Transferring mp3 files from a Mac formatted hard drive to a PC?
November 12, 2017 6:42 PM   Subscribe

Macbook Pro user for the last 10-12 years I have about 200 gigs worth of mp3's & other music on a mac formatted portable hard drive.. Mac book finally died.....Decided to go with a PC laptop... PC is not recognizing my mac formatted hard drive and therefore I have been unable to rebuild my itunes library....Stupidly cancelled my iutnes match a year ago....Murphy's Law, I know. Anyways I have tons of live shows and super rare music that is not replaceable via spotify, itunes, amazon music or whoever... This music resides on my portable hard drive? Did a bit of googling, but not sure of the best and safest option to transfer these 'mac' mp3 files to my new PC. Hellllp?
posted by TwilightKid to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

If the files are MP3, they are not “Mac files.” This is OS issue. Windows computers do not recognize or read OSX-formatted drives. Your best bet is to find a computer shop that will transfer the contents of the hard drive to another that is formatted using FAT or NTFS.
posted by yclipse at 7:16 PM on November 12, 2017

Either install the appropriate filesystem driver (probably HFS+) on your new computer, or borrow a Mac overnight to copy the files to a disk with a different filesystem (probably exFAT).

The benefit of copying the files to a new disk is that you end up with a backup copy. This is much cheaper than trying to recover rare files if anything happens to your aging portable drive.
posted by Phssthpok at 7:24 PM on November 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

You can get a 1TB or 500GB external drive pretty darn cheaply. Attach it to the Mac and format it NTFS. Then copy the mp3 over onto the NTFS drive. Then take it to your PC>
posted by humboldt32 at 7:25 PM on November 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

Attach it to the Mac

You mean the dead Mac?

HFSExplorer is free and will probably let you mount / read your HFS+ drive.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 8:39 PM on November 12, 2017

If HFSExplorer doesn’t work for you for some reason then another option is to boot your laptop from a Linux CD or USB stick, mount the Mac HD under Linux & copy the files you need to the internal WIndows HD.

(You’ll have to do a full shutdown of Windows before Linux will mount the laptop HD read/write. I think you have to hold down shift or control when you choose shutdown from the windows menu to make that happen.)
posted by pharm at 12:54 AM on November 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

Whoops, I missed that small detail.
posted by humboldt32 at 12:21 PM on November 13, 2017

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