Use the Mac file system on Windows
Use the Mac file system on Windows
Macs and PCs use very different methods of storing files. This is commonly called a "File System." The data on the drive, by itself, can be read on nearly any file system. However, the method a computer must use to get to those files can cause some problems.
This is most noticeable when a drive formatted for the Mac is moved to a PC. While the drive works on the Macintosh, it will not appear to work at all on a Windows computer. To view the data on a PC, a program called Mac Drive is required. This software will allow the computer it is installed on to read and write the Macintosh file system. It is made by a company called Media Four, and is not supported directly by LaCie. Visit http://www.mediafour.com for details and support.
If purchasing Mac Drive is not an option, or the data on the drive is unnecessary, the drive can be reformatted. There are two formatting options:
1: Format the drive in FAT32.
Modern Windows operating systems only allow creation of FAT32 volumes smaller than 32GB. Generally, this is a good idea, as FAT32 volumes larger than 32 GB are very unstable.
However, in some circumstances, a large volume must be in FAT32. To create a large FAT32 partition, 3rd party tools are required.
There are several tools that can do this. Commercially, Partition Magic , or Paragon Partition Manager have friendly interfaces, and work well. There are also open source or freeware applications available on the internet. FAT32 Formatter or Gparted are good examples.
If a Macintosh is available, Disk Utility can format any drive in FAT32 regardless of size (up to 2TB.) It refers to FAT32 as "MS-DOS (FAT)"
NOTE: 3rd party utilities are not supported by LaCie, and are included for information purposes only.
2: Format the disk for Windows Only.
Use a program called Disk Management to do this. Once the process has completed, the drive will work on all Windows 2000, XP, and Vista computers.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Following the procedure below will ERASE ALL DATA on the drive. Prior to following these directions, verify important data is stored securely on a different storage device.
To access the Disk Management program, begin by clicking the Start button. Choose "Run" out of the menu. On Windows Vista, press [Windows button] + [R] on the keyboard.
Type the command:
The Disk Management program will open. If a window called the "Initialize and Convert Wizard" appears, click cancel.
The top frame lists partition summaries for all drives. The bottom frame shows how the disks are physically related to these partitions. We are interested primarily in the bottom frame. Look for the disk number selected earlier in the DiskPart program. It should have a different icon (a "Do Not Enter" sign on XP, and a red arrow on Vista.)
Right-click that symbol, and choose to "Initialize Disk". A new window will appear asking for confirmation. Confirm this decision.
When it has completed, it will now appear like so:
Next, space must be allocated to hold files. Computers call these "Partitions." Right-click the area marked "Unallocated", and choose to make a "New Partition." (instead of "New Partition", it says "New Simple Volume" in Vista.)
For the following choices it presents, the default is the most desirable option. It will set up the entire disk as one drive, make it the Windows file format (NTFS), and run a read/write test on the drive. Read each question carefully to ensure that it will meet any required needs, as reformatting erases the data, again.
The drive will be usable when finished.