!!!!!

Onward to the problem,
I plug it back in.
I go to my computer and it is not there. I go to disk management and it shows up.
Disk 0 is my OS.
Disk 1 is my internal #2.
Disk 2 is the External I am trying to use.
So I right click it and have options until I try to use one and low and behold they WONT click! Oh wait, DELETE VOLUME

will!!! LOL No extend or shrink even tho I can see them.
It states when I click it , Healthy (Active, primary partitian)

I have tried it on my XP machines it worked on but now nothing!!!!

I cant access ANYTHING on it and the guy who did it is deploying back overseas. In all the confusion I "may" have heard him

say he had to format it to mac at one point but then put it back?

HELP!!!!!! I have tried to explain exactly what has happened and my set up.

Thank you in advance!!!


Jan 12, 2012
Good job including all that information. While some of it might have been superfluous, having all the information makes it a lot easier to try to diagnose the problem.

Here's what I'm see in your case:

Macs can use FAT32 and HFS+ formatted drives. They can read NTFS formatted drives but cannot write to them.

Windows based PCs can read and write NTFS, FAT, and FAT32 formatted drives.

It sounds to me like you had the drive formatted in the NTFS file system, and your friend pulled off all your data, reformatted the drive to HFS+, and put all the data back on the drive. In other words, he halfway knew what he was doing.

The easiest way for you to get the data back will be to plug the drive into a Mac, pull all the data off it, reformat the drive in the FAT32 file system, and copy the data back onto the drive. After you do this you should be able to use the drive on your Windows based PCs again.

You may or may not want to consider switching back to the NTFS file system after you get your data back, but read up a bit on the differences between FAT32 and NTFS first.

Article #1
Article #2

In a nutshell, NTFS is newer and supposed to be faster and better all-around. FAT32 is older and you can use the drive on both a Mac and a PC. If you ever plan on transferring data to it from a Mac again then you will want to leave it FAT32.


Apr 19, 2013
The drive was never formatted by me. I got it new, opened it up and plugged it in and it was awesome! The file size is 350 gigs or so so is Fat32 the answer?
I agree with Isaiah4110's interpretation of what your friend did. He pulled the data off, formatted it as a Mac disk, then put the data back on. It's a Mac disk now, and only read/writable natively by a Mac. Windows can't read it by itself.

Try installing this:
It will let Windows 7 read HFS+ (Mac formatted) disks. It won't let you write to them, but it should be enough to let you pull your data off the drive. Once you get the data off, you can reformat it to NTFS or FAT32.

Unless you plan to use the drive on both Mac and PC frequently, I'd just go with NTFS. FAT32 has more limitations and is missing some of the safety features in NTFS. It's not worth switching away from NTFS "in case" you ever use the drive on a Mac again. If you need to transfer files to/from a Mac, use a USB flash drive or SD card formatted to FAT32 (standard for those devices).

If you do plan to use the drive frequently between Mac and PC, there are utilities out there which let a PC read/write to HFS+, or a Mac read/write to NTFS. I don't think there are any free ones though.


Apr 19, 2013
AWESOME!!!! I downloaded it now and it sure seems tro be sending the stuff to my internal hard drive


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