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Saving files from mac to PC formatted ext drive

Discussion of general issues, not related to a specific Mac or iDevice operating system.
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pmdave
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Saving files from mac to PC formatted ext drive

Post by pmdave » Fri May 11, 2018 5:39 pm

I converted to the Mac side a few years ago after many years of PC, and have been working in mac only ever since. My MacBook Pro with High Sierra will open most files originally saved on PC formatted external drives from my long-gone PC. I have those plus numerous files (mostly Word and jpeg) created on the mac and saved on external hard drives formatted for mac.

I want to share some of my files with a friend who works on PC only. Files won't drag from the mac drive to the PC drive using two Finder windows, or from the mac drive to desktop to PC drive, or opening and attempting to save on the PC drive. Is there some practical way to select and save files (word and jpeg) on the PC drive? If I format the new external drive to mac, I could drag the files over, but would the saved files then open on a PC machine? My interest is in writing rather than computer technology, and I could use some advice.

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rickj
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Re: Saving files from mac to PC formatted ext drive

Post by rickj » Sat May 12, 2018 9:35 am

The PC drive may be formatted as an NTFS drive, which the Mac can read but not write to. The Mac can read and write drives formatted with FAT, another common PC format. You could use Disk Utility to reformat the PC drive in either MS-Dos(Fat) or ExFat format. This will erase all the data already on the drive, so you should back it up first or just reformat a new drive. You should probably use ExFat because it allows files up to 4 GB in size.

An alternative is to use a flash drive. They usually come formatted in some variant of FAT that can be read and written to on PCs and Macs.

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Jay Cline
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Re: Saving files from mac to PC formatted ext drive

Post by Jay Cline » Mon May 14, 2018 11:49 am

If you only have a few files the simplest way is to email the files or if you have a lot of files and don't want to reformat as Rick suggests you can create a free Dropbox account at www.dropbox.com
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