Mac external hard drive doesn show up on pc

Mac or Windows computer not recognizing your external hard drive or flash drive ? in Windows or Disk Utility on OS X and see if the drive shows up there. If the drive doesn't work on another computer, it's highly likely.
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This lets you create an external hard drive for Mac and PC that doesn't require any additional software to function. When a hard drive is formatted, any data that's currently on the drive is erased and a new file system is set up for a computer's operating system to use. The file system determines how the operating system manages data , how that data is stored and what sort of storage blocks are used on the hard drive. The file system organizes the data in such a way that the operating system can access and use what it needs, so if the file system isn't supported by the OS then it has no way to actually access and read the data.

In most cases, a drive with an unsupported file system won't even show up in Explorer or Finder unless you have set up your computer specifically to view the unsupported drives. This is why it's so tricky to format for Windows and Mac on the same hard drive. Assuming that you have newer computer models and are running recent versions of Windows and MacOS, the file systems used by your computers are incompatible.

This is due largely to file system optimizations that were made with a specific operating system in mind, though competition between Microsoft and Apple may play a part in the proprietary nature of their respective OS file systems. With that said, there are a few ways to format a single external hard drive for both Mac and PC use without losing data or corrupting files.

While Windows and macOS primarily use their respective proprietary file systems, both support other file systems as well. If you choose to do this, however, it is important to avoid changing the settings of the file system too much when you format. By default, exFAT uses 32KB and KB data clusters when reading and writing respectively ; you can change this up to 32GB per function when choosing the formatting settings. MacOS doesn't support exFAT cluster sizes greater than KB , however, so if you increase the cluster size significantly then the drive will only be usable by your Windows computer.

Additionally, some users have reported issues with reading exFAT drives on Windows PCs if the drives were formatted on a macOS computer; while this does not happen for all users, to avoid potential problems you may wish to format the drive on your Windows PC instead of your Mac. In the Partition Information category, specify the name and size of each partition.

Unlike the older FAT32 format, however, ExFAT allows for the storage of files up to 16 exabytes which equates to about 16 million terabytes! You can review our Windows section for more information about this process.

Mac Or MacBook Doesn’t Recognize External Drives, Troubleshooting Tips

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  • External Hard Drive Not Showing Up in Windows or OS X?.

Verify the drive light is on. Desktop Drives typically require a power adapter. No light could indicate the power adapter is not connected to power.

Try a different power outlet. Desktop Drives If using a surge protector or power strip, plug the power adapter directly into the wall outlet instead. Type compmgmt.


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  4. 1. Change the Finder settings;
  5. External Hard Drive Not Showing Up in Windows or OS X?!
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  7. Click on Device Manager on the left. First check the Disk Drives section in the middle window by double-clicking it.


    • An External Hard Drive Compatible With Both Windows & a Mac.
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    Look for your drive name. If you see the drive is detected here continue reading. If not, click here. Right click on your external drive listed under Disk Drives.

    Fix: External Hard Drive Not Showing Up Or Recognized [MiniTool Tips]

    Click on Properties. Click on Populate. Document the disk number provided in this window Disk 1, Disk 2, etc…. Now click on Disk Management on the left hand side. In the middle towards the bottom locate the disk number from earlier.

    Get the best of both worlds by sharing your data on MacOS and Windows

    Once you have located the drive you will want to look for the following: Does it show RAW or Unallocated? Capacity - Check to see if the drive is correct, for example if you have a 1TB drive it should say GB. Drive letter - Verify that the drive has a drive letter. If it is missing, verify that other drives have a letter. If other drives have a letter but the external is missing then you can right-click and select change drive letter or path.

    Click Add then assign a letter and OK.

    How to Read a Mac-Formatted Drive on a Windows PC

    Drive not detected troubleshooting: If the drive was not detected under Disk Drives then check the following: Within Device Manager look for any entries called unknown device , other device , or mass storage device with a yellow! Important - Make sure to expand the Universal Serial Bus controllers section so you can see entries there as well. If you see an unknown device or other device then right-click on it and select properties. You may see a code 10 or If you see Code 28 this may work for others codes too, ie Code 43 then try the following: Close the window with the code.

    Right-click on the device with the issue and select uninstall.