Passport Ultra - Accessing Mac formatted drive on a PC

I formatted a My Passport Ultra drive for the Mac, in order to archive a large number of photos (Win32 format kept failing on the file copy). Now I want to access those photos on a PC. I’ve downloaded various WD drivers and software, but can’t get Windows 7 to recognized the USB drive. I plan to use HFSExplorer or similar app to access the files once I can get Win 7 to recognize the drive. Any recommendations on what I need to do? Is this even possible?

Note, I"ve installed the WD Drive utiltiies (which say the drive is good) and the WD SES driver for Win 64. Thanks.


A hard drive formatted to a Mac-optimized file system such as HFS+ will not be detected by Windows without the use of 3rd party cross-platform compatibility applications. WD Drive Utilities functions to diagnose the physical integrity of the hard drive, and as such it will not address a file system incompatibility.

Thanks Trancer. I have a couple of follow up questions Do you have the name of a cross-platform app like you mentioned? (I thought HFS Explorer was one of those kinds of apps). Also, even if disk format is not recognized by Windows, shouldn’t it at least be able to load the drivers for the HD? I’m worried that if I find the kind of app you mentioned, it still won’t work because the app won’t see the USB drive.


If you had formatted the drive as exFAT, both a PC and a Mac could have accessed files on it.

You can still do this is you copy all the data on it to another drive, format it on PC as exFAT, and then re-copy the saved files back to it. If files are encrypted with some sort of backup program, the files could be inaccessible after the reformat, so check that out before doing anything.

@Dan_Forest one free option might be to get the old Boot Camp installer from Apple (e.g. and install it on your Windows computer. Although this is meant to install Mac hardware drivers onto a dual-boot Windows side, I’ve used them before to access disks formatted for Mac. But, this will only give you read-only access to the drive.

Third party drivers like @Trancer mentioned can give you better features, but cost money. Or, formatting it for a cross-platform compatible file system might be best, as @mike27oct said. It doesn’t hurt to have multiple options!