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Author Topic: Does initializing a USB hard drive format the data (in XP)?  (Read 2645 times)

superboyac

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Does initializing a USB hard drive format the data (in XP)?
« on: October 07, 2009, 12:06:01 PM »
I have a USB hard drive with a video that someone put on it for me.  On his end, he connected the drive using a Mac, if that makes a difference.  Anyway, when i plug it into my XP computer, no drive letter shows up.  The drive is in the computer management area and shows up as a drive that is not initialized.  If I initialize it, do I automatically lose the data on it?  Or is that just a step I have to do for the drive letter to be assigned?

f0dder

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Re: Does initializing a USB hard drive format the data (in XP)?
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2009, 02:30:26 PM »
"Initializing" means writing a partition table, and is usually followed by formatting. If you do this, you'll fsck up the mac filesystem (HPFS+, I think?), so definitely don't do this :)
- carpe noctem

superboyac

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Re: Does initializing a USB hard drive format the data (in XP)?
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2009, 03:26:56 PM »
"Initializing" means writing a partition table, and is usually followed by formatting. If you do this, you'll fsck up the mac filesystem (HPFS+, I think?), so definitely don't do this :)
darn.  i'll have to use something like macdrive.  thanks.

4wd

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Re: Does initializing a USB hard drive format the data (in XP)?
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2009, 02:16:20 AM »
You could always get your friend to reformat the drive as FAT32 to be more compatible with pretty much any OS.

lanux128

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Re: Does initializing a USB hard drive format the data (in XP)?
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2009, 03:35:41 AM »
in the (g)olden days of floppy disk, a lot of people had the same problem. using mac-formatted floppies on windows PC. :)

f0dder

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Re: Does initializing a USB hard drive format the data (in XP)?
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2009, 04:21:06 AM »
You could always get your friend to reformat the drive as FAT32 to be more compatible with pretty much any OS.
Just keep in mind that you then can't have files larger than 232-1 bytes on the drive.
- carpe noctem

superboyac

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Re: Does initializing a USB hard drive format the data (in XP)?
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2009, 10:25:52 AM »
Here's the solution I used:  there's a free program called HFSExplorer.  It allows you to browse the contents of the  mac formatted drive and extract whatever files you need from it.  It worked great.