Can the 1 TB PC formatted drive be re formatted so it can accept both PC files and Mac files?

Hi there,

I just recently purchased a 1TB  WD external drive (PC formatted).  I can’t seem to copy files (MP3) from my daughter Mac Book Pro - WD external drive to my Drive (above).  ?  is there a way to format the drive so it can accept both MAC files and PC files.

Please advise

Thx Gord

As far as I know, the NTFS file system is treated as “read only” by the MacOS.

If you’re not worried about losing the data on the drive, you can format it to HFS+, but then you’ll have the problem that Windows can’t natively access the drive.

So, you can either download Mac utilities/drivers which will allow you full NTFS access, or you can download Windows drivers which will allow you HFS+ access.

I’ve never used any, so I wouldn’t know which drivers to suggest.  Perhaps Google can help.


Sorry… my brain just turned on.  I just remembered that if you format the drive to FAT32, then both MacOS and Windows can have full access.

Can you do the re formatting for both Windows and Mac drives without losing saved files on My Book Essential 3.0?

No formatting will wipe out everything. If the external is formatted for Windows NTFS go to Apple’s site and find a utility called NTFS-3G and install on your daughter’s Mac and you should be OK then.


use windows disk manager and shrink the existing partition of your external drive by 32 GB.

now create a new partition using the newly freed 32 GB, and format it as a FAT32 partition.

now your derive will contain 2 partitions, the big one should contain all your existing information and be readable on both machines, and the small one will be read and writeable on both machines.


  1. i did not test this

  2. back up the information from the external drive before doing this. although windows 7 (and perhaps Vista) support changing partision sizes on the fly, it is not advised to do so without an up to date backup.