MacDrive 9 warning

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Like many people who have been touched by either an iPhone or an iPad, I made the move to the Mac with my last computer purchase (iMac). I love it! But I still have my PC laptop running Windows 7.

I am still trying to get the two systems to live in harmony.  I would like to be able to share a Lightroom catalog and photos between the two systems.

I already have a 640GB external hard drive (EHD) attached to my iMac and formatted in HFS format (Mac). This was necessary because the iMac won't Time Machine backup an EHD unless it is HFS.

Of course this introduced the problem of how the Windows machine was going to read the drive.  During my research I came across a program called MacDrive that claims to provide read/write access to EHDs on a windows system. I installed the software and, yes, the windows machine could read and write to the drive. Of course I wouldn't be writing this post if that was the end of the story :)

I unplugged the EHD and took it back to my iMac. Wait, the iMac can't see the EHD? What's that about? I plugged the EHD back into the windows machine and lo and behold it works fine. So let me see, software that is specifically designed for your windows machine to read your Mac's EHD suddenly won't let the Mac see it. Isn't that the whole point?

Now I have a mac-formatted EHD that only a Windows machine running MacDrive can read. I am scared to uninstall MacDrive until I've finished backing up the EHD onto the Windows machine just in case.

So if you are successfully sharing an EHD between Windows and Mac, can you please leave a comment as to how you are doing it and which format the drive is in (NTFS, FAT32 or HFS).

Honestly, this makes me want to run out and buy a new mac laptop!

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