How can I access files backed up from my Mac to a Seagate drive under Windows?

July 22, 2013
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I have previously used my 1TB hard drive as a backup for my Mac. I have now since moved on, but cannot access this under the “my computer” tab on a Windows PC, although the PC recognizes it is plugged in.

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  1. Justin Pot
    July 22, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Jan F's advice is solid, and I won't attempt to add to it. I will say that a much simpler method may be to visit a Mac-owning friend and grab the files using that machine. Could save you some headaches.

  2. Jan F
    July 22, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Most likely the drive is formatted in OS X native file system HFS+. To access it under Windows you either need a file system driver or you could use HFS Explorer
    http://www.catacombae.org/hfsx.html
    http://www.paragon-software.com/home/hfs-windows/

    If you used Time Machine to backup your Mac you should be able to access the Sparsebundle using HFS Explorer or via e.g. 7zip.

    * I haven't tried that myself so their may be complications or issues since TM sparsebundles are usually locked via the username and password I don't know if they are needed or one is even able to supply them when accessing via Windows

  3. Oron J
    July 22, 2013 at 10:45 am

    There's an excellent article on this very subject at: http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/how-to/windows/3369574/how-read-mac-os-hfs-drives-in-windows-for-free/ .

    In a nutshell, you can use HFSExplorer, which is free, to read your data. If you also want to be able to write to the disc, buy Paragon Software's HFS+ for Windows 10 ($19.95).