How can I read Mac disks on Windows?
July 29, 2005 12:30 PM   Subscribe

Can I read/write a Mac OS Extended (Journaled) disk on Windows XP?

I've got an IDE hard drive installed in a firewire/usb enclosure that I've formatted on OS X 10.4 as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) with Disk Utility. I'd like to read and write to this disk with Windows XP. What software do I need?

If I can't do this, what formats can I use that are supported on both systems? It seems like there's an advantage to having a Journaled filesystem, are there any that will work on both systems?
posted by odinsdream to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
posted by sad_otter at 12:52 PM on July 29, 2005

Hm, seems like I'm running up on a more fundamental problem - just attaching the firewire external enclosure to the Windows XP computer doesn't mean I see the drive in My Computer. What am I missing?
posted by odinsdream at 1:31 PM on July 29, 2005

"What am I missing?"

A driver for the HFS+J filesystem. It's the filesystem driver that assigns "drive letters" that would be visible in "My Computer." Since you don't have one, the partitions are not recognized and therefore the drive is not assigned a letter. I believe that's what MacDrive is for.
posted by majick at 1:43 PM on July 29, 2005

I would use the trial version before buying. I couldn't verify that MacDrive would support a "HFS+ Extended (Journaled)" drive. It looks like "HFS+ Extended" is supported, but it's not clear from their web site that journaled volumes are supported.

Failing that, you can format the hard drive with Disk Utility (Applications -> Utilities) as an MS-DOS, or FAT32 drive. You'll be able to read and write on both platforms.

Nice thing about Apple's Disk Utility is that you can format FAT32 volume partitions pretty much as large as you like, with current drives. Windows XP puts an artificial limit on FAT32 drive partition sizes, to try to force you to use NTFS.
posted by Rothko at 1:53 PM on July 29, 2005

Well, an HFS+ journaled volume is just an HFS+ volume with a journal. It should be readable by any software that can read HFS+ regardless of the journal's presence.
posted by kindall at 2:32 PM on July 29, 2005

Ignore the journal. The next time a journal-aware filesystem driver touches the filesystem it will rationalize it.
posted by majick at 2:37 PM on July 29, 2005

I should note that above, when I was talking about not seeing a drive in My Computer, I was testing it with both an NTFS and FAT drive. The disk didn't appear in the Disk Management console in mmc. This worked fine when I used the USB portion of the enclosure instead of the firewire, but it would have been nice to use the faster cable.

Is there any open-source HFS driver for Windows?
posted by odinsdream at 2:52 PM on July 29, 2005

Is there any open-source HFS driver for Windows?

There are for Linux, but not for Windows.
posted by sad_otter at 5:45 PM on July 29, 2005

Hm. Well, LAN file-sharing it is, then. Thanks everyone.
posted by odinsdream at 6:12 PM on July 29, 2005

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