Seagate 1TB Drive - Mac AND Windows Compatible??

Essiesc

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May 5, 2016
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I purchased the 1 TB Backup Plus Portable Slim External Drive. It works just fine with my Mac. I've tried 3 separate Windows machines now, a brand new Lenovo, an older Sony Vaio, and a year old Dell, and this driver absolutely refuses to install on ANY of those Windows machines (2 Windows 7, and 1 Windows 10). I used it on the Mac first, but it's maybe 2 months old now and has less than 10% used. It gave me the exact same issue on all 3 of the Windows machines, it will not recognize the device AT all, I can see it in there, when I look in Disk Management, but there is not any letter assigned to it, and if I attempt to right click and format or do anything to the device, everything is greyed out. I cannot access the files on the drive, and if I attempt to update the driver, it tells me Windows has already allocated the best driver for the device. I don't really feel like reformatting it, that would completely defeat the purpose to me. If I'm going to have to back up that entire drive somewhere else, I might as well just have to purchase another one and have 2 of them, one for the Mac and one for the Windows machine. And Seagate should disclose that the external drive is only compatible with ONE O/S or the other...not with both. :-/

Oh, and I DID contact Seagate, registered my product with them and everything, and that's a serious waste of time. They make it almost impossible to get through to their customer service, and if you do manage to get through to someone, they don't bother to read anything that you write in your trouble ticket. You have to pay to be able to resolve anything to speak with someone on the phone. They do offer to attempt to solve it with you over e-mail, but it would be a very tedious process and the e-mail response team isn't capable of anything beyond a level One support.
 

SchizTech

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Jan 16, 2011
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If the drive was recognized right away by the Mac but not the Windows systems, it must have been pre-formatted with the HFS+ filesystem. A computer (Mac or Windows) won't format a blank drive or reformat an already formatted drive without first prompting the user (unless there's some data-destroying malware at work or something).

To verify the filesystem, plug it into the Mac and control-click on the drive's desktop icon, and select "get info."

As far as the last question, that software won't affect the format of the drive or reformat it. All it will do is install support for Windows to understand a Mac formatted drive.

There are other filesystems which can be used by both Mac and PC, like ExFAT. This is a storage filesystem with support built into both OSes, however if the drive is currently HFS+ you'd have to back up all the data elsewhere, format the drive and transfer it back on. An ExFat drive out of the box would fulfill Seagate's promise though if that drive were ExFat it should be understood by the Windows systems.
 

SchizTech

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There are utilities which permit HFS+ (Mac filesystem) access on Windows. This one

http://www.paragon-software.com/home/hfs-windows/

goes for about $20.

(similar software is also available to go the other way: Macs by default can READ Windows disks but not WRITE to them, and a utility like the above except for Mac allows full read and write access)
 

Essiesc

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May 5, 2016
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So I'm guessing by default, since I was ignorant and plugged the Seagate into the Mac first, either the Seagate by default or I unknowingly made selections to format the drive to a Mac type of file system which is why it's not being recognized by the Windows machine. So even if I were to purchase the application you suggested, that would only fix my problem in the future, right? I would still have to either find somewhere with enough space to backup EVERYthing on that drive, erase it all, but the $20 app, start from scratch with the app on the Mac and start with a blank Seagate, right? Or will having that app immediately force the Seagate to be formatted to HFS so it's readable by the Windows machine?

One would think this would be a standard/common issue that Seagate would have addressed a long time ago??

Thank you very much for your explanation and suggestion.
 

SchizTech

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Jan 16, 2011
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If the drive was recognized right away by the Mac but not the Windows systems, it must have been pre-formatted with the HFS+ filesystem. A computer (Mac or Windows) won't format a blank drive or reformat an already formatted drive without first prompting the user (unless there's some data-destroying malware at work or something).

To verify the filesystem, plug it into the Mac and control-click on the drive's desktop icon, and select "get info."

As far as the last question, that software won't affect the format of the drive or reformat it. All it will do is install support for Windows to understand a Mac formatted drive.

There are other filesystems which can be used by both Mac and PC, like ExFAT. This is a storage filesystem with support built into both OSes, however if the drive is currently HFS+ you'd have to back up all the data elsewhere, format the drive and transfer it back on. An ExFat drive out of the box would fulfill Seagate's promise though if that drive were ExFat it should be understood by the Windows systems.
 
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