I was trying to use my friend's hard drive the other day, but my Windows computer would not recognize it because it was in a Mac file format.
I'm now trying to create a program (simple cli), pretty much a file folder, but that would be able to read (and eventually copy from) Mac and Linux file formatted drives as well.
I'm still at the starting stages (I'm still a newbie) and I've been looking around the web trying to find a way to simply look at the drives connected to the computer.
So far, the only way I've found to do it is to use WMI. The thing is, if I use WMI, will I still be able to read file formats that windows does not recognize?
If there are any other ways that anyone can think of to do this, I would be very grateful.


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Last Post by solomonhomicz

i would suggest looking into what format the mac drive is in and see if windows can support it but a easier way to do this would be to get a bootable version of linux and mount the drive it would be quick can painless to do in linux


In most cases, the CD or flash media should be compatible. I use CD and flash drives on Linux all the time and when I save files to them, I can just move the drives to Windows and read the files off them, whether it be office files, photos or anything else.
Flash drives come formatted as FAT (or FAT16) generally, and CD / DVD files are usually saved as iso9660. You should use Joliet,etc. for more Windows compatiblity in filenames (long filename support).
Coming from a Mac, this should be the same way. Mac should be able to both format the flash drives as FAT and save to the CD drives as iso9660, though it may be not be the default.
You should have your colleagues specifically choose to use those formats, otherwise the Mac will most likely format the drives as hfs+ (or whatever is common now). This means that although the files may be there, the "file system format" would be unreadable on a PC.
There are some apps on this page, for example the first one I would try is HFS explorer,
as it's free and has seen some positive blogs about it. If you can afford payware, I believe for around $50 there's the more elegant app "MacDrive".
On both Mac and Linux (if you have a multi-boot system) you should be able to at least browse and read Windows partitions and their files by default, but some "write" support may be still sketchy (for NTFS writing, but possibly improved by now).
On Linux, hfs+ read/write support should be built-in by now, though you may have to disable journaling via your MAc on the HFS drive to write. Many excellent writeups may be found by googling.


I can only reiterated what you have been advised re using MacDrive. It is a great help on drives that are formatted for Mac only. Believe microsoft are going to have wiondows be able to read mac drives in new win8. hope the rummor is true. Should you have both windows,linux and mac os and wish to access files from all os then have as an externall or internall hdd (hdds) and or seperate partitions, formatted to fat32 to hold all your documents, photos, music etc. and not keep them with the os partitions. You can then access, add, delete change etc to your hearts delight from any os. Good luck.


install ubuntu on a mem stick boot your pc from mem stick and you will be able to read the mac drive and do whta you like with it simples


I have two methods:
1. install VMware virtual machine and use Debian/Ubuntu, any open source OS can open mac file format
2. if you want to create your own file clients, for Win32 SDK, you can use CreateFile("\\.\PhysicalDrive0") (whether is 0 or 1 or 2, etc depends) to open an arbituary storage device, and SetFilePointer to goto the specified byte offset (note that for LBA, the byte offset must be integer multiples of 512/2048, i.e. bytes per physical sector), and ReadFile and WriteFile for accessing raw disk data (including directly accessing MBR Master Boot Record, PBR Partition Boot record, Fat/Fat32 File Allocation Table and NTFS Master File Table, etc)

Note that passing "\\.\PhysicalDrive#" to CreateFile is very powerful, it can open all storages like local harddisk, USB harddisk, CD/DVD, thumbdrive/flashdisk, etc and you have lowest-level raw access by byte-offset. But you need to learn all detailed specifications about various filesystems to manipulate partition, files and directories, and your program must have system administrator access.


Edited by xuancong: n/a


You can use ext2fsd to "see" linux filesystems from windows. http://www.ext2fsd.com/
I don't know if this will work with Mac.
I use to access my linux partitions from windows.
It didn't work on a normal install for me.
I had to turn off driver signing and reboot into "test mode", to perform a successful installation. (look at ext2fsd FAQ, for particulars)
It seems that windows has been hard-cooded to refuse to see any filesystem besides NTFS or FAT, hence the need to turn off driver signing for successful install.
ext2fsd was the only solution I found that actually worked.
Hope this helps.

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