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    Shifftali's Avatar
    Shifftali Posts: 25, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Apr 23, 2017, 02:46 PM
    How can I extract data from an iMac desktop internal hard drive onto my windows PC?
    I have an internal hard drive from an old iMac desktop (2008?) that id like to get the data from. I also have a SATA reader but when I plug it into my windows toshiba laptop - nothing happens. Can it be because I need special software when windows is trying to read a mac? If yes, shouldn't the actual hard drive still start to whirl up and I should be able to hear the hard drive humming (even though the computer wouldn't be able to read the data without the correct software - so does this mean that the hard drive is dead? Help please !
    Scleros's Avatar
    Scleros Posts: 2,166, Reputation: 262
    Hardware Expert

    May 12, 2017, 08:01 PM
    Apple computers natively use a different file system than Windows computers. Your drive is likely formatted with the HFS+ file system or a variant, although it could be formatted with another file system. Windows does not contain built-in support for reading HFS+ formatted volumes (partitions). See Additional Reading below for software solutions.

    If you have a USB SATA reader (or connect it directly to a SATA port), the drive should show up in Windows Disk Management if working. A direct power connection to the drive will be needed if the USB reader does not provide power or the power is insufficient. Disk Management is used to assign drive letters to any partitions/volumes detected on the drive. If the drive does not show up with the reader, try connecting it directly to a SATA port. Drives usually make some noise at startup, or vibrate, becoming warmer after a while.

    If you have access to another Mac, it may be simpler to connect the drive to that and copy the data to another external drive or USB stick formatted with FAT32 or exFAT, or to a network share.

    Additional Reading:
    How-To Geek: How to read a Mac formatted drive on a Windows PC
    Wikipedia: HFS+ File System
    Lifewire: How to open disk management
    Shifftali's Avatar
    Shifftali Posts: 25, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    May 14, 2017, 06:16 PM
    Thank you, this worked!

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